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  • 1 Post By Ron-NY
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  • 2 Post By eircsmith

Is Cattleya dowiana a hard orchid to care for?

This is a discussion on Is Cattleya dowiana a hard orchid to care for? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi, everyone. I may have an opportunity to obtain a Cattleya dowiana var aurea, but ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Is Cattleya dowiana a hard orchid to care for?

    Hi, everyone.

    I may have an opportunity to obtain a Cattleya dowiana var aurea, but am unsure if I am experienced enough to grow it properly. Although I truly want one, it is on my 'wish list', I do not want to get it just to kill it. The good news is that I am in the process of building my first greenhouse; my partner is tired of the orchids taking over the house.

    This forum has given me some good advice on how to care for it, but I want to be mindful of the person who is giving me a cutting.

    Is it a hard orchid to care for? I have come a long way in 18months, have a great network of orchid-geeks, and think I can care for it...But, should I?

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    It takes special care but if it is handles correctly then it is not overly difficult. It's roots want to dry out quickly. Therefore over potting is a big mistake. I would grow it in a clay pot or slat basket. If you are going to use pot culture leave only enough room for one new growth. It also likes to be kept dry when not in active growth. Keep it fairly dry during the cool short months of winter, until new growth starts in the spring

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    Short answer is YES, it's difficult to grow (in my own humble opinion, that is). It is one of the least (if not the least) cold-tolerant cattleya species, so it will sulk and rot easily in winter if kept too cool. At the same time it likes humid, steamy low-land jungle conditions but resents "soggy feet" despite needing lots of water. So, to stop the roots rotting you need to give it very good drainage, a small pot or a basket is best, don't over pot it as the extra medium in the pot will retain too much water and you must still remember to keep it in a humid spot.

    I would advise you to grow some of its hybrids rather than the species itself. Many of them still have the golden colour and the amazingly coloured lip, but are much tougher and easier to grow than the Cattleya dowiana.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron-NY View Post
    It takes special care but if it is handles correctly then it is not overly difficult. It's roots want to dry out quickly. Therefore over potting is a big mistake. I would grow it in a clay pot or slat basket. If you are going to use pot culture leave only enough room for one new growth. It also likes to be kept dry when not in active growth. Keep it fairly dry during the cool short months of winter, until new growth starts in the spring
    Ron's advice is just what I have been told, and follow. After almost a year, I haven't killed mine yet, and while its not quite blooming size yet, it is growing.

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    Cattleya dowiana orchid plant should be grown in a medium like fir-bark with some partial sunlight. This orchid is intermediate to the warm growing orchid species. You can water it once a week; as this orchid plant can also be mounted.

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