Cattleya

Cattleya

Life form Orchid
Family Orchidaceae
Origin and distribution South and Central America
Ease of cultivation Some skills are required, it is quite difficult to provide flowering.
The size Pseudobulbs 20 and more cm, leaves up to 30 cm long.
Growth rate Low
Lifespan Perennial
Temperature In summer, the usual room temperature + 75,2-78,8 ° F is suitable, cattleya normally tolerates heat, but preferably not higher than + 89,6 ° F, since at higher temperatures young leaves may die. Being in the bright sun, it can suffer from overheating, so it is necessary to ensure air circulation. To do this, it is best to keep the flower in summer on the balcony or in front of the open window, but drafts should be avoided.   Also in a hot period, you should increase the humidity level, for example, using humidifiers, or placing the plant in a pallet with wet gravel (with the bottom of the pot to be in the saucer). In addition, with hot content, more frequent watering will be required.
Humidity Different levels of humidity are required depending on the temperature, it should reach 40-70%. You can put pots with plants on pallets with wet claydite. However, with a cool content, especially in poor lighting, the humidity should not be high, as this can lead to the appearance of fungal infections or decay.
Lighting The most important condition for flowering is a bright light. It is suitable for the southern and western window and a few hours a day of morning direct sunlight. The plant needs as much bright light, but can overheat under extreme heat. Therefore, only in conditions of intense heat (at a temperature of + 86 ° F and above) in the midday or afternoon, light shading will be required to avoid the occurrence of burns.   Under normal illumination, the plant has bright green leaves. Too light or yellowish color, hard leaves indicate an excess of light, too dark leaves appear in low light. Shading from bright sun is necessary for young and weak plants.
The soil Suitable is a very loose substrate of bark pieces with addition of sphagnum and foam.
Watering The intensity of moistening depends on the conditions of growth. In summer, watering should be frequent enough as the substrate dries. Although a single lack of watering is not critical for this orchid, one should not allow significant wrinkling of pseudobulbs. The best method of watering is the immersion method, when the pot is placed in a bowl with water.  During the growth period, you can periodically shower under running water. But this should not be done during the formation of buds.
How to fertilize Fertilize only in the period of growth, when it starts using fertilizers with a high content of nitrogen, further apply top dressing with a higher amount of phosphorus and potassium.During the rest period and during flowering, no fertilizing is used.   With top dressing, you should be careful, as their excess can lead to the death of the roots and the entire plant.Also, an excess of fertilizers can lead to an increase in the vegetative mass and the absence of flowering.
Reproduction Multiply by pseudobulb separation during transplantation. Each new product must contain at least 5.
Bloom Flowering lasts about 3 weeks. Ensuring the flowering of the Cattleya is quite difficult. It is necessary to comply with all the rules of care, the most important of which is to provide a period of rest, bright light during the growth period, the correct light substrate, temperature drop. Only an adult plant with at least four mature pseudobulbs, as well as living roots, can blossom.
It is important for flowering to provide a period of rest, when growth is unacceptable. The time of rest period in different varieties and hybrids depends not on the season, but on the time of flowering. Those orchids that bloom in winter or spring are at rest from autumn to mid-winter. Those that blossom in autumn – early in winter, pass a period of rest immediately after flowering: from the end of winter to spring. During this period the flower should be kept in cool conditions, in a bright place, but not in a bright sun. Watered rarely, do not use top dressing, do not spray (it is better to put the pot in wet claydite).
Flowers are unusually beautiful, have a variety of colors, except blue, have a pleasant aroma. When the bud develops, a cover first appears, which protects the bud from the external environment. However, the appearance of the cover is not yet a guarantee that the plant will blossom. With the slightest disturbance of care, the bud can blacken, and the plant will again start to grow. Cover and buds can not be sprayed during the formation. If new growths appear at the moment of ripening, some orchids recommend breaking them out. To prolong flowering, the plant after blossoming buds is best removed from the too bright sun.
Transplant and care They are transplanted in the spring or in the period when the plant starts to develop new roots, or after new growths appear and they reach 2-3 cm. Cattleya does not tolerate transplantation and it is restored after it for a long time, therefore it is rarely performed, 3 years, in case the substrate has decomposed or the pot is too small. Gently squeeze the substrate with roots from the pot, wash it off. If the flower grows in a ceramic pot, in order to extract the roots from the substrate, separate it with a knife from the wall. If the pot is not valuable, then it is better to break it and take out the substrate with roots. Decayed roots are cut, processing slices with crushed coal. After that, the roots are dried. Before landing in the substrate from the bark, it is pre-soaked, after which the water is drained. Up to one third of the pot should be drainage from foam or broken pots.
Difficulties The plant is resistant to pests. With excessive lighting, burns may appear in the idea of dry brown spots on the leaves. In this case, the reddening of the leaves is not a burn and usually harmless. Possible occurrence of fungal infections in conditions of excessive humidity.
Toxicity Not poisonous


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