Cattleya

Cattleyas are epiphytes hailing from the rainforests of South America. They have opulent perfumed blooms and require experience to grow outside of the tropics.  The easiest species to try are the smaller flowering C. bowringiana, C.skinneri, C. intermedia and C. aurantiaca. Some Cattleyas have recently been reclassified and may be seen under the generic name Guarianthe. The easiest large flowering Cattleya to grow is Cattleya labiata.  They require warmth and good lighting particularly through the winter to assist the maturation of their pseudo bulbs and flower sheaths. They are ideal candidates for growing under artificial lighting. Water well during the summer but stop during the winter until the new roots are produced in the late spring. Overwatering will rot their roots so they must be grown in an exceptionally free-draining media such as large bark chippings. Always allow the media to almost dry out between waterings.

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