- 1 Common signs of Cattleya flowers
- 2 Single and double leaf cattleyas
- 3 Flowering Cattleya at home
- 4 Of course, this exotic plant is quite whimsical, not recommended for beginner gardeners, however, with proper care, the Cattleya orchid can become a real gem of a home collection, its long and abundant flowering of the Cattleya is so spectacular that it allows you to forget about all the difficulties of growing.
- 5 Cattleya hybrid flower
- 6 How to care for Cattleya at home
- 7 Planting a cattleya orchid
- 8 Cattleya care: watering and fertilizing
- 9 Cattleya rest period after flowering
- 10 Cattleya transplant (how to transplant a cattleya)
- 11 Cattleya Orchid Reproduction
- 12 Diseases and pests of cattleya
Cattleya is a genus of perennial herbs of the orchid family (Orchidaceae), native to the tropics of Central and South America. Most species are distinguished by exclusively decorative flowers, grown as indoor and greenhouse crops.
- Family: orchids.
- Origin: Central and South America.
- Rhizome: creeping aerial roots.
- Stem: shortened succulent, in the form of a pseudobulb.
- Leaves: fleshy or leathery.
- Fruit: box.
- Reproductive ability: reproduction by division.
- Illumination: bright diffused light.
- Watering: moderate.
- Content temperature: 24-26 ° C in summer, not lower than 13 ° C in winter.
- Flowering time: 10 to 30 days depending on the species.
Common signs of Cattleya flowers
Common signs of Cattleya flowers
Cattleya – one of the most famous orchid genera, combines many medium and large plants that live in various climatic zones of Central and South America: in the humid tropics and arid areas, some of them are adapted to life in the highlands with fairly cold winters. Numerous creeping roots can be aerial or deep into the soil, they serve to attach to a support, while providing the plant with moisture and nutrition both from the atmosphere and from the soil, while the old roots gradually die off, and new ones are continuously formed to replace them. The ability to extract water from the air is due to the special structure of the roots, smooth, covered with a thick layer of hygroscopic tissue called velomen.
Cattleya flowers have a structure characteristic of all orchids, with three brightly colored sepals and three larger petals.
Cattleya flowers have a structure characteristic of all orchids, with three brightly colored sepals and three larger petals. It serves as a platform for insects or hummingbirds, allowing them access to the column, the combined reproductive organ of the flower, for pollination. The diameter of the corolla can be from a few millimeters to 25 cm, depending on the species, the color is white, pink, lilac, crimson. The Cattleya flower is notable for its durability in cutting, it does not fade for a long time even in the absence of water, which, along with extraordinary beauty and grace, made it a symbol of aristocracy in the 19th – early 20th centuries, a subject of decoration for the dresses of secular ladies.
Single and double leaf cattleyas
Despite the variety of life forms, cattleya orchids have a number of common features. They are characterized by a sympodial growth pattern, in which new shoots appear next to last year’s ones, allowing the plant to grow in width. The stems are shortened succulent formations called pseudobulbs or tuberidia, this is the main storage organ of the flower, accumulating moisture and nutrients necessary for growth. Each pseudobulb has 2-3 internodes and forms one or two apical leaves, dense, stiff, leathery or fleshy, narrow elongated shape.
Cattleya flowers are large, bright and unusually attractive, they are single or collected in a racemose inflorescence of several or even dozens of pieces. A thick peduncle, covered with a sheath of integumentary leaves, appears at the top of the shoot, the flower blooming on it lives for 20-30 days, while one plant usually has several pseudobulbs with sequentially opening buds. The flowering time of Cattleya depends on the species; in most cultivars, it occurs in autumn-winter. Many members of the genus have a pronounced spicy aroma, sometimes reminiscent of the smell of lilies of the valley or lilies .
Flowering Cattleya at home
The ability of the plant to easily form hybrids, including with other closely related genera, has made it possible to create many varieties that are well adapted to living in room conditions. Of course, this exotic plant is quite whimsical, not recommended for beginner gardeners, however, with proper care, the Cattleya orchid can become a real gem of a home collection, its long and abundant flowering of the Cattleya is so spectacular that it allows you to forget about all the difficulties of growing.
Of course, this exotic plant is quite whimsical, not recommended for beginner gardeners, however, with proper care, the Cattleya orchid can become a real gem of a home collection, its long and abundant flowering of the Cattleya is so spectacular that it allows you to forget about all the difficulties of growing.
To date, about 65 natural species of Cattleya are known, there are also many hybrids, both interspecific and obtained by crossing with representatives of closely related genera. Through the efforts of breeders, thousands of varieties of cattleyas have been created, among which there are miniature plants and real giants that bloom for 10 days or more than a month, there are all kinds of tones in the color palette, except for pure blue and black. It is impossible to describe and even list all the varieties of this spectacular flower, so below we will provide brief information only about the most common species and hybrids of Cattleya orchids in culture, photos of some of the most popular forms and varieties in indoor floriculture.
Cattleya Bowringa (C. bowringiana) in nature lives on the trunks and branches of trees in the tropical forests of Guatemala, is distinguished by large elliptical or oblong leaves and pink-purple flowers, collected in a multi-flowered inflorescence. The diameter of the corolla varies from 3 to 7 cm, the lip is crimson with dark purple veins and a bright white or yellowish spot in the throat. Under natural conditions, the height of cylindrical, thickened stems at the base can reach 70 cm, in room conditions it usually does not exceed 30-35 cm. Flowering time is 2-3 weeks in late autumn (October – December), a short dormant period is needed in winter.
Cattleya Skinner (C. skinnerri) – in appearance and habitat similar to the previous one, differs in the spring flowering period.
Cattleya Forbes (C. forbesii) is a miniature plant growing in Brazil 10-20 cm high with thin cylindrical stems, on which two leaves and a straight short peduncle are formed with one or two yellowish-brown flowers quite large, up to 10 cm, sizes. Under natural conditions, the height of cylindrical, thickened stems at the base can reach 70 cm, in room conditions it usually does not exceed 30-35 cm. Flowering time is 2-3 weeks in late autumn (October – December), a short dormant period is needed in winter. Compared to other species, less decorative, but characterized by annual flowering and undemanding care, Cattleya of this species is usually recommended for cultivation by beginner indoor orchid lovers.
Cattleya Varshevich, or giant (C. warscewiczii) – an epiphyte from the highlands of Colombia, is found on trees near water bodies. Like this large orchid with shiny, spindle-shaped pseudobulbs up to 30 cm long, releasing one thick leathery oblong leaf, the size of which varies from 10 to 30 cm.
Particularly impressive are the huge fragrant flowers, collected in 3-10 pieces. in a long, up to 50 cm, racemose inflorescence. The diameter of the corolla can reach 27 cm, the color of the petals is usually pink, the lip is carmine with a yellow throat, often with a wavy edge. The plant is extremely decorative, but difficult to cultivate, although it has been grown in rooms and greenhouses since the mid-19th century. Blooms for two weeks in May-June. Often used in hybridization to increase flower size.
Cattleya lipped (C. labiata) , an inhabitant of the northeast of Brazil, a plant with spindle-shaped, slightly flattened pseudobulbs 15–25 cm long, the surface of which is covered with membranous gray-greenish scales.
In September-November, a racemose inflorescence appears at the top of the shoot with two or three large, about 20 cm in diameter, pink or lilac flowers. The petals are wavy along the edge and a massive three-lobed lip, in which two lateral lobes are wrapped, and the middle one, purple-purple with a bright yellow spot and a wavy edge, is fully opened. The species is often used in breeding.
Cattleya hybrid flower
Cattleya hybrid (C. hybrida) – under this name, numerous hybrids are combined, created both by crossing natural species of Cattleya orchids, and its many cultivars.
The most famous:
Large-flowered purple-flowered hybrid C. eclipse ;
Crimson-lilac cultivar C. Margaret Degenhardt Saturn ;
The popular white cattleya C. Earl Imperials ;
Fast growing raspberry C. Miyuki Little King ;
Compact scented cultivar C. Luteous Forb , etc.
Hybrids of Cattleya and orchids from other genera are also widespread. As a result of crossing with lelia, leliocattlei appeared, after the hybridization of the latter with brassavola, brassoleliocattlei were created, with the participation of sophronix as one of the parents – sophroleliocattlei, favorably distinguished by their compact size and brighter color. Finally, there is a hybrid called potinara, the result of crossing all four of the above genera.
All of these hybrids have many varieties and are quite widespread in indoor floriculture.
How to care for Cattleya at home
Growing orchids at home requires some effort and skill. Even experienced flower growers do not always achieve their regular flowering, which, ultimately, is the goal of cultivating indoor Cattleya. Home care largely depends on the specific species and variety, but there are a number of general rules that must be followed when breeding any variety of flower.
Planting a cattleya orchid
East and west windows are considered the optimal place for planting Cattleya; on the south side at lunchtime, shading from direct sunlight is required. Some modern varieties are shade-tolerant, they successfully develop even in the north, without requiring additional lighting. In general, Cattleya can tell the owner herself whether she has enough light: with a lack of it, the leaves become dark, with an excess – yellowish, and only the bright green color of the leaf plates signals a normal level of illumination.
For most varieties, the most favorable temperature is 24-26 ° C in summer and 12-15 ° C in winter, however, for successful flowering, a significant, about 5-7 ° C, difference in night and day temperatures is required. To ensure such a thermal regime, in the summer it is better to take the flower to the balcony, in the fall it is achieved naturally.
Modern hybrid varieties are not too demanding on air humidity, however, if its values are in the range from 40 to 60%, plants develop better. The higher the temperature, the higher the humidity should be, in the hot summer it can reach up to 70-80%. For moisturizing use spraying, warm showers, placing the container in a pan of water, and even wrapping the stems with wet moss.
Cattleya care: watering and fertilizing
The regularity of watering and the amount of water are determined by the air temperature, the size of the container, and the composition of the substrate. The water regime is selected for each plant individually, while we must not forget that waterlogging is one of the most common causes of orchid death. It is usually recommended to water every three days in summer, every two to three weeks in winter, spraying on the substrate is preferable during the dormant period. For both watering and spraying, it is better to use water that does not contain lime.
Fertilizers are applied in liquid form, using minimal concentrations.
It is allowed to feed the flower throughout the year, some experts recommend fertilizing it during the formation of the pseudobulb and then during the extension of the peduncle.
To stimulate flowering, the composition of top dressing should include phosphorus and potassium.
Cattleya rest period after flowering
After flowering, Cattleya requires a dormant period, for most varieties it falls in the winter, sometimes in the fall. At this time, the pot is placed in a cool place, provide diffused light, limit watering and fertilizing.
Cattleya transplant (how to transplant a cattleya)
Cattleyas are transplanted only in case of emergency, with compaction and oxidation of the substrate, or excessive growth of the flower, and no more than once every two to three years. Plants do not tolerate this procedure well, so it is important to know when and how to repot the Cattleya correctly, which will allow it to recover faster. The most optimal time is before the start of active root growth on new shoots, i.e. at the moment when they reach a height of 2-3 cm. The pot should be quite cramped, drainage at least 1-2 cm high is required at the bottom. It is recommended to use a mixture of crushed bark and sphagnum moss as a substrate. The bark must be washed and saturated with moisture, for which it is pre-soaked in water for two or three days. You can also use purchased soil for epiphid orchids. A flower is planted, leaving the base of the rhizome on the surface, the stems are tied to a support, they are not watered for several days.
Cattleya Orchid Reproduction
Cattleyas are propagated by division, which is usually combined with transplantation. The plant to be divided is removed from the pot, the underground part is lowered into a container of water, and after 30 minutes the roots are processed. They are carefully, trying not to damage them, unravel, remove damaged, dried and dead parts, disinfect the sections with crushed coal, then dry them in heat. The rhizomes are divided into several parts so that at least three pseudobulbs remain in one division, the sections are also sprinkled with coal. To prevent infections, the instrument is pre-treated. How to plant and care for Cattleya after division is described above, caring for it is the same as after transplantation.
Diseases and pests of cattleya
Among the pests and diseases of Cattleya, the most common are thrips, spider mites, scale insects and aphids, as well as root rot.
To control insects, insecticides are used, for example, actellik (10-15 drops per liter of water). Rots are the result of improper care, in particular, waterlogging of the soil. The affected plant is dug up, diseased roots are removed, sections are disinfected, and planted again, limiting watering.