Apartment plants

Cattleya orchid

The cattleya orchid: general

The cattleya orchid can be monofoliata or bifoliata, depending on the number of leaves present on the plant; those of the first group have taller stems (up to 1 m) and produce larger, very showy flowers. The orchid cattleya bifoliata, on the other hand, is characterized by smaller and more delicate flowers. All are equipped with ribbon-shaped, arched, leathery and bright green leaves; the roots are rhizomatous and an erect pseudobulb starts from them, to which the leaves are attached. The structure of the orchid cattleya let the generations of the plant be distinguished from its stem; going back horizontally, in fact, you can see a flowering stem preceded by one without flowers, as it is older and, therefore, already faded.

The cattleya orchid: cultivation

Contrary to what many people think, that orchids are delicate and difficult to cultivate, the cattleya orchid is a rustic plant, which requires little care and which can be entrusted even to inexperienced hands. orchid requires a draining substrate, capable of retaining moisture and allowing the roots to be properly aerated: bark, peat, expanded clay, or pieces of wood. The cattleya orchid needs a luminous position and constant temperatures, around 20/25 ° C, without any particular night / day changes. The waterings must be regular but reduced, paying attention to avoid water stagnation; ideal are frequent vaporization of the stems and the substrate.

The cattleya orchid: fertilization

The cattleya orchid needs to be fertilized constantly, about every 20 days, with a compound of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, to be administered in different concentrations depending on the period: to favor the vegetative restart, increase the quantity of nitrogen; during flowering, decrease nitrogen and increase the concentration of potassium; in the other periods, administer a compound of the substances in equal parts. The fertilizer must be diluted in the irrigation water, having the foresight to wet the substrate of the cattleya orchid with water only, in order to avoid concentrations of salts which they would damage the roots. Furthermore, every 4/5 fertilizations carry out some watering with water only, to dilute the concentrated salts in the substrate.

Cattleya Orchid: The Cattleya Orchid: repotting

The cattleya orchid must be repotted either when the substrate has deteriorated or if the pot has become too small. The best time to perform this operation is the vegetative restart, when the plant takes new roots. As already mentioned, particular care must be taken in selecting the substrate. If, at the time of flaring, the roots are attached to the container, soak the jar in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. The rhizome will be placed horizontally, at the height of the edge of the pot, leaving some space between the rim itself and the roots. After repotting, wait 2/3 weeks before watering the cattleya orchid, to let the roots get used to the new container.