Some links in this post may be affiliate links
Botanical name: Cattleya spp
Common name: Catts, Corsage Orchid
Cattleya Orchids commonly referred to as Catts or Corsage Orchid are popular easy to grow orchids whose large and colorful blooms can last for weeks.
The leaves in Cattleya Orchids are a vibrant green (light yellow-green) and they grow from the top of a pseudobulb.
Corsage Orchids stems are tall and smooth, and the leaves are fleshy with a smooth margin.
Catts are sympodial orchids which bear a cylindrical rhizome from which the fleshy noodle-like roots grow.
The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley (an English botanist, gardener and orchidologist) after William Cattley (a British merchant and horticulturalist), who was significantly involved with the trade between Britain and Russia. The genus is abbreviated C in trade journals.
The blooms in Cattleya Orchids occur in clusters of 2-6 flowers. Flowers have sepals and petals free from each other and the lowermost petal (the lip) is usually a different coloration and shape from the rest of the flower.
With good care, Catts can bloom twice a year. Most of the Corsage Orchids available are hybrids. Pink, white, red, purple, blue and yellow flowered varieties are available.
Cattleya is a genus of orchids native to tropics of Costa Rica south to Argentina, where they thrive in warm and misty conditions.
Catts are closely related to the genera Brassavola and Laelia with which they have been used extensively in hybridization.
Cattleya Orchids (Corsage Orchids) are non-toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA. They are safe to grow indoors.
If you are looking to add this beauty to your collection, Cattleya Orchids are available online at Etsy. Buy Cattleya Orchids (Corsage Orchids) online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Cattleya Orchids (Corsage Orchids) require bright, indirect light away from direct sunshine, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, loose soil coupled with regular feeding during the growing season inorder to thrive.
Catts need regular pruning to keep them neat and tidy and also promote blooming. Repotting is only need when they overgrow the current pot or when the potting medium is completely broken down. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Cattleya Orchid grows best in bright, indirect light of about 10 hours per day. Keep it away from direct sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.
Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the orchid gets adequate light on all sides for even growth.
A Cattleya Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has yellow-green upright leaves while dark green leaves indicate that the orchid needs more light.
Yellow (more yellow than green) leaves mean that the Corsage Orchid is receiving too much light.
Catts can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is inadequate.
Water Cattleya Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.
Decrease watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow it to dry out completely.
To take the guesswork out of watering Catts, check the roots. Whitish-green and plump roots indicate that the orchid is well hydrated. Whitish, thin roots indicate the orchid needs to be watered.
Use tepid, chlorine-free water as Catts are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water. Avoid wetting the foliage as it can lead to fungal diseases.
Corsage Orchids are more tolerant of dry soil conditions due to the presence of pseudobulbs and their thick leaves. As such take care not to overwater as it may begin to rot.
The best temperatures for growing Cattleya Orchid indoors are between 10-290C. Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for this orchid. The cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.
Make sure that there is good air circulation for Catts as they cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.
Keep the Corsage Orchid away from draughts to avoid sudden drops in temperature which can cause leaf curl followed by leaf drop.
Moderate room humidity is ideal for Cattleya Orchids. Where the air is too dry especially if temperatures are too high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.
Do not mist the leaves as it can lead to fungal diseases. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestation.
Feed Cattleya Orchid every 4 weeks during the growing season with an orchid's fertilizer as per the manufacturer's instructions to promote a lush growth.
Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower.
It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding as overfeeding may result in loss of roots due to fertilizer burn thus death of the orchid.
Overfeeding the orchid can also lead to vegetative growth at the expense of flower production.
Cattleya Orchids bloom best when they are pot-bound. Repot only when growth begins to suffer.
Repot when the orchid has outgrown its pot and the new growth reaches out over the edge of the pot or when the soil has broken down completely.
Basically repotting Cattleya Orchids every 2-3 years should be adequate.
Repot Catts only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over. Do not repot an orchid that is in flower as it may shorten the flowering season due to repotting shock.
Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of the orchid need good air circulation.
The pot should be only 1 size larger than the current one and use loose, free-draining bark soil to avoid getting soggy soil.
When repotting, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled pseudobulbs. The large orchids can be divided to propagate new plants.
Pruning Cattleya Orchids is easy. Remove the dead and diseased leaves to keep it neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations.
Cut the leaves at the base with a clean sharp pair of scissors or knife and avoid unnecessary injuries.
When flowering is over, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom.
Cattleya Orchids (Corsage Orchids) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season once flowering is over from the rhizome.
Gently split the Cattleya Orchid rhizome into sections while ensuring there are at least 3 shoots on each section.
Carefully seperate the roots attached to each division from the mother root-ball.
Remove the old potting soil attached to the section roots and place each section in the center of the pot.
Bury the roots of the section in the soil while ensuring that the bottom of the pseudobulb is level with the top of the soil.
The best pot for the section should be about 1-2 in. larger than the pseudobulb.
Ensure that the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot for the section.
Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight until the sections have established their own roots.
Water the new Corsage Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted plant to prevent it from toppling over.
Photo Credit: Amazon.com
Cattleya Orchid (Corsage Orchid) problems indoors include black leaf tips and edges, yellow leaves, drooping leaves, leaf spots, lack of blooms, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Brown soft spots on Cattleya Orchid leaves are an indication of a fungal disease. Remove the affected leaves immediately to prevent further spread.
Exposure of Cattleya Orchid to direct sunshine will result in scorch marks which are brown hard and dry spots on the leaves. Move the orchid to a shadier spot or shield it from hot direct sunshine to prevent sunscorch.
Mold on the leaves in Cattleya Orchid is an indication of powdery mildew disease which is enhanced by wet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.
Misting the leaves may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly.
Therefore, make sure that there is good air circulation for the Corsage Orchid and stop misting it.
Remove the badly affected leaves and discard or burn to minimize spread to other parts of the orchid.
Limpy and droopy leaves in Cattleya Orchid are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Water Corsage Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Cut down on watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Dark green leaves in Cattleya Orchid indicate that the orchid is not getting enough light. The leaves of a Catt that is receiving the correct light should be yellow-green.
Position the orchid in a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
Yellowish leaves in Cattleya Orchid indicate that the orchid is getting too much light. The leaves of a Catt that is receiving the correct light should be yellow-green.
Move the Corsage Orchid to a shadier spot and ensure it will receive bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight or too much light.
The cause of black leaf tips in Cattleya Orchid is the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in the water or accumulation of salts in the soil.
Use chlorine-free water only to water the Corsage Orchid and regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil for about 10 minutes until it comes out through the drainage holes.
One possible reason why Cattleya Orchid is not blooming is too little light as it thrives in bright, indirect light.
Place the Corsage Orchid in a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving bright, indirect light or instal a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.
Overfeeding Catts can result in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.
Avoid overfeeding the orchid and feed it once monthly during the growing season with an orchid's fertilizer as per the manufacturer's instructions but do not feed it in the cold season.
Common pests in Cattleya Orchid are Spider Mites, Scales and Mealy Bugs. Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests and keep it properly pruned to discourage infestations.
Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.