Growing Cattleya Orchids as House Plants

Growing Cattleya Orchids as House Plants

Are you planning on growing orchids in your backyard or in a green house?  Why not choose the Cattleya ?  They are very easy to grow. However, if you decide on planting them in your window sill, you may find that very challenging.

What are cattleyas?

Cattleyas are beautiful orchids with large, attractive flowers which sometimes carry a fragrance. Their flowers vary in color and pattern and the size can measure as much as 8 inches across. There are numerous species. In wildlife, cattleyas grow high on trees in the forests. They have thick roots which attach the plants firmly to the tree. Being exposed to the elements, the roots are able to tolerate the long periods when there is no rain. Because they vary in size from small (suitable for window sills) to large; growing more than 4 ft. tall, you might want to choose carefully if you plan on growing them inside.  They love light, so you wouldn’t want a plant that takes up all your window space, would you?

Light

Cattleya orchids flourish in bright light. The condition of the leaves is an indication of whether or not your cattleya plants are getting the right amount of water. Leaves that are firm and have an apple green colors mean that the plants are getting the right amount of light.  Hard, yellow or brown colored leaves suggest too much light, while limp, dark green leaves is an indication of inadequate amount of light, which can also cause the plant not to flower.

If you keep your Cattleya on your patio in summer, they will thrive. If indoors, place them in an area near to windows on the eastern or western side.  If they are outside, it is important that you shield them from the hot, noonday sun.

Water

Cattleyas grow from underground rhizome. During spring new bulbs appear. Cattleyas need lots of water during the growing season, but the bulbs should not be allowed to stay in the water.  As soon as the flowers begin to appear in the sheaths, reduce the water.  Too much water in the sheaths will cause the young flowers to rot.

Blooming

Most Cattleyas normally bloom once each year, some twice.  Flowers will stay between 1-3 weeks.  Once the first flower appears, the plants must be removed from the direct sun so that the bloom will last longer.  The flower buds will not develop unless the plant gets direct sunlight and cool temperatures in the evening.

 

Temperatures

Cattleyas don’t need specific temperatures to grow. They thrive best in temperatures ranging from 55 degrees in the nights to 90 degrees throughout the day.  During winter, the bloom cycle will start when evening temperatures are at 55 degrees or lower. They also need ample humidity and proper air circulation throughout the months of winter too.

 

Fertilizer

Fertilize your Cattleyas each week with weak fertilizer made for orchids.

 

Potting and Repotting

Repotting of cattleyas can be stressful for the plant, so they will take a season to improve. Therefore, repotting should only be done when necessary.  Cattleyas flourish best in most orchid mixes including clay pellets, pink bark, charcoal, perlite and any medium which drains well.  If you are repotting a Cattleya, ensure there is adequate space for the rhizome to produce a minimum of two bulbs.  The ideal repotting period is spring; that’s when the growing season begins.

Lucas Barnes writes for Plantdex, learn more about growing cattleya orchids.






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Cheap Fall Landscaping Ideas

The changing of the trees into their brilliant gradients of reds, oranges and yellows can only mean that fall is here again. To most people, fall brings pleasant thoughts of Halloween, fresh apple cider, leaf piles and pumpkin pie. For many, it can also stir a desire to do some fall landscaping. With nature in the height of its colorful glory, there are so many ways to accentuate your home during the fall.

Fall-Blooming Flowers

This time of year, you can find great selections of flowers that bloom profusely in autumn. Chrysanthemums, ornamental kale, pansies and even marigolds are just a few of the available choices that look good and don’t cost much. Each of these plants comes in an enormous variety of colors and bloom sizes, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Some autumn flowers, such as chrysanthemums and pansies, will bloom clear up to the first frost. Many will even survive the winter and provide you with equally lovely color in the early spring.

Gourds

You can’t have fall without gourds. Some decorative gourds are very small, but there are also large varieties that make fantastic fall landscape accents. Pumpkins are also popular choices for their cheerful orange color and slow decomposition. Another fun idea for using gourds as landscape decorations is to paint them. Gourds with long, curved necks can be painted to look like geese, while others can be painted with faces or designs. Because painting doesn’t involve any dangerous objects, it’s a great alternative to letting the kids carve pumpkins!

Autumn Accents

More than anything, it’s the little things that remind you of fall the most. To spruce up your lawn in the fall spirit, try adding some hay bales and cornstalk bundles. They’re great for arranging your gourds around, as well as any flower containers you have. In fact, you can even plant your flowers directly into the hay bales! Just cut a hole into it, add a little soil and put the plant’s root ball inside. Make sure it stays moist.

Baskets

Baskets are closely associated with fall’s bounty. They’re also inexpensive and can be easily found at thrift and dollar stores, garage sales and antique shops. Furthermore, baskets can be found in all kinds of sizes, colors and shapes. You can place anything inside of a basket as decoration, too. Gourds, dried flowers, colorful leaves and fresh-picked apples are just a few ideas. If you have a garden, you can also use them to transport your harvest for a delicious autumn meal. Did you remember to grow sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner?

Whether you’re planning a fall festival or just enjoy changing your landscaping with the seasons, Lawn Connections Landcapers in Keller can help.

 

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A lovely early Spring

I haven’t been writing in this blog very much recently. Life has a way of getting in the way and in my case it got in the way BIG TIME. I don’t think that’s going to end anytime soon, and it’s affect my writing in all of my blogs, but I’m going to try to write more.

I do want to remind my readers that I have another gardening blog that I hope to write in regularly as well. It’s called Organic Gardening Tips and as the name implies it’s about organic gardening. As I’ve mentioned in many of my posts on this blog I don’t use chemicals or synthetic fertilizers on my garden beds. I use organic materials so I suppose this blog is also an organic gardening blog as well.

Yellow daffodils 3

In other news – my garden is doing very well this spring! I don’t think that I lost any roses this year. It was a very warm winter with barely any snow here in Toronto. So warm in fact that my roses started to leaf out in mid March! I’ve never seen that happen before. They usually don’t start getting leaves or even turning green until mid April or even later.

Everything is growing and I’d say that my garden is at least 1.5 months ahead of itself. My Crocuses, Glories of the Snow, Snow Drops, Hyacinths and the first of the Daffodils are just about done now. I’m waiting to see what will bloom next.

How is your garden doing this lovely Spring?

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