Temperature: should not fall below 15 °C and not exceed 30 °C in the long run. In winter not over 18 °C.
Location: Bright and warm window seat. Shade if there is too much solar radiation in summer. In summer also outdoors in a sheltered place.
Cattleya - large-flowered orchids
Cattleya orchids are popular and known for their large flowers. They can be optimally cultivated as indoor plants and the large flowers make them an eye-catcher in every room.
In addition to the large flowers, there is another special feature that makes the Cattleya so special. Most orchid species are not fragrant. However, many species that belong to the Cattleya genus already do, which makes them all the more interesting as a houseplant.
In the apartment or in the house, cattleya orchids feel most comfortable with high humidity and warm temperatures. Temperatures around 20 °C are ideal. It tolerates relatively high temperatures, but the room should not regularly get warmer than 30 °C. In winter, however, it should not be above 18 °C. Especially before flowering. On the other hand, she does not like the cold, which is why it is important not to leave the Cattleya in rooms below 15 °C.
South-facing window sills are well suited in winter, as the Cattleya needs a lot of light. It is better not to put them in the direct sun in summer. Then a west or east window is more suitable. Otherwise it will quickly get too warm in summer for the large-flowered orchid species.
Too little light can be recognized by the fact that the buds get stuck in the leaf sheath or no buds form at all and only empty leaf sheaths develop instead.
Cattleya does not differ too much from other orchid genera in terms of care. If the instructions outlined here are followed, she will also thrive indoors and reward you with large, vigorous buds. The only peculiarity is that sometimes you have to help her develop those large flowers . To do this, you cut off the leaf sheath at the upper end with scissors, which makes it easier for the buds to find out. It is best to hold them up to a light to avoid going too deep.
Cattleya orchids need regular, constant fertilization. The fertilization takes place via the substrate in an interval of two weeks with commercially available liquid fertilizer for orchids. Alternatively, fertilizer sticks can also be used, with which the orchid has been supplied with nutrients for three months.
casting / dipping
The Cattleya needs a lot of water. At least once a week , it is better to water them twice . Instead of watering them normally with a watering can, submerging the pot has proven to be better for the orchid .
Between dives, the substrate should have a chance to dry completely. Otherwise you risk rotting the roots of the Cattleya.
If there is no flowering or strong growth phase, the orchid can survive for two to three weeks without watering . Some orchid lovers do not water them at all over the winter. That can work, but then you should at least check the condition of the orchid regularly.
Unlike other orchids, the Cattleya does not need a very high level of humidity, which is why it usually does not have to be sprayed with water .
Orchid substrate has proven itself as a filler for orchid pots. Especially coarse pieces of the substrate are suitable for the Cattleya. Only the roots of the plant should be covered with the substrate. Covering the shoots would prevent them from growing.
Spring bloomers are best repotted in late summer or fall . Autumn bloomers more likely in spring to early summer. More important than the season, however, is the formation of new bulbs. Spring bloomers form these in late summer/fall and fall bloomers in spring. The bulbs should be approx. 5 cm in size and already developing new roots so that the plant can be repotted with confidence.
Before repotting, the plant is dipped, which makes it easier for the roots to detach from the substrate. The Cattleya does not have to be dipped or watered again immediately in the new pot.
It is also important that the container in which the orchid is repotted is large enough. The plant should be able to stay in it for at least 3 years. While it's not too bad to repot a plant more frequently, each repotting is stressful for the orchid and this shouldn't happen too often. However, it should not have to stay much longer in the pot with the same substrate, because it gradually loses its structure. The optimal time for repotting is therefore after 2 to 3 years .
When repotting, make sure not to put the orchid too deep in the new pot, otherwise the heart of the plant will quickly begin to rot . The plant should therefore sit relatively high in the new pot and the cavities filled with orchid substrate. Be careful not to squeeze the roots when filling , so as not to injure them.
As soon as the orchid is in the new pot, particular attention should be paid to sufficient light . As a result, it forms new roots and leaves particularly quickly and soon shines in new splendor.
Another tip for transplanting : when transplanting, remove the oldest bulbs that have no roots or leaves. This strengthens the Cattleya, as it no longer wastes energy on dead bulbs and the new shoots thrive particularly well.
After flowering, the entire flower stalk is removed. Additional cutting is usually not necessary.
Cattleya orchids are among the first orchids to be imported to Europe. In addition to the Phalaenopsis, the Cattleya is still one of the most popular orchid species. Originally, however, it comes from Central and South America, where it was exported to Europe at the beginning of the 19th century.
The name of the genus goes back to William Cattleya, who was the first European to cultivate this genus of orchids in our latitudes.
The genus Cattleya includes about 70 species of orchids. Most of these epiphytes (tree dwellers) grow on trees, only a few of them on rocks.
This genus is best propagated vegetatively. Once a rhizome has formed, you can easily cut it off and replant it. However, make sure that you use a sharp knife or sharp scissors when dividing and that the tool should be sterile in any case so as not to infect the plant with diseases or fungi.
A rhizome is ready to divide when it has at least three pseudobulbs.
diseases and pests
The diseases and pests that can affect the Cattleya are not very different from the diseases of other orchid genera. Black rot and leaf spot in particular are among the most common diseases.
Especially young shoots of Cattleya orchids quickly become infected with black rot . To stop the disease early, it is important to take immediate action. You have to cut off all the rotten parts down to the healthy tissue to save the plant. Put some charcoal powder on the cuts and the orchid will feel better quickly.
In addition to black rot, other diseases can also affect cattleya. If the leaves turn black or brown, this can indicate a fungal infection. Unfortunately, there is no direct measure that removes the fungal infestation immediately. However, when watering or dipping, you can make sure that no water comes directly onto the leaves. Plant strengtheners can also be given to strengthen the orchid's cell walls and make them more resilient.
Buying Cattleya is now possible almost everywhere where there are orchids. However, they are a bit harder to find than Phalaenopsis orchids, which can be found in almost every major supermarket. But in every plant trade one or the other Cattleya will be found. There is also a large selection of Cattleya orchids here in the shop. As always, we send the orchids well packaged and in suitable weather, so that they reach you undamaged.
How do I care for my Cattleya?
Above all, Cattleya orchids need a lot of light and water. From autumn to spring it can stand on the south window. In midsummer preferably on the east or west window. The orchid should be watered at least once a week - better twice, as they dry out very quickly.
When do cattleya bloom?
Cattleya orchids bloom from December to March. The flowering can be stimulated by cool nights and little fertilizer about 2-3 months before flowering. This makes the flower all the stronger.
Where does the Cattleya grow?
The Cattleya originally comes from Central and South America. There it thrives in particular from Mexico to Argentina and Peru. It has been growing here since the beginning of the 19th century, but only in greenhouses and on windowsills.