Essex Orchid Society

Growing your Cattleya

Cattleya orchids are very colourful and flamboyant and many hybrids are available as pot plants. They require a little more care on a windowsill.

Temperature: 55-80°F (12-26°C) This is a little cooler than most homes but the minimum temperature is important in the winter.

Humidity: They need good humidity and this can be provided on a windowsill by placing the pot on a tray of moist pebbles or gravel. Also, spraying in the summer would be beneficial. This should be done in the early morning when full sun is not on the plant.

Light: In winter months the Cattleya needs a good light, preferably on an east or west windowsill. In the summer months it needs dappled or shaded light (behind a net curtain) to prevent the leaves from scorching.

Watering and feeding: In winter the plant will rest and need only occasional watering. When new roots and growths start in spring, water once a week and in summer, perhaps twice a week. Give the plant a feed with good quality orchid fertiliser every third watering from spring until September and ensure the plant is flushed through with clean water on the other watering to avoid a build up of salts.

Potting: You will need to re-pot your Cattleya every 2-3 years once the pot is full. The best time is when the new growths start to develop. Use a good quality bark mix and as Cattleya grow in one direction, place the plant in its new pot with the oldest part of the plant close to the edge of the pot.


A typical Cattleya


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