Cattleyas are among the most popular Orchids. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
Temperature: Nighttime temperatures should be 55 – 60oF and daytime temperatures from 70 – 85oF. A 15 – 20oF difference between nighttime and daytime is recommended. As with most plants, if the daytime temperature is higher, more humidity is required.
Light: Cattleyas prefer bright light with some direct sun, but not in the middle of the day. An east facing or shaded south facing window is best. Even a west window will be adequate. If the plant is in the right light location, the leaves will be a medium green.
Water: Cattleyas need to dry out completely between waterings. Plants that are in a growth or flowering phase need more water during this time as opposed to plants that are at rest (after flowering and before new leaves and stems appear). Do not use water that has been softened by addition of salts.
Humidity: Cattleyas should be in a high humidity environment. Use of a humidity tray is helpful.
Fertilization: Use an orchid food such as Better-gro, a urea free food with nitrate nitrogen, feeding every two weeks when actively growing, and once a month when at rest. Thoroughly flush with clear water once a month to prevent salt buildup.
Growing Medium: Cattleyas like to dry out between waterings. Spagnum moss, charcoal and bark are all acceptable. Make sure plant has a very free draining media. Cattleyas have vast water storage systems in the form of bulbs and a retentive covering on the roots. Orchids should be repotted every 2-3 years as the medium will begin to break down at this point.