My Cattleya Orchid: Amazing Photos From Bud To Full Bloom
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
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
The Cattleya Orchid Bud Is Getting Larger
The Cattleya Orchid Continues To Open
The Cattleya Orchid Is Opening
The Cattleya Orchid Is Almost Full Bloom
The Cattleya Orchid Is In Full Bloom
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© 2012 Mary Hyatt