When the average person thinks of an orchid, they think of a Cattleya. The "Queen of Orchids" has always been popular and is often the first orchid an individual experiences in the form of a corsage. This New World genus originates in Central and South America with relatives extending into the Caribbean and even Florida. Today, the term Cattleya has come to include all hybrids made with closely related families such as Laelia and Encyclia, as well as Cattleyas themselves. Cattleya hybrids can have large or small flowers on large or small plants and come in nearly every color of the rainbow except for true blue. Cattleyas can be among the most rewarding orchids to grow, and they come in almost any size or color to suit your fancy. Although many of the species only bloom once per year, hybrids can bloom two or more times each year. Most Cattleyas have the added appeal of a delicious fragrance. Succeed at blooming Cattleyas and you will most certainly be hooked as an orchid grower!
Cattleya prefer bright, flitered light.
Cattleya prefer temperatures between 70F to 85F and should not be exposed to extreme cold.
Cattleya should be allowed to almost dry out completely between watering. Typically, they should be watered about 1-2 times per week in colder months, and up to 4-5 times per week in summer months depending on temperature.
Cattleyas must be fertilized on a regular basis. For best results, use Better-Gro® Orchid Plus® Fertilizer every week, and Better-Gro® Better Bloom® Fertilizer at every fourth watering to promote large, abundant blooms.
Cattleya prefer to be grown in Better-Gro® Special Orchid Mix®. Cattleya should be repotted once every year, ideally immediately after blooming.
Common pests associated with Cattleya are scale and spider mites. Scale can be treated with pesticide sprays such as Orthene®, Sevin®, Malathion®, or Neem Oil®. Spider mites can be treated by either washing the upper and lower sides of the plant leaves with soap and warm water, or with the use of insecticidal soaps or pesticides.