You will have seen Cattleya Orchids many times and probably did not know the name, they are widely used as corsages as well as in floral arrangements.
As for growing them, these are fairly hardy plants, easy care and cattleyas are good orchids for beginners.
The genus has over 60 species and are originally from tropical Central and South America, they do well in warmer situations. The cultivars are numerous and colorful.
The orchid pictured right is a Cattleya cultivar ‘ George King’.
The one big requirement for Cattleya Orchids is warmth, if you can provide this then other care factors are easy. In cooler climates they are best grown indoors or in a greenhouse. Frosts must be avoided.
Light is the second factor and good morning sun seems to work well. As with many orchids drainage is important and Cattleyas do like to dry out a little between watering. Remember that they are epiphytic and try to mimic this natural habitat.
During the winter months plants can be rested and this is also an excellent time to divide them.
Cattleya intermedia is an important species from Brazil, used widely in hybridisation. This is a species that comes in a number of forms so photographs will differ greatly. This is a species that comes from more temperate areas however it still requires more warmth than the cooler areas of Australia will provide.
Known as the Christmas Orchid, Cattleya percivaliana is another varied species with flowers ranging from white through to pink and mauve. Slightly smaller than some species but with very attractive colouring. This is a Venezuelan species and again requires warmth.
Grown both in containers as well as a mounted species. Regular watering is required.
Cattleya Orchids are available for sale from the following nurseries
1360 Brieses Rd Peatsridge NSW 2250
Cymbidium Orchids, Odontoglossums, Dendrodiums, Masdevallia & others. Orchid pots and accessories including bark and coconut chips, gift certificates and plant naming available.