CATTLEYA (KAT-lee-ah)


Cattleya

The corsage orchid, cattleyas and their hybrids come in many colors, shapes, forms & sizes.

LIGHT 50% full sun. Leaves should be a medium green color. Dark green foliage indicates too little light and will prohibit flowering.
If growing indoors it should be placed by a bright window.

WATER Cattleyas should only be watered when they become completely dry. There are two ways to determine this:

1 – Heft Test. Pick up and test the weight of the plant when you know it is thoroughly saturated (after a heavy rain). After 1 week with no water test the weight of the pot.

2 – Pencil Test. Using a newly sharpened pencil, poke it into the media about an inch deep. If the pencil tip comes out dry it is time to water. If in doubt wait a day or two before watering.

Water until the water flows freely from the bottom of the pot. This should be done 2 – 3 times a few minutes apart. It is o.k. to wet the foliage. Look for exposed roots to turn green to know the orchid is thoroughly saturated.

TEMPERATURE Can tolerate our hot summers. Needs to be protected below 40 degrees as they will not tolerate frost and freeze.

FERTLIZER Time release fertilizer applied in the Spring. We recommend Dynamite13-13-13, nine month formulation (apply as directed on the manufacturer’s label). Liquid fertilizer can be applied weekly at a reduced rate. If the manufacturer’s directions, say 1 teaspoon, use ½ teaspoon “weekly, weakly”. It if o.k. to use both time release and liquid fertilizer together. Reduce fertilizing to every other week during the winter.

REPOT Use a porous, well draining media, such as a fired clay pellet, coconut chips, charcoal and sponge rock. Avoid fir bark as it tends to break down in one season with our humidity. Usually only need to be repotted every 2-3 years. Spring and Summer are the bests times to repot. Remember to always use as small a pot as possible and to secure the plant tightly.

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