Herself's Houseplants

Killing plants so you don't have to

Cattleya and crosses

Cattleya orchids are the orchids you see in corsages. Some are scented, some are not. They come in an endless selection of colors.

Cattleya orchids need lots of light so after blooming put them in a south facing window. They like it to be fairly warm aim for a day temperature of 75-85’F and a night temperature of 55′-60’F. They need a temperature difference of about 15’F to put them into a blooming cycle. So put them outside in the spring or fall or put them near a door or drafty window. If you put them outside put them in the shade. Bright sun inside your home is like shade outside your home.

Pot them in sphagnum moss not dirt or bark if you are keeping them as houseplants. Your home is too dry for them to grow on bark as they do in the wild. If they are planted in moss water when the top of the moss is totally dry. I find I need to water once a week if it’s been a sunny week and about once every ten days if it’s been cloudy.

If you do plant them in bark check them daily they will need to be watered several times a week. If you are not sure when to water them and they are planted in bark, place a wooden skewer deep in the middle of the pot. Leave just a little showing. Pull out the skewer to see if it is wet or dry in the pot.

If the orchid is getting enough water leaves will not flop or be wrinkled, roots will be green. Wrinkles on leaves, white roots mean the plant is getting too little water. Do not let it sit in water, but water more frequently being sure to let excess water drain out. If the plant is getting too much water, the roots will turn black and rot.

I fertilize them when I re-pot them and don’t bother much otherwise. Orchids love root fertilizer and hormones as well. Several companies sell these fertilizers.

These may be divided when they out grow the pot. Separate the pseudo bulbs with a sharp knife, be sure to have several in each section.

See also:
General orchid care
Use sphagnum moss to make your plants easier to care for

Useful things:
Shultz Starter Plus