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Cattleya Orchid: 24 Plant Care Tips

Cattleya Orchid: 24 Plant Care Tips

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Cattleya Orchid is a stunning plant that will bring color to any indoor garden. This houseplant is appreciated in the community of plant collectors because of its distinct feel.

This post shares all the advice you’ll need to know to raise a Cattleya Orchid successfully. Want one for yourself? Read on to learn where to buy this excellent plant!

What Is Cattleya Orchid?

The Cattleya Orchid is stunning and is popular nowadays because of its attractive and fragrant flowers. It has elliptical-shaped and green-colored leaves.

It is commonly known as Orchid Corsage and Queen of Orchids, and it is a perennial from the Orchidaceae family. These plants are epiphytes, meaning they grow naturally attached to other plants or tree branches. They also grow from pseudobulbs that store nutrients and water. 

When Cattleya Orchid is placed outside, its ideal locations are hardiness zones 10-12.

Origin And Family

The Orchid Corsage is part of the Cattleya genus in the Orchidaceae family. Its native habitat is Central and South America’s rainforests. As a stunning houseplant that is easy to care for, it has become a favorite for many indoor growers.

Orchid Corsage plants have been around for a long time; Horticulturist William Cattley was credited for nursing back to health a withering Cattley plant from a shipment in the 19th century. His initiatives of cataloging and publishing it in journals further popularized this beautiful plant. 

Once a year, but it varies by species, it produces small, medium, and large flowers in all colors and color combinations (except true blue).

Also read: Are Blue Orchids Real?

Where To Buy

You can purchase Cattleya Orchid at many nurseries and local plant stores. online from Etsy is the best place to purchase this plant for a hassle-free and more cost-efficient experience.

The Cattleya Orchid has relatively affordable prices ranging from $30 for small plants to $50 for larger or mature plants.

Cattleya Orchid Plant Size

As a houseplant, the Cattleya Orchid reaches between 3-24 inches tall and 24 inches wide when mature. This plant will look good near an east or west-facing window.

Cattleya Orchid Care Needs

Your Cattleya Orchid will thrive beautifully when it’s properly taken care of. It loves relatively dry soil and bright indirect light.

In most instances, you’ll want to water your Cattleya when the growing medium is relatively dry. Drench the soil heavily until water seeps out from the pot’s bottom. It will be in its finest health when provided with this requirement as a humidity-loving plant.

We’re making it manageable for you to care for your Cattleya Orchid with the extensive list of tips below.

Care Difficulty

The Queen of Orchids is often regarded as easy to care for. If you are genuine about successfully growing this plant, ensure it gets the proper amount of light and well-draining soil.

Growth Rate

The Cattleya Orchid reaches a height of 3-24 inches when grown inside a home. This plant will usually grow more active during early spring to fall.

Most Cattleya species, including the Cattleya Orchid, are known to grow at a slow pace.

Potting

Regarding its potting material and size, it’s generally advisable to use medium-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pots. The prime consideration is for your pot to have at least one drainage hole. Orchid Corsage does not like sitting in water; otherwise, it may succumb to root rot.

Repotting

It’s crucial to repot your Corsage Orchid when you see roots growing over the edge of the pot or when the growing medium has decomposed. Based on experience, this plant grows slowly, so expect to repot every two years.

It’s important to remember that these plants don’t like their roots disturbed. So repot only when essential. You can use a new pot with the same depth as its previous one and pack its roots with a fresh orchid potting medium.

While repotting, you can give your Cattleya a nutrient boost by adding orchid potting soil to replace the old material.

Soil

The Queen of Orchids is an easy-to-care-for plant that needs orchid potting soil to stay healthy. We recommend adding sequoia or fir bark, horticultural charcoal, gravel, coconut husk chips, perlite, clay pellets, or tree fern fiber if you plan to prepare your potting medium.

Your Cattleya will appreciate the soil being kept relatively dry at all times. Nonetheless, drainage and aeration are essential requirements for all soil types.

If grown outdoors, cattleya orchids can be “slab-mounted,” a manual process of attaching the plant to a tree host. To mount the orchid, you can wrap the roots in moss, wire the plant using organic materials like driftwood or cork bark, and attach it to a tree trunk, log, or branch. 

Here are some potting mixes we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.99
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black...image SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.81
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

A soil pH of roughly 5.5-6.5, which is acidic, is ideal for the Cattleya Orchid. For newbies bothered about the soil’s acidity, you can buy a simple pH meter device to evaluate it.

To adjust pH levels, use sulfur or aluminum sulfate to lower it, while baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime or wood ash can be added to increase pH levels.

Water

When watering Orchid Corsage, you’ll want to try to keep your soil relatively dry. In order to gauge moisture, stick a finger into the pot, or invest in a soil moisture meter device. You’ll know it’s time to water your Cattleya when the growing medium is relatively dry.

Overwatering is one of the top reasons for indoor plant death. Remember that it’s safer to underwater than overwater the Orchid Corsage when in doubt. Also, ensure you have fast-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.

Light

Cattleya Orchid prefers bright indirect light for approximately 6-8 hours daily. Keep in mind that you’re attempting to replicate how it grows in the rainforests of Central and South America. Occasionally, placing this plant near an east or west-facing window works fine. However, a south-facing window is also suitable, so long as the plant is given partial shade using blinds or a sheer curtain.

When its leaves get a red tinge, you’ll know your Cattleya Orchid is getting too much bright light. Conversely, if the plant receives little light, it won’t flower, and it may produce dark green leaves. 

Avoid putting your beautiful orchid in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it.

Fertilizer

Feed your Queen of Orchids to give it some extra nutrient boost. Use a balanced orchid fertilizer every week or during each growing season in the early spring to fall.

A word of caution: Too much fertilizer can cause the plant to grow its foliage more than its flowers. It can produce stalks that don’t produce flowers at all. Additionally, too much fertilizer can damage the fleshy roots of this orchid species.

Here are other plant food options you can use:

In the winter months, when growth naturally slows down, you only need to fertilize once a month.

Propagating Cattleya Orchid

Perhaps you’re impatient to see your Cattleya Orchid sprout new leaves. One planting technique is to prune back the stem to encourage new growing points. Usually, the cuttings you’ve pruned back can propagate so that you can grow a fresh baby plant!

Check out the various propagation methods below for you to choose from.

Division

A Cattleya Orchid can also be propagated by dividing the clusters of stems with entangled root systems.

1. Dig up. With your small shovel, tap on the sides of the pot to loosen the soil, then carefully tug at the plant until it comes out.

2. Separate. You should be able to notice the natural boundary of each stem. Separate them using your hands. You may need to cut the roots but be careful not to disrupt the main root balls.

3. Repot. Repot each section in smaller pots filled with the same soil they’re used to.

Humidity And Aeration

High humidity levels (between 50%-70%) are best for your Cattleya Orchid.

Lack of humidity in houseplants is often characterized by crispy leaves and browning edges. Consider getting a humidifier, or place your plant in well-lit, naturally higher humidity spaces (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms). You can also use humidity trays, like pebble trays, to increase humidity around your orchid plants.

Temperature

The ideal daytime temperatures for your Cattleya Orchid are between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the plant can tolerate 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. This remarkable houseplant will appreciate being kept in warm locations.

More importantly, make sure you prevent any sudden surges or drops in temperatures. Do not use cold or hot water to water your Cattleya Orchid so its roots won’t go into shock.

Flowers

You’ll be able to witness your Orchid Corsage producing significant flowers in a wide range of colors and color combinations (except true blue). Outdoors, this plant blooms yearly, but it varies by species.

Non-Toxic

The Queen of the Orchids won’t poison children and pets. According to the ASPCA, ingesting it will not hurt dogs or cats, and there are no toxic components in the plant.

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

In most situations, the Cattleya Orchid is a disease-resistant and pest-resistant plant. However, there are some common issues that might affect it. We’re discussing some of the common problems and solutions to protect your Cattleya Orchid below.

Spider Mites

Unfortunately, spider mites are widespread, and Cattleya Orchid is particularly vulnerable. Spider mite damage appears on the plant’s leaves as tiny brown or yellow patches. You might also see fine silk webbing when the infestation is severe.

Start by spraying your Cattleya Orchid with water with a sink nozzle or a pressure sprayer to dislodge the spider mites from the plant. If the first method does not work, an organic pyrethrin spray will help you.

If you want to opt for a more organic method, releasing ladybugs in your indoor growing space can aid in reducing spider mite populations. There’s also the “Spider Mite Destroyer,” which may be difficult to obtain, but the name speaks for itself!

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungus that could grow on your Cattleya Orchid and is caused by heat and poor ventilation. It is distinguished by grey or white fine marks on affected leaves or blooms.

Trim clustered leaf growth. Plants should not be settled too close together. Water the soil immediately, paying attention not to soak the foliage.

In cases when the disease has spread widely, combine 5 drops of liquid soap, 3 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon cooking oil, and 1 gallon of water. Apply this solution liberally to the leaves of your Cattleya.

Scale Insects

Scale insects might be observed as lumps on the stems or leaves of your Cattleya Orchid. These tiny bugs, which may be green, gray, brown, or black, usually remain sedentary once they’ve onto a plant.

You can take a spray bottle and vigorously spritz the plant with a mixture of one teaspoon of neem oil and four cups of water to discourage scale insects from attacking your plant during mild infestations.

Neem oil and horticultural oils may not get rid of the pests but will undoubtedly cause some damage to them. Numerous insecticide sprays against scales are considered safe to use indoors.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs can potentially infest your Cattleya Orchid. They leave a white powdery film and secrete honeydew, which causes black sooty mold on the leaves. Plants infested with mealies will have yellow dropping leaves.

Remove adult mealies using a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol. They usually die and turn an orange color upon contact. Proceed to spray the rest of the leaves with diluted alcohol.

There are so-called root mealies that will bury themselves and target the roots. Dehydrate them by sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth powder on the topsoil in between waterings. You can also add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide when you water.

Brown Leaf Tips

The edges of your Orchid Corsage’s leaves may turn brown if it’s not getting the sufficient amount of moisture that it needs, both from the air and through its roots. Water your plant on time and check if the humidity level in its location is consistent with its needs.

You may also need to consider the amount and frequency you apply fertilizers. Overfeeding can burn the houseplants’ foliage, which is typically manifested as browning edges on their leaves.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on your Cattleya Orchid indicate that your plant is thirsty. In this case, your plant will usually perk back up once it’s watered. It might also help to increase the humidity.

Be careful! Pest-infested plants can have droopy and curling leaves at first but will eventually develop other signs, such as spots, stunted growth, and a general decline in health. Always check on the underside of leaves if you suspect any issues with pests.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on Queen of Orchids can be caused by lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, recent disruption of the roots, overfertilization, temperature and humidity changes, pests, and many others.

If you’re confused, don’t worry! In gardening, you have to go through trial and error to find the ideal conditions for your plants, and even expert gardeners are learning new things daily.

It is usually encouraged to prune yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste its energy in saving the leaf and instead supplying its nutrients to new leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot is a prime killer of the Cattleya Orchid. The rotting starts at the roots and spreads quickly to the stem and foliage. Remember, you should only water when the growing medium is relatively dry.

Another cause of root rot is inadequate drainage in the soil. This stunning plant requires an orchid potting soil that stays relatively dry.

Other things you can do to avoid root rot include: drilling holes at the bottom of your pot, choosing high-porosity materials such as terracotta and unglazed ceramic planters, and lengthening the gap between watering schedules.

Similar Plants

Love Orchid Corsage? We have listed {{here}}; some of the best orchids and where to buy them.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a houseplant with some wow factor, the Cattleya Orchid is an excellent choice. Follow the tips we’ve shared above, and you’re on your way to reaching your plant’s full growing potential!

Can’t get enough of Cattleya plant guides? Check out these other options from Two Peas In A Condo!

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