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Care Instructions for a Cattleya

These care instructions are written specifically for our cattleya orchids.  Other growers may have different care requirements for their plants based on how they have grown their orchids.  If you have a Brennan’s Orchids cattleya, these rules will help you keep it happy and robust.

Rule No. 1:  A mature cattleya likes to just dry between waterings.  When the mix is dry ¼ to 1/3 of the way down into the pot, it’s time to water.  Take the pot to the sink and water the pot with tepid water until water is pouring out the drainage holes.  Let the plant stand and drain thoroughly.  Do not let water pool and sit in the crevices of the leaves.  This could cause crown rot, which is almost always fatal.

Rule No. 2:  Give the plant the proper light.  This is very important for flower production.  An East, West, or lightly shaded South-facing window will be fine.  Avoid direct sun during the harsh “skin cancer” hours.

Rule No. 3:  Regular meals all year long, please.  Your orchid does not go dormant.  When not full of buds and blooms, your orchid is growing roots, pseudobulbs, and leaves so it will have the energy to put out more blooms the next cycle.  Feed your plant every other watering with a balanced (20-20-20) plant fertilizer mixed at ½ strength or a balanced orchid fertilizer.

Rule No. 4:  Your plant is potted in an orchid bark blend.  Repot your plant every other spring; increasing the pot size just enough to fit the new air root growth into the pot.  Moisten the mix prior to use.  Pot the plant so that the mix is firm but still airy.  Do not center the plant in the pot, but offset it a bit so it has room to put out lots of pseudobulbs.

Rule No.  5:  When in bloom, your cattleya will need to be protected from cold drafts or very dry air.  The blossoms are sensitive to these conditions.