5 Cattleya Orchids to Consider Growing

Cattleya are beautiful orchids to grow at home. Which ones should you consider growing?

Cattleya is a word that many people equate with orchids. They also generate some of the most colorful and impressively shaped flowers in the orchid universe.

The majority of Cattleyas are generally simple to cultivate.

Our top picks are listed below and can find their way into your home, no matter where you live.

1. Cattleya skinneri

Easter would be incomplete without Cattleya skinneri. This lovely small-flowered Cattleya cultivar blooms in time for spring break, with a profusion of bright rose-lavender blossoms.

It is a standard-size orchid with delicate roots that produce pseudobulbs and stems that yield mauve-colored blooms.

Skinneri inflorescences emerge from mature pseudobulbs and grow to be around five inches tall, straight, and upright.

Each stem of this orchid bears five to twelve scented blooms at its tip. The blooms are larger than normal, measuring four to five inches wide.

Very fresh and blooming pure white orchid flower

From mid-March through the end of April, Cattleya Sskinneri blooms. After that, the flowers last for four to five weeks.

Cattleya skinneri is one of the most simple Cattleya species to grow.

Like all Cattleya species, plenty of sunlight and moving air is required to flourish. 

It thrives in nighttime temperatures of 58 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (14–16 degrees Celsius) and daytime temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).

It needs a large amount of water, especially during the growth period, which lasts from April until October.

Allow the potting soil and plant to fully dry between waterings. Sustain a humidity level of seventy to eighty-five percent during the growth phase.

Purchase a medium-grade potting mix that contains charcoal pieces, such as bark, fir or tree fern.

Use a half-to-one-quarter strength orchid fertilizer once a week.

They can be grown bare-rooted on corks or bark. They look great hanging from baskets as well.

Blooming cattleya white orchids against a black background

2. Cattleya intermedia

Cattleya intermedia, generally referred to as the intermediate Cattleya, is an orchid species in the Cattleya genus.

It is found in the Atlantic coastal forest of central to southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina on rock formations and small trees near the sea or streams.

Plants grow to a height of 5-8″ (13-20cm), with blooms up to 4″ (10cm) in diameter and two to three per inflorescence.

The diversity of Cattleya intermedia is, nevertheless, its most appealing feature. 

The standard flower is a delicate lavender pink with a vibrant magenta midlobe on the lip. The natural spread is around 3-12 (9cm), and the flowers are quite flat.

 Although the petals and sepals are slender, the best specimens are wider and more rounded.

Full bloom pink cattleya intermedia

Some of the color forms seen in archives include orlata (round full lip opening with side lobes edged same color as midlobe), amethystina (nearly white flowers with soft pink midlobe), parthenia (pure white flowers), vinicolor (wine-red midlobe), coerulea (soft bluish flowers with slate-blue midlobe), and peloric form aquinii (also known as flamea). 

Cattleya intermedia is an extremely adaptable plant that can be grown in a wide range of temperatures, making it a very simple plant to grow.

Grow in a bright indirect light setting with a humidity level of medium to high.

This type, like many Catts, will thrive from more frequent watering, and the potting material should never be allowed to dry completely for an extended period of time, especially when the plants are actively developing. At the same time, the medium should never be stale or moist, and no sphagnum moss should be applied. 

Plant in a coarse, well-draining medium (such as chunky bark mix) that can be irrigated often in the summer without becoming too wet while still allowing air to reach the roots.

Cute lavender colored orchid flower

3. Cattleya Canhamiana

Cattleya Canhamiana ‘Azure Skies’ is a cross between the large flowered Cattleya mossiae firma coerulea (A “blue” variation) and Cattleya purpurata variety wekhauseri, the immensely popular Brazilian species with a tremendous range of forms, with a slate blue lip and white flowers.

This is considered a “primary hybrid,” which is a cross between two species. As a result, the plant is both robust and floriferous, as well as a reliable early-summer bloomer.

Developed and produced originally to provide cut flowers for June brides’ bouquets.

In ‘Azure Skies,’ hybridizers chose more unique coerulea or blue color variations in the hopes of producing smokey bluish purple blooms with yellow throats.

This hybrid thrives in strong light and, if properly cared for, will grow and reproduce quickly, producing enormous specimen plants with a high number of flowers.

blooming laeliocattleya purple orchids flower

4. Cattleya Melody Fair

In 1988, Dogashima developed the orchid hybrid Cattleya Melody Fair. This cross’s parents are C. Stephen Oliver Fouraker x C. Horace. 

This is one of the best semi-alba Cattleya hybrids, with a large, broad-petaled flower. Once bloomed, these blooms normally last around 3 weeks.

Water them sparingly at first, then mist them once a day.

 Always use an orchid fertilizer that has been specifically designed for orchids. 

Ensure there is adequate light in the winter to induce flowering. A window with an eastern or western view would be ideal. 

In the summertime, avoid direct sunlight by going to a shadier place. 

Plant terrestrial orchids in partial shade, away from direct sunshine. Placement on a building’s north side is ideal. 

Since most orchids are forest species, they like cool places that aren’t too hot and muggy in the summer. It’s also appropriate for fern-growing areas. 

Because their roots compete for water and nutrients, orchids must not be planted near trees or huge shrubs. The best time to plant is in the fall. 

Distribute the roots in the top 10 cm (4 inches) of soil, the rhizome 2-3 cm (1 inch) below the surface, and the shoot buds upwards. 

Fill in the remaining substrate without packing it down, and water it thoroughly.

Beautiful and colorful cattleya melody fair

5. Cattleya cernua

Cattleya cernua, popularly known as the Nodding Sophronitis, is a species of Cattleya. This species was identified in 1838 by John Lindley.

It’s a tiny, warm-growing orchid with subcylindrica or oval flowers that are densely grouped. The Nodding Sophronitis stem is erect and 2 to 5 cm long, with 4-10 bobbing flowers that bloom in the spring. .The orange-red flowers have a diameter of 2.5 cm and open one after the other.

It has a 2 cm long pseudobulb with 2 – 3 basal buds and a single 3 cm long apical coriaceous leaf that is broadly oval or elliptic-ovate, obtuse or minutely apiculate.

Petals are slightly larger than sepals, and tepals are round with sharp points. The lip is elliptical with a pointed tip and is bright orange with a hint of yellow from within.

Mount this species on hardwood and focus on providing hot to warmer conditions, intense light, high relative humidity, and water all year, but less in the winter. 

peach petals of an orchid cattleya in the garden
Carley Miller
Carley Miller is a horticultural expert at Bustling Nest. She previously owned a landscaping business for 25 years and worked at a local garden center for 10 years.
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