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January 2012
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Cattleya is also known as Queen of the Orchids is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae.

Image of Cattleya-Queen of Orchids plant at Google

Cattleya is also known as Queen of the Orchids is a genus of orchids belonging to the orchid family, Orchidaceae. Cattleya comes in lovely, large, pink, blousy orchid flowers. These flowers are some of the most beautiful exotic fragrance flowers. They vary in colors from the beautiful lavenders to deep reds, whites, yellows and even blues. The flowers vary in size, shape and textures.

These orchids bear large blooms which are scented and sweet. These orchids are named in honor of William Cattleya. This genus comprises of 48 species. These species are found in the tropical Americas, but can also be found in the West Indies and Mexico.

Growing/Caring conditions for Cattleya – Queen of the Orchids
– Select a location which receives natural sunlight.
– Care should be taken that the location is not too hot.
– Indirect light is preferred in summer.
– Plant the orchid in the location.
– Water the orchid well.
– Care should be taken, not to overwater the orchid.
– Keep the orchid moist.
– Plant blooms in the fall to spring.
– Repotting annually is better for some orchids.
– Plant the orchid in a potting mix of mulch for tropical plants.
– Fertilize the orchid with plant food that is specific for orchids.
– Control the way roots get their oxygen because it is an important factor when they grow.
– This plant needs rich and fertile soil.
– This plant needs well draining soil.
– Add tree fern fibers (for small plants), several pieces of coarse fir bark, or sphagnum moss for draining.
– Dead growth and branches should be removed.

The following fungal and bacterial infections are known to attack the plant.

– Leaf spot is caused by Colletotrichum and Gleosporium
– Leaf blight – caused by Pythium
– Collar blocth – caused by Penicilium thomii
– Collar rot – caused by Sclerotium
– Orchid wilt – caused by Sclerotium rolfsli

To avoid the above, fungicides like Captan, Dithane, Agrosan and Ceresan are very effective.

– More than 32 diseases are known to occur on orchids with the most common are Cymbidium mosaic virus.
– All infected plants should be isolated to prevent spreading of the disease for avoiding.
– The most commonly reported insects pests on orchids are thrips, aphids, spidermite, soft scale, mealy bugs, orchid weevil, snail and slugs.
– They feed on tender young shoot, suck the sap and damage the young bud and shoot and also act as the carrier of different diseases.
– These can be controlled by effective insecticides like Parathion, Malathion, BHC, Aldrin, Dieldrin, etc. Metaldehyde has proved to be very effective in killing slugs and snails.
– Sterilize your cutting equipment to prevent the spread of viruses and disease.
– Repotting actively, healthy orchid plants acts as a catalyst for new growth in Cattleya orchids.
– Cattleya orchids can be divided when they become too big to handle.
– When dividing your orchid plants leave at least three pseudobulbs per division.
– Pseudobulbs on Cattleya orchids tend to make the plant seem heavy at the top – do support your orchid plant with abamboo cane or even wire support.
– Remove older pseudobulbs to encourage new growth on neglected Cattleya orchids.

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