Cattleya is a genus of epiphytes orchids with big, showy flowers. It was named after William Cattley, an English orchid collector. Cattleya has long, cylindrical pseudobulbs with may be either thick or thin. The leaves are sword-shaped. The flower stalk grows from the sheath at the base of the leaf. Cattleya produces between two to fifteen flowers.

Cattleya flowers have broad, tongue-shaped lips that are frequently frilled at the edges. The flowers come in a variety of colors including white, yellow, orange, pink, purple, red, green, dark red, and diverse combinations.


The Cattleya genus count some 60 species from South America.


Cattleya require well-lit position. Minimum temperature at night should be 15°C.


Give it a fair amount of demineralised water during the growing period. Regular plunging is so helpful. Allow the compost to be on the dry side before watering again. In the dormant season, give it less water. Humidity can be increased by indirect spraying.


Feed it once a month at one-third normal concentration.


Report after flowering. Place a thick layer of crocks at the bottom of pot to increase drainage.


Propagate by division. Each section should have at least two pseudobulbs and a growing point. CattleyaCattleya (31 May 2009)
© Esther Tye

CattleyaCattleya (31 May 2009)
© Esther Tye

CattleyaCattleya (31 May 2009)
© Esther Tye


  • Orchids of Asia, by Teoh Eng Soon
  • The Macdonald Encyclopedia of Orchids
  • Orchid Growing in the Tropics, by the Orchid Society of South East Asia

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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