Cattleya aclandiae, also called Lady Ackland’s Cattleya, is one of the most fragrant and elegant orchid species. It belongs to the Cattleya genus and the Orchidaceae family and is an incredible plant that every homeowner should have.
Read our complete care guide created by the gardening experts on how to care for Cattleya aclandiae.
What Is Cattleya Aclandiae?
Cattleya aclandiae is a compact, epiphytic orchid endemic to the coastal plains of Brazil. You can find it growing on the tree trunks and branches in the state of Bahia, Brazil, at the height of 300 to 1300 feet.
Cattleya aclandiae’s common names are Lady Ackland’s Cattleya, Cattleya aucklandiae, Cattleya aclandiae f. Alba, Cattleya aclandiae var. Alba, Cattleya aclandiae var. Grandiflora, Epidendrum acklandiae.
John Lindley named it after the wife of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, the 10th baronet who was the first European to cultivate this species successfully. John Lindley described it first in 1840.
Size and Growth
Cattleya aclandiae can grow 10 to 20 feet tall. Found in the coastal state of Hawaii and Brazil, you can find the species growing as much as 62 miles. Commonly called the dwarf Cattleya, this species can grow to a height of 3 to 5 inches.
It is also found growing in large clumps of tree trunks with vigorous woods covered by wild tillandsia plants. Tillandsia helps Lady Ackland’s orchid to survive the dry period and the winter.
Cattleya aclandiae has slender, ribbed pseudobulbs that carry apical, elliptic, suborbicular, oblong, and fleshy leaves. It normally has two leaves at the apex. The leaves develop dark purple spots on the outer edges when exposed to direct sunlight.
Cattleya aclandiae blooms in the spring and summer months and produces one to three fragrant flowers that are large compared to the plant’s proportion. On mature plants, it has single or pairs of flowers. It has large, waxy, and long-lasting blooms. The blooms are white with purple spots on them.
The lip is yellow, and the diameter of the blooms is between 2 and 4 inches. It produces purplish-pink racemes in the summer months. The plant also needs a significant resting period during the winter months to bloom well next spring.
Cattleya Aclandiae Care: Its Growth Requirements
Cattleya aclandiae is not too fussy when it comes to growing conditions such as light, water, soil mix, temperature, fertilizer, etc. Read on to find out the appropriate growing conditions for this orchid.
The Cattleya aclandiae needs bright light with good airflow to grow well. It needs brighter light than most other Cattleya orchids. A patio or a balcony that receives bright, indirect light throughout the day is a good spot for this plant. Since it loves bright sunlight, you can grow it by a window with 70 percent sunlight.
Avoid placing it in the harsh sunlight during the day as it can cause leaf burns.
Place your plant in a spot that receives enough light but does not burn the plant. If you placed it in a dark area earlier, ensure to increase the light gradually. Do not put it in a bright spot all of a sudden, as it can lead to severe damage to the plant. The purple blotches also increase as the light intensity increases.
Since Cattleya aclandiae likes to dry out between the waterings, you can also mount it on a cork or grow it in a hanging basket. If the air in your home is extremely dry, you can easily grow your plant in pots or containers. Ensure that it gets good drainage to avoid root rot.
If your orchid is mounted, then you might have to water it one to three times a day, depending on the weather. Mist your suspended plant daily to maintain enough moisture around it.
If your plant is in a pot, water it one to three times a week during the summer months and cut back watering during the winter months as it has its rest period during winter.
The Cattleya aclandiae needs a fast-draining soil medium to grow properly. It is vital that the soil medium fully drains as overwatering may lead to root rot. Use coarse bark pieces mixed with perlite or charcoal for retaining moisture and maintaining good drainage. We recommend you mount or suspend your orchid to prevent root rot.
Cattleya aclandiae has a dry period in the winter. So reduce the watering frequency but never let the plant get too dry for an extended period.
Cattleya aclandiae is an intermediate to warm-growing orchid. During the summer months, it grows at an average temperature of 82 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and an average night temperature of 71 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It needs a daily difference between day and night temperature of 11 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the winter months, it grows at an average temperature of 77 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and an average night temperature of 67 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The difference between day and night temperature has to be 9 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your Cattleya aclandiae is growing outdoors in the patio or balcony, bring it indoors if the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot tolerate extreme cold and frost.
Cattleya aclandiae needs approximately 75 to 85 percent humidity level to have the best growth. On hot summer days, sometimes, the plant goes into stress by losing its leaves. You might also witness Fuschia purple spots on the leaves. Do not worry in such cases; spritz the plant with water daily to keep it cool.
Use a humidifier or humidity trays to maintain humidity around the plant. You can also use the pebble tray method to get the humidity levels up in dry regions. Fill a tray with pebbles and water and place the pot above it.
Fertilize Cattleya aclandiae weekly with one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose. Fertilizing will also depend on the quality of water that you use. If you are using tap water, 20-20-20 fertilizer works fine.
Like water, cut back on fertilizing your plant in winter because the plant has stagnant growth during winter. Once spring comes, resume regular fertilizing.
Repotting Cattleya Aclandiae
Divide or repot Cattleya aclandiae when the new roots start to develop. It could be every two to three years. The ideal time to do so is during early spring so that the plant adjusts to the new environment in a short period and does not face stress.
Cattleya aclandiae can be propagated by rhizomes or bulbs, or seeds. Seeds are germinated in agar, gelatin, or other similar media. However, we suggest you not store the seeds.
Many cultivators use Cattleya aclandiae to produce other compact hybrid orchid varieties. The hybrid varieties bloom more than two times a year. Varieties such as Rubra, Alba, and Albescent. Additionally, there are a lot of color variations in this beautiful orchid. For example, the Rubra variety has intense rose lips with large spots on its petals and sepals.
Let us sum up everything we know about Cattleya aclandiae so far.
- Cattleya aclandiae is a dwarf, warm-growing, epiphytic orchid native to Brazil.
- This compact growing orchid species makes up for its small size by giving large, showy, and waxy flowers.
- It blooms typically in spring, summer, and occasionally fall.
- It needs bright, indirect light to thrive; place your plant near windows for maximum light.
- Provide the plant abundant watering during its growing period and cut back during winter.
- It prefers intermediate to warm temperatures and typically grows in warm tropical environments.
- Like other orchids, use a loose and well-draining soil mix for Cattleya aclandiae as it likes a combination of moisture with air circulation.
- Maintain airflow around the plant’s roots to prevent tissue damage.
- You can grow it either in pots or mount it on a cork slab or tree fern or open wooden basket.
- A humidity level of 75 to 85 percent works fine for this orchid; use humidifiers and humidity trays to keep the humidity level high.
- Fertilize your plant with one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose on the regular orchid fertilizer during its active growth period.
- Repot your plant every two to three years in spring, when new roots begin to develop.
We hope that our complete care guide has helped you know all about Cattleya aclandiae. If you do not have any such orchids, get one for yourself and enjoy taking care of this tropical beauty!