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My Cattleya Orchid: Amazing Photos From Bud To Full Bloom

Updated on April 25, 2015
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Mary loves all flowers, but the Orchid is her very favorite. She encourages people to grow this beautiful and rewarding flower.

One of my daughters gave me this beautiful Cattleya orchid for Mother's Day in 2003. It was in full bloom with two huge purple and lavender blossoms. It was undoubtedly the most beautiful orchid I have ever seen. I never thought I'd be able to keep it alive let alone enjoy it for nine years! But this orchid has lived and it rewards me each year for Mother's Day with its outstanding beauty.

I Am No Expert In Growing Cattleya Orchids

I am certainly no expert in growing Orchids. Through trial and error I have found what works for me. The orchid is a favorite flower of mine (well, the rose is also a favorite). People sometimes won’t grow Orchids because they are afraid of them. Yes, afraid! I was afraid of being a failure until I tried. I was surprised to find out I can grow these beauties with just a little effort. The Orchid will reward that effort with beautiful blooms. Mine only bloom once a year, but I think that is usual.

I can still remember the first orchid I ever received. It was from a boy that took me to the Junior-Senior Prom. It was a hug purple-lavender single blossom that I know now was a Cattleya. I kept it in our refrigerator for a long time, and then I pressed it between the pages of a book. I think I forgot all about it. Who ever received that book from our local library (where I had donated the book) was surprised to find my orchid between the pages I’m sure.

I Will Share My Limited Knowledge On Growing Cattleya Orchids

I will share my limited knowledge with you about growing the Cattleya Orchid. If you really get serious about growing these lovely air plants I’d suggest you search the internet. There are many sources there. Most towns have an orchid society.

One of things I learned the hard way: When you buy an orchid from the nursery the first thing to do is to repot the plant. When you buy the plant, get a clay pot made especially for orchids. You can buy wooded slatted baskets, but I find these rot too quickly. Buy a bag of orchid media. Just follow the directions on the bag to repot the orchid. I was scared to death the first time I did this for fear of killing the plant. I still get very nervous when I repot my orchids. They are tough plants, though. I don’t remember ever losing an orchid because of my method of repotting.

Orchids Grow Wild In Costa Rica

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Orchids Are Air Plants (Epiphytes)

When we took a vacation in Costa Rica, I was amazed to see orchids growing in the rain forest there. We forget that the orchid is an air plant called Epiphytes. The roots grow from the top. They look really strange growing all down the pot. Look at the way the roots have grown on mine in the photographs.

I Received This Cattleya Orchid In 2003

As I said before, one of my daughters gave me this orchid for Mother’s Day in 2003. I have repotted it once. This orchid blooms once a year around Mother’s Day. Orchids like to be root-bound, and their roots will protrude from the top of the orchid medium, and down the pot. When this orchid finishes blooming this year, I will be brave and repot it because I think it needs new orchid potting soil and maybe a larger pot.

I live in South Florida where it gets very hot in the summer. The leaves on these plants will burn so they must be kept in the shade. I hang mine underneath the palm trees. Orchids like the temperature from 65 to 85 degrees. When our weather gets down to about 40 degrees, I bring mine into the house because the cold will kill them. They are a tropical plant, after all. Like all plants, orchids need to be fed. I’m bad about forgetting to do this, but they should be fed a special orchid fertilizer every other watering. When they are watered the water should pour right through the media and out. Since they are not in soil, you can’t help but wonder if the plant is getting any nutrients, but I guess they do.

I hope this beautiful Cattleya orchid will bloom for many more years. It makes me happy just to look at it and remember the loving daughter who gifted it to me. I hope she gives me another one this Mother's Day!

My Cattleya Orchid From Bud To Full Blossom

I was so thrilled this year when I first saw the bud on this Cattleya begin to swell telling me that it was about to bloom again. This will be the nineth year it has bloomed. I watched it every day to see it progress. I took photos as it went from bud to bloom until it finally burst into bloom. I wish I had a better camera to capture the progress, especially the bud. It is truly a miracle of nature.

The time it took from bud to blossom was about 4 days.

I hope you will enjoy seeing my pride and joy in this Cattleya orchid.

The Cattleya Orchid Is Budding

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The Cattleya Orchid Bud Is Getting Larger

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The Cattleya Orchid Continues To Open

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The Cattleya Orchid Is Opening

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The Cattleya Orchid Is Almost Full Bloom

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The Cattleya Orchid Is In Full Bloom

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Orchid Care

© 2012 Mary Hyatt

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    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Shyron E Shenko Yes, the Orchid is definitely one of my favorite flowers. Most people don't realize how easy they are to grow, and that is really a shame.

      I'm glad you like Orchids,too!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      I love Orchids also, and I never knew that there were different kinds of Orchids. I wrote a poem for my mom and brother about the Orchid. I can't remember if I published but I sealed the blossom in plastic.

      I am so happy that you can enjoy your Orchid year after year.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, poetryman6969 Oh, yes, growing Orchids is a very rewarding hobby! They come in so many beautiful colors, plus they are easy to care for!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Growing orchids seems like it would be an interesting hobby.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, ChitrangadaSharan Yes, it is very exciting to see the Orchid from bud to full bloom! The Orchid is so easy to grow, you would be amazed.

      I'm so happy you enjoyed watching my Cattleya Orchid go from bud to full bloom. Thanks so much for reading, the votes and the comment, Mary

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Beautiful and emotional! How exciting to see a cute bud blossom into a flower and that too an Orchid. I just love Orchids in all colors. But this color you have illustrated is so bright and lively.

      Enjoyed going through your well presented hub! Voted up!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi pawpawwrites Thank you very much for the nice compliment on my Cattleya Orchid. Yes, it is quite beautiful when it is in full bloom. I hope you will grow one of your own. Mary

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      Amazingly beautiful. Now I want one.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, DealForALiving I am so happy to introduce you to a Cattleya Orchid! They really are a beautiful flower. This one blooms year after year!

      My best, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, CassandraCae Orchids are really easy to grow if the conditions are right for them. They can't stand to be cold or too wet. Sometimes people overwater them, and they will rot!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Scarlettohairy I hope you were successful in keeping your Orchids alive to rebloom.

      Thanks so much. I've enjoyed this one year after year, Mary

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, colorfulone Thanks so much! Orchids are really easy to care for so they will rebloom again. They are actually a very tough and forgiving plant. Maybe you should try another one!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 years ago from Earth

      I've never seen one of these before so this has been a treat.

    • CassandraCae profile image

      Cassandra Kuthy 3 years ago from Ohio

      Beautiful plant, looks amazing. My orchids always die but we have one outside in the garden that will bloom when the weather is right.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 3 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      What a beauty. My daughter gave me a couple of orchids once that I struggled to keep alive. Yours is wonderful!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Mary, I am glad that you have been able to keep your Cattleya Orchid alive and blooming. It must mean a lot to you being a gift from a loved one. My sister in-law gave me an orchid years ago, and it just didn't last for me. You must have a green thumb.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Nell Rose. I'm so happy you enjoyed reading about my Cattleya Orchid. It bloomed again this past Mother's day, however, it only had one blossom instead of two. It was quite beautiful.

      Thanks so much for the votes and the share, Mary

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi mary, what a lovely hub! the Cattleya Orchid is beautiful, I have never heard of it before, voted up and shared, nell

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi moonlake So nice to see you!! Orchids are a very hardy plant. They surprise people who have never tried to grow them.

      This Orchid has bloomed every Mother's Day, and I see right now there is a bud coming out, so I look forward to seeing it bloom again.

      I'd encourage you to try another Orchid; you might be surprised.

      Thanks for reading and the votes, Mary

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I love orchids but I have never had good luck with them. Enjoyed your hub and voted up.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi pstraubie48 I'm happy you think my orchid is pretty. I look forward to this one blooming every Mother's Day. Yes, do grow an Orchid, they are so easy and very rewarding with their beauty.

      So nice to see you today, Mary

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      pstraubie48 Gorgeous thank you for sharing these...I do so want to grow some of my very own..

      Angels are on the way ps

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Eddy. I'm glad you found my Hub on my Cattleya Orchid. It is not blooming at the moment, having finished it's beautiful display for Mother's Day. Thanks for reading and commenting, and I do hope your weekend is going well for you, friend.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I must have missed out this one. truly beautiful Mary. Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi midget38. This Orchid bloomed again this Mother's Day. By the time I got a new digital camera it was too late to capture it this year. I really wanted to post a new photo on this Hub. Yes, it truly is a beautiful Orchid.

      Thanks so much for the share, Mary

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Now that is a lovely orchid. Your knowledge of gardening is awesome! Am sharing!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi molometer. I'm glad you think my Cattleya Orchid is beautiful. I as anxious to see if it would bloom again this Mother's Day, and it did not fail! My digital camera is not working or I would have taken a photo of it and added it to this Hub. My children gave me a new camera today and so tomorrow I plan on taking some shots of it in full bloom and adding it. Thank you and I had a wonderful Mother's Day, Mary

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow what a beautiful example of a Cattleya Orchid.

      You are very impressive to have nurtured this for 10 years and it is still looking excellent. You certainly have green fingers Mary. Well done and happy mothers day.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi pstraudie48. Treat yourself to just an inexpensive orchid you can get at Home Depot and it will reward you for a long time. It is probably too cold right now to put an orchid outside where you live, but they do well indoors. When the temp. dips down to 50 or under, I bring mine indoors. They really are a tough plant.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      O, I have wanted an orchid for so long. I actually have pretty good success with plants of all kinds but I admit it. I am intimidated by the beauties. After reading your article. much of the fear has been taken out of care and repotting. I am bookmarking this and I think I may see an orchid in my near future.

      Sending you Angels this evening. :) ps

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi, vibesites. I can't tell you the thrill I get when I see a new bud on this Cattleya Orchid, then to watch it unfold into a magnificent blossom is just unbelievable.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Mary

    • vibesites profile image

      vibesites 4 years ago from United States

      You really documented your orchid's growth into a showy yet beautiful blossom. And I love purple as well, I love the hues of this flower. Voted up and beautiful. :)

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Joos99. I'm so happy your lily bulbs have performed well for you. Sometimes we are amazed at plants: they grow in spite of us. The Orchid reminds me of a Poodle dog. People think Poodles are difficult to care for when actually they are a very tough dog. Orchids are like that.

      Just keep trying different kinds of plants, and you'll get better and better.

      Good to see you today, Mary

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Mary, it is very beautiful and looks so delicate too. What a thrill for you to have nurtured it to blooming. Gorgeous photos and I definitely got the sense of time lapse with the photos of its various stages of opening. I am not great at growing flowers, though I did buy some lilly bulbs last summer for £1 for 4 bulbs and they were real bobby dazzlers - gorgeous, probably a one off though!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi, unknown spy, I have to agree. The Cattleya orchid is my very favorite of all the orchids.

      They are easy to fall in love with.

      Thanks for reading and commentng.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Cattleya orchid is very beautiful..no wonder my aunt is crazily in love with orchids :)

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Nice to meet you, too, jpcmc! You should write a Hub about your orchids and take lots of photos. I'd love to see them! Goodnight.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi mary615. It's nice to meet another orchid lover. Having a tropical climate has its perks when it comes to raising orchids. My dancing ladies bloom several times a year, my cattleya is also a happy bloomer.

    • mary615 profile image
      Author

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, jpcmc. You and I both love orchids, don't we? I think most people are just afraid to try to grow them. After I got my first one about 10 yrs. ago, I was hooked on orchids! This orchid only blooms once a year, sorry to say. I love it so. Goodnight.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Cattleyas are gorgeous. The photos are great s well. I think I'll do the same with my flowers.

      Orchids do return kindness with a display of their beautiful flowers.

    • mary615 profile image
      Author

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi, cabmgmnt. Good to see you. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about the Cattleya orchid. The blossom finally fell off about a week ago,and it won't appear again until next year (if I'm lucky). I really was a thrill to see it bloom!

    • cabmgmnt profile image

      Corey 5 years ago from Northfield, MA

      Mary,

      Hello again, I love this hub especially the photos showing the blooming process of the orchid. Thanks for sharing.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi The Dirt Farmer, thanks for taking the time to read my Hub about my Cattleya orchid. I'm glad you like the photos. One day, I'll spring for a better camera. Maybe Santa will bring me one,huh? After 8 days, it's still in full bloom! Bye for now....

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 5 years ago from United States

      Love your photos, Mary. Your orchid has personality!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good morning, AliciaC. So nice to see you today! Thanks for reading about my Cattleya orchid. I'd encourage you to grow these beautiful flowers. They are so rewarding, and they really are easy to grow. It's been 8 days now, and mine is still in full bloom. I hope you have a wonderful day! BTW: your kitty cat is beautiful.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have never grown orchids, but I'm tempted to do so because they are such lovely flowers. I think it's wonderful that your orchid has bloomed every year for nine years. What a beautiful Mother's Day gift! Thanks for the instructions for taking care of orchids - I'm going to need them if I get any of these flowers.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, molometer. Thanks for reading about my Cattleya orchid. You did a great Hub on Moth orchids. They are pretty tough orchids. I have about 5 of them, but none in bloom right now. I wished they bloomed longer than just a week or so, though. Thanks for the votes. I appreciate that. Goodnight.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi again, Lesley. I'll be anxious to know how you do with the orchid. Don't forget to repot it when you get it home. Good luck. Keep me posted as to how it is doing. Goodnight.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Mary,

      They are truly beautiful. The more I learn about them the more impressed I am. The Cattleya Orchid is stunning.

      The video was interesting too.

      Al the votes.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi again Mary, thank you - I will choose one this weekend!

      My poinsettia still looks the same as it did at Christmas, everyone is making jokes about it and saying it's artificial!!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi there, Lesley. You certinly have a green thumb when it comes to plants, and I am sure you would be successful in growing orchids. Start out with just a little "cheapie". They sort of grow in spite of you, not because of you. They really are a tough plant. Yes, my pointsettia is still looking great. I don't think it's growing any, but is still in bloom. You can leave the orchid outside as long as the temp. is warm. They are like me: they don't like to be cold~ Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my Hub.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Mary, I have green fingers in the garden but never have much luck with indoor plants, I am going to try growing a orchid!

      Your orchid is beautiful, how lovely to see the photos of it growing and blooming!

      BTW my pointsettia is still looking good, I am quite proud of it!! - do you still have yours?

      Best wishes Lesley

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hey there, drbj. I don't know about the 50 years (on my part). The orchid may still be around at the rate it's going. I wish I had more of this kind, it is so beautiful. Have a great day.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Your orchid, mary, is fortunate to have found you. May you both continue to flourish for many, many, many years. At least 50 more!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Hyphenbird. So nice to see you. I do so enjoy looking at this beauty. I'd encourage you to try an orchid, you'll be glad you did. I hope your day is blessed.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      It is beautiful. Thanks for the tips and information about orchids Mary. I might try one. I do love them very much.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Talloni! Good to see you today. Thanks for your nice compliment on my Cattleya orchid. Yes, Costa Rica is a wonderful place filled with wild flowers. You would love it there. Thanks for the vote, I appreciate that. Hope your day is a wonderful one.

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, Stephanie. Thanks for reading my Hub about my Cattleya orchid. I wish I could take great photos the way you do. Yes, a traveler such as yourself couldn't keep house plants, but your outside plants are wonderful. Have a great day.

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      hi friends 5 years ago

      very informative and nice

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Oh what a pretty orchid--thank you for sharing it with us, and the info with what you have learned. How special that your daughter gave it to you and you've been able to nurture it all these years. Imagine what Costa Rica must be like!

      Voted up, of course! :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Your orchids are so beautiful! I would love to have orchids, but since we travel part of the year, I stay away from house plants. These are gorgeous, though, and I love your photos depicting each phase until the bloom!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi writer20. I agree: orchids are totally beautiful. I really enjoy growing them. It's too bad you had to sell yours. Some people I know grow theirs inside the house, but I never did that. Thanks for the vote. I appreciate that. Goodnight, Joyce.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi rebeccamealey, thanks for reading about my Cattleya orchid. I wish I had a better camera to make sharper photos. My photos don't do the orchid justice. Have a good evening.

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      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Orchids are totally beauitful and your doing a great job with them.

      We lived 20 blocks from a California beach and grew them outside because of our mild climate. By the time we moved they were getting big. I sold them at our garage sale, not sure how for much now.

      Voted up and beautiful, Joyce.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Orchids are so exotic! I too associate them with the prom. It looks like you did a fantastic job from your great pics!

    • mary615 profile image
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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Hi HBN. Yes, I can't tell you how exciting it was when I first saw the bud coming. I was thinking: it's almost Mother's Day.....aren't you going to perform again this year? Last year it had two blossoms! I just wish I had a better camera. I'm putting out some hints for this Christmas. Thanks so much for the vote.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Your excitement about and love for your cattleya orchid was palpable in this hub. I think it's wonderful that you've continued to care for it for nine years and are still so excited when it blooms near Mother's Day.

      I love orchids but have never tried to grow one. However, if someone I loved gave me one as a gift I would definitely try to keep it alive as long as possible.

      I voted this hub up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting.