When back in 1881, the Belgian orchid grower announced that his collector in Colombia had discovered a new species of Cattleya orchid, he started a debate that will last to this day. In fact, he named this new species Cattleya Aurea and explained in detail how it’s different from Cattleya Dowiana, the other similar type.
But whatever the truth may be, if you ever get in possession of one of these beauties, you need to know how to take care of them properly? Orchids are very sensitive flowers and require extra attention. And while we can find different types of Cattleya orchids, they somehow demand similar growing conditions.
But, how do you know what to look for? Well, don’t worry, here are a couple of tips you will find helpful.
Ensure enough light
The light needed for Cattleya Aurea depends on geographical location, time of the day, the season, and weather. In other words, these types of orchids love a good amount of light, approximately 50% of full daylight.
If your plant is exposed to direct sunlight, you should shade it to avoid overheating and damage to the leaves. Usually, owners keep their orchids on a windowsill to ensure enough light; however, if the sun is shining directly on your plant, make sure to shade it from midday to late afternoon.
It’s a common fact that orchids love in humid and hot rainforests. However, they can also survive in high altitudes, where the air is moist and cold. During the night and morning, the airflow is cooling them, and during the day, the sun isn’t burning them.
So, if you live in a colder climate, the idea is to maintain a high exposure to light while avoiding high temperatures. During the day, a maximum of 80F will be enough for your plant to feel comfortable, and during the night, you need to ensure a minimum of 55F.
Like other orchids, the Cattleya Aurea orchid loves a humid environment. Keep in mind that between 40% and 70% is the best humidity level, and this is provided through watering; some even use humidity trays.
Also, be aware of that fact that if you plan to maintain high humidity, the good airflow is crucial. If humidity is too high, it can cause disease development and rot. On the other hand, a low level of humidity can lead to dehydration and the death of your plant.
If you don’t know how to water your cattleya dowiana aurea plant, you should always ask how much and when. These types of orchids should be saturated when the potting mix is dry, which means once a week should be enough. However, this will depend on the environment.
For instance, if the temperature is high, the potting mix will dry quicker and vice versa. In that case, watering once a week won’t be enough. However, when temperatures are lower, and the weather is dark, less water is required.
But, when you aren’t sure what to do, don’t water. Keep in mind that it’s easier to recover orchids from dryness than from rotting.
If you aren’t fertilizing your Cattleya Aurea orchids, that’s ok, because they can survive, bloom, and grow a couple of years without fertilizing. But, it’s obvious that with the help of fertilizers, your orchids will grow to be nicer and bigger.
We recommend you fertilize your plant throughout the hot season and avoid this process from October to February when the weather is colder. Also, to prevent salt buildup, make sure to flush the pot regularly with clean water between two feedings.