Growing Cattleya Orchids – The proper guide to caring for the Cattleya Flower 

The Cattleya Orchid is one of the leading members of the Orchidaceae family. It is an exquisite flowering plant that produces sweet-smelling fragrances that are perfect for any living space.

Cattleya Orchid

Orchid Cattleyas feature beautiful blooms that vary in color and shape but are often large and are kept high by dull green stalks and foliages. 

Cattleya plants are known in South American countries like Brazil and can also be found in regions of Central America. They are slow-growing perennial plants with a lifespan that can be as long as 5 years. 

Botanical Name Cattleya
Common Names Orchid Queen, Cattleya Orchid, Corsage Orchid 
Origin Central and South America
Family Orchidaceae
Plant Type Perennial Flowering Plant
Full Size Ranges from 3 inches to 25 inches tall 
Sun Exposure Partial, Indirect Sunlight 
Soil Type Well-draining,  Soilless acidic media

Cattleya Orchid Types

The Cattleya genus is home to numerous varieties of the flowering perennial plant that blooms at different times and vary with appearance. Here are some of the well-known types; 

  • Cattleya Iricolor 
  • Cattleya labiata
  • Cattleya schroederae
  • Cattleya mossiae 

Caring For Cattleya Orchids

Cattleya Orchids are somewhat easy to care for, as their lighting, water, temperature and fertilizing requirements are basic. It does have a special soil requirement though, but it is a low-maintenance plant. 

Cattleya Light Requirement

Cattleyas all require bright but indirect sunlight to flourish, so you must ensure you meet this requirement indoors by providing a little shade for the potted plant. 

When exposed to direct sunlight for too long, you expose the Cattleya plant to dangers of its leaves being scorched or them turning yellow. . 

Exposure to morning sunlight is great for the Cattleya flower, and a great way to regulate this is by placing the plant next to an eastward facing window, where it gets access to the rays of the morning sunrise. Do ensure it is protected from the afternoon’s rays. 

Cattleya Watering Requirement  

Cattleya Watering Requirement  
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Watering is important for Cattleya Orchid care. However, do ensure the plant does not sit in wet or soggy soil for long. 

Aim for moist soil by letting the topmost part of the soil dry out a little before watering the plant. This can be done once a week so the soil is kept moist always. 

When your Cattleya plant sits in excess water for too long, you risk exposing it to root rot and other fungal diseases. 

Cattleya Soil Requirement  

The best soil type for a Cattleya plant would be a soilless growing mix that is made for orchids. This should be well-draining but have good moisture retaining capabilities. 

The growing mix being used should contain sequoia bark, perlite, clay pellets, fern fiber, grave, coconut husk chips, and charcoal.

The pH type range should be kept acidic, between 5.0 to 6.5.   

Cattleya Temperature and Humidity Requirement 

Cattleyas require a high humid environment, so ensure you provide that while growing them indoors. Make use of a humidifier and set it between 60% to 70%. 

For temperature levels, it should be kept between 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and although it can survive temperature levels as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, it is important to allow a little cooling for the plant.

Cattleya Fertilizer Requirement 

Do not fertilize your Cattleya Orchid too much as you would be causing more harm to the plant than good. So ensure you limit fertilizing to once a month.

When fertilizing, ensure you make use of an orchid-suitable fertilizer that has been diluted to about a quarter of its initial strength.

Repotting Cattleya Orchids   

Repotting Cattleya Orchids  

Cattleya Orchids don’t require too much repotting, In fact, limit repotting of the plant to once in 2 years.

As slow-growing plants, the new pots used should be a little bigger and should contain enough drainage holes to allow excess water to pass through.

Toxicity

Cattleya Orchids are non-toxic to pets or children, but still, avoid eating the plant as it has no nutritional or medicinal benefits. 

Common Health Problems of the Cattleya Orchid  

The Cattleya orchid is a sturdy, durable plant that doesn’t suffer too many health problems. However, excess water in the soil could lead to the following;

  • Flower blights
  • Root rot
  • Stem rot
  • Leaf spots

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the best pots for cattleya orchids?

Using a Clay Orchid pot with sufficient drainage holes should be perfect for the Cattleya orchid

How often do cattleya orchids bloom?

Cattleya plants are known to produce blooms once a year

Do cattleya orchids like to be misted?

Misting is not necessary for the Cattleya Orchid as its roots can absorb as much moisture as they require from the soil.

Why is my Cattleya not blooming?

Although cattleyas require indirect sunlight, too little sunlight could stop the Cattleya from blooming.

Can Cattleya grow in soil?

Cattleyas are epiphytic plants that grow on the bodies of trees or walls, so they do not require soil to grow.

Marijke Puts
About Marijke Puts
Marijke Puts has Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and is from The Netherlands. She has a certified master gardener and loves everything about houseplants and gardening.

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