If you are like me, and enjoy the sight of beautiful and colourful flowers displayed in your home, you probably have a few orchids here and there. Orchids are a very popular houseplant among many, the most often choice being a flower of the Cattleya genus. Cattleya orchids have large blooms and come in a variety of shapes and colours. Their fragrance and vibrant hues can complement any home interior, and are not that hard to take care of once you get acquainted with all that you need to do. Keep on reading to discover how to properly take care of your Cattleya orchid flower by following 6 steps for guaranteed results.
Firstly, when it comes to planting this exotic flower, they would grow best in pots with soil which resembles that of their natural growing conditions. Include rocks, perlite, or bark in the soil mix, or you can purchase a compost that is specially designed for growing orchids. Cattleyas grow best when they are placed in pots with restricted space, so be sure to choose one that is not too big. If you want to plant your orchid outside, things can get a little more tricky, as they thrive in areas that are warm all year round. But if you have the right conditions, you can manually attach your orchid to a tree—this is called mounting. To do this, wrap the orchid’s roots in moss, wire the plant on top of a shelf and attach it to a part of the tree to hold.
How much light does the orchid need?
Probably the most necessary requirement to achieve a full-bloom of a Cattleya orchid flower is to give it enough light. These plants are notorious for their high amount of light requirements. When growing Cattleya orchids inside, best to place them near a window that gets a lot of indirect sunlight. You should be careful about preventing the leaves from getting sunburnt. The plant enjoys the morning sun, but be sure to protect it with a sheer curtain from the midday heat. You can always check if your orchid is getting enough sunlight by looking at the colour of its leaves. Bright, light green is good, but if the colour is dark green then it is not getting enough sun. If the leaves are yellowish, that means that it is getting too much light.
What about temperature and humidity?
During the day, Cattleya orchid flowers prefer a temperature between 70°F and 80°F /20°C to 27°C. Whereas in the night, they should be positioned in a place where the temperature is 60°F to 64°F /15°C to 18°C. The lower temperature during the night will promote stronger growth for your plant and its buds. When it comes to humidity, Cattleyas will thrive in levels between 45% to 60%. To adjust the proper humidity level, you can place the plant’s container on a tray with water and pebbles. Just keep in mind that the orchid should not be standing in the water, otherwise its roots will root. You can also place a humidifier in the room with the Cattleya orchid.
How often should Cattleyas be watered?
A lot of orchids perish because of either too much or too little water. It’s a common mistake at first to overwater your Cattleya orchid flower. The thick stems of the orchid, called pseudobulbs, and the plant’s leaves store water. This means that the Cattleya orchid’s roots like to dry out a bit between each watering. Hence, water your orchid once to a maximum of two times a week. When you do water them, do so deeply, so the water can run through the draining holes. Best to do this in the morning, so there is enough sunlight for the foliage to dry. Cattleyas don’t require a winter rest, so you can water them all year-round, without having to worry that you might overwater them.
Should I use a fertilizer for the orchid flower?
The Cattleya orchid flower is capable of growing successfully for several years without the use of a fertilizer. However, the use of one will surely benefit its growth. Using a fertilizer is especially important during spring, as that is when new orchid roots and leaves are growing. During winter, fertilizing is not as much needed. When choosing your orchid fertilizer, go for a urea-free lower nitrogen formulation, which should be used in dilute solution (1/4 to ½ of the recommended strength) in the period of active growth and warm weather. Between each fertilizer application, best to flush the pots with plain water to avoid salt build-up.
When should Cattleya orchids be repotted?
The process of repotting an orchid flower of the Cattleya genus, should be done every two years, or when the plant starts to throw out root at the base of a new growth. If the potting medium has broken down or the orchid has outgrown its pot, it is also time to repot. When repotting, decide on a pot that will accommodate for 2 to 3 years growth. If the potting mix is old and crumbly, remove it and rinse the root system. Dead orchid roots should also be removed by trimming. Position the orchid flower so that its oldest pseudobulbs are at the edge of the new pot. Then fill the pot with the potting medium. Make sure the plant is stable in the pot, and not wobbly.
By following these 6 steps of proper care for your Cattleya orchid flower, you should ensure the maximum growth of its beautiful blooms! I wish you good luck on your journey and hope that you will get the results you are seeking. Cheers!