Orchids, found on the windowsills of apartments and offices, grow in the wild mainly on trees, sometimes on rocks and rocks. This is the so-called epiphyte, which does not belong to parasites, but does not need soil as such.Cattleya is one of the brightest representatives of the species.The home care of the plant is not very different from the cultivation of the more familiar phalaenopsis, but nevertheless there are certain nuances.
Appearance of the plant
In the wild, Cattleya occurs mainly in the tropics of Central and South America. The size of the orchid largely depends on its variety and growing conditions. There are both not very large specimens (about 30 cm), and the real giants (up to 1.2 meters, and sometimes even more).
In total there are about 65 species of Cattleya, most of which are obtained by natural crossing. As a rule, this orchid does not have very large, but rather stiff leaves. Their length can vary from 10 to 20 cm.
Lighting and watering
An ideal place to grow this orchid is the terrarium. But a transparent pot, installed on a windowsill overlooking the south or west, is also suitable. Lighting should be quite intense, then the plant will feel quite comfortable. In this case, direct sunlight should be avoided.
Water must necessarily be anonymous. This should be closely monitored, since it is for this reason that the Cattleya is often sick and even dies. Care at home should maximize the natural habitat. Water the orchid in the summer often (2-3 times a week) with water at room temperature, which also should not be lime. In winter, this is done twice less often. It is necessary to make sure that during the rest period the substrate has time to dry properly between waterings.
Choice of pot and soil
Like all epiphytes, Cattleya loves light. In this case, it should fall not only on the leaves of the plant, but also on its roots, in which the process of photosynthesis also occurs . For this reason, the pot is chosen necessarily transparent. As for the soil, a classical substrate for epiphytic, containing bark, polyurethane moss and polystyrene balls is suitable.
At the same time during the activity, additional additional fertilizing is required. If the substrate contains the bark of the fern, it can be done monthly, in the case of its absence in the composition - twice as often. With sufficient lighting and watering, as well as proper moisturizing and timely feeding, even on a normal window sill, a chic cattleya can grow. Photo (care for plants carried out by professional florists) of such specimens are presented above.
To the plant fully developed, it is recommended to carry out periodic substitution of the substrate. For this, once every 2 years (preferably in the spring), a transplant is performed. The pot can be left old, but the mixture must be fresh. First, the plant is removed from the container. Then, the remains of the cortex and other elements of the substrate are freed. Do this carefully so as not to damage the roots. Orchid is placed in a pot, falling asleep with a new mixture (it is not necessary to water it). Cattleya transplantation along with timely feeding promotes its development and abundant flowering in the summer.
In the natural environment, orchids are often propagated by seeds. This method is sometimes used in laboratories or greenhouses. At home, only the method of dividing an adult plant is possible. Cattleya, the reproduction of which does not damage the flower and will bring a positive result, should contain several pseudobulbs (a minimum of 3-4). They must be separated before flowering begins. This should be done carefully, with minimal damage to the root system. To the rhizome (tuber) the plants are separated with a sharp knife, having processed the cutoff site with coal. Then each of the pseudobulbs can be planted separately. Sometimes they act less radically, dividing the plant into 2-3 parts.
What to do if the Cattleya does not blossom
Unfortunately, with such a problem, flower growers often encounter. To correct the situation, it is necessary to understand the reason why the orchid (cattleya) does not bloom. Care during the period of plant activity (for most species this is the end of spring - the beginning of summer) is necessary especially careful. First of all, you need to make sure that there is no lime in the water for sprinkling and sprinkling (you can use rainwater).
To increase the probability of the appearance of flowers, it is necessary to ensure a temperature difference in the night and daytime period of at least 3-4 degrees. Also, it should be ensured that the plant is at least a few hours a day in total darkness (there are species in which the flowers are formed only in the absence of light).
Diseases and parasites
It is not uncommon for the Cattleya to suddenly darken and fall off the leaves. There may be several reasons for this. First and foremost, these are parasites that often attack exotic plants. Among the most characteristic for the Cattleya are the scutes, aphids, mites and mealybugs. And the most effective way to deal with them is prevention. Cattleya, care at home under which is carried out according to all the rules, should be systematically treated with special solutions to prevent their occurrence. When choosing chemicals, you should always make sure that the drug is suitable for this type of orchid.
If the parasites have already appeared, the leaves are sprinkled with a solution of carbofos, "Rogor" remedy or a tincture of tobacco. Treatment with soapy water is allowed. However, before using chemicals, you should make sure that the plant has enough light and there is no excess of moisture. Dark spots on the leaves sometimes arise due to improper care of the flower.
Types of Cattleya
In the wild, there are more than 60, but at home, not all are successfully growing and blossoming. Among the most common - Cattleya hybrid. More precisely, this is a whole series of orchids obtained by crossing both in the wild and in the laboratory. In general, these are quite large plants with bright colors of various shades. They are distinguished by a darker, sometimes spotted lip.
Another, equally widespread, but smaller in size Cattleya Bouringa is characterized by autumn flowering (usually it occurs in mid-September). This orchid is pink and purple, the height of its stem does not exceed 35 cm. Very similar to it, but slightly lighter in tone - Skinner's cattleya. Its difference, in addition to the shade, is the spring flowering.
Fundamentally different in both size and shape of the Cattleya Forbers. It is noticeably larger, with less velvety yellow flowers with brown patches and veins. It is characterized by a bright vanilla flavor that spreads throughout the room.
In flower shops, you can sometimes find other, more exotic species. But in any case Cattleya, care for which is carried out correctly, and living conditions as close to natural as possible, will please the owner with beautiful bright flowers.
This is a kind of cold-resistant garden annual plant. It is suitable for growing on balconies and flower beds. Blossoms usually at the end of summer. Despite some external similarity and name, it has no direct relationship to the Cattleya. Godecja is less whimsical, does not require such careful care, and feels quite comfortable on a common household plot. It can not be said that a flower is able to replace a tropical cattleya, but for those who are orchids categorically refuse to blossom, it can be an excellent alternative.
One of the representatives of tropical epiphytes, found on sale for cultivation in flower pots, is Cattleya. Care at home for this plant is rather troublesome and requires certain knowledge. But his beautiful flowers, often with a sweet vanilla flavor, no doubt cost all the effort.