Cattleya Orchids are the most widely grown orchids. They are famous because they produce very beautiful flowers. All 50 varieties of Cattleya Orchids are equally beautiful. You can choose any variety to grow at home in plant pots.
Cattleyas are easy to grow and care for. They are naturally found in the jungles of the Amazon and Brazil.
Below is my growing experience and care routine. If you have growing orchids in plant pots then you must follow the below guide to avoid common growing issues.
Every care step is explained in simple words.
This variety of orchids produces new pseudobulbs once a year. This new shoot is necessary to freshen the new growth or your plant will die.
The growing environment and growing techniques help your plant to produce this new growth without facing many problems.
It is not difficult to grow Cattleya Orchids in an indoor environment. All you need to do is just take care of a few important things.
All are discussed below, make notes if you cannot remember or you are new to gardening.
Cattleyas need a good amount of light every day to grow healthy and to produce beautiful flowers. The good news is direct sunlight is beneficial for the plant.
But too much light can burn the plant leaves. Therefore, expose your plant only to morning sunlight and arrange shade from midday through late afternoon.
The best place would be a sunny window where it can only get morning sunlight. After then it only gets indirect bright light for rest of the day.
If there is no direct sunlight in the grows room then you can use the artificial grow light. They are made for growing plants without sunlight.
Your normal fluorescent light will not work in this case.
This light loving plant need a high amount of medium-intensity light. To full fill, this need you should go for mars hydro 600 watts led grow light.
The potting soil must contain perlite, coco coir, bark, charcoal, gravel, and clay pallets. I know this soil formula is a little difficult to prepare for new gardeners.
Therefore, you should buy and use readymade Cattleya Orchids potting soil.
This soil is easily available on Amazon you can choose it online or you can also buy it from your local garden store.
This is a normal kind of soil that is easy to buy from any garden store.
With this soil, you do not need to worry about dryness and overwatering issues.
Because it does not contain heavy nutrients. Buy a separate bottle of orchid nutrients and fertilize your plant for better health.
Watering orchids is a little tricky because it goes with the temperature of the day.
If the temperature is high then the plant soil becomes dry in less time and you need to water your plant frequently.
Like in the summer season when the temperature goes above 20 degrees C. All the houseplants start feeling thirsty.
The best indication is checking the soil. If the soil is dry or the top few inches of the soil are dry then immediately grab the watering can and water your orchids.
On the other hand, when the temperature is cool, less watering is needed.
Whenever in doubt, check the soil condition before watering. You can do so by inserting your finger in the soil or by using a soil moisture testing meter.
Buy this device from Amazon at a reasonable price.
The good news is your Cattleya Orchids do not need fertilizers. If the soil is rich in organic material, then your plant will not need separate nutrients.
But if you want your orchid plant to produce beautiful foliage with brilliant flowers. Then you must supply it with nutrients.
Only buy orchid nutrients, they are the same for all varieties. Use liquid fertilizers to avoid salt build-up in the plant pot.
Dilute the solution in the filtered water and give it to the plant.
To play safe you should flush the soil with clean water once in 60 days.
Temperature & Humidity
55 to 85 F is the ideal temperature range because these orchids grow at high altitudes in their natural habitat.
There the air is moist especially at the night time. This moist air is cooling the plants on hot days.
To keep your orchids hydrated you must keep the home humidity between 50 to 70%. Remember that low air moisture can kill your plant by dehydrating it.
Orchids absorb a good amount of moisture from the air. This keeps them fresh and bright. This is the reason orchids needs less water as compared to another similar type of houseplants.
To keep the humidity at optimum level mist water on the plant on summer days.
Or you can use a plant humidifier for better results. This is a one-time investment you can use the same humidifier for many plants.
Just make a group of plants and place it beside them and turn it ON.
Repotting must be only done when the roots are coming out of the top surface of the soil. The ingredients in the soil start decomposing over time.
In this, you need to repot your growing orchid in new soil to freshen the soil.
This put new life in the plant and you see many new shoots in a year.
For repotting, please use a one size bigger pot and the material of the pot must be clay, terracotta, ceramic. I do not like to use plastic pots for growing plants.
Because we grow plants to reduce the amount of carbon and to purify the indoor air. But plastic pots release harmful gases over time.
This pollutes the indoor air.
Cattleya Orchids take time to produce flowers. Once they get fully matured then they shift their energy to produce flowers.
Spring and summer are the two blooming seasons in a year.
Remember that to encourage heavy blooming correct temperature and good amount of nutrients is necessary.
Pruning should be only done when the flowers died and the spikes turn yellow. Then find the old buds and use sharp shears to cut them.
Also, remove the yellow and dead parts of the plant. This way you turn its energy to produce newer stems and flowers next year.
Pruning also helps your plant to stay hydrated and it also prevents any bacterial and fungal diseases. It should be performed in spring and late summer only.
Cattleya Orchids grow happily if you maintain the supply of light and keep the temperature in an ideal range.
The second most important thing that they need is humidity. The minimum humidity must be 40% and the max is 70%.
Now that you know how to grow and maintain Cattleyas. You can grow them without facing many problems. For more information on orchids visit our houseplant section.