Cattleya are found in rain forests of Central and South America. They usually bloom on new pseudobulbs that bear one or two thick and hard leaves, after forming a sheath looking like a forming leaf in which the buds nests to eventually emerge for blooming. Some are bifoliate and multifloral; other are unifoliate and produce fewer flowers of a larger size. Many hybrids have been created from Cattleya and alliance, such as Brassavola, Laelia and Epidendrum.
Cattleya are among the easiest orchids to grow indoors. In summertime, they need a medium lightning, but prefer brighter light and even sun in wintertime. New growths and new roots appear at pseudobulb bottom. The plant needs then frequent waterings and a fertilizer with a higher percentage in nitrogen. As soon as the pseudobulb is formed, reducing waterings and cutting down the fertilization triggers the blooming. After the blooming period, and the growth of new leaves in spring or fall, the plant needs a resting or dormancy period. Waterings are reduced until new growths appear. When roots spread, the plant can be repotted and divided. The pots must have a proper size as to contain the roots and allow the growing of new pseudobulbs (at least two) in medium bark nuggets to insure a good air circulation.
2 000 - 3 000 foot-candles, during 12 or 14 hours a day.
20°C to 25°C in the day and 15°C to 20°C in the night.