Cattleya Intermedia, an orchid species that belongs to the Atlantic shorelines of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, can now be easily germinated and grown at home.

We have contacted Cuttleya florists who have been cultivating them for decades to let us in on all the little secrets that make this orchid grow and bloom.

These orchids are small-sized, produce an exuberant bloom and a sweet, fresh fragrance. As an indoor species that thrives on lots of indirect sunlight, they will brighten up your window sills and sunlit corners with freshness and color.

Cattleya Intermedia: What Are the Distinguishing Features of this Orchid?

Cattleya Intermedia has been a favorite among orchid lovers for decades: and rightfully so. It has many varieties all varying in beautiful, rich colors. It is also very easy to grow as it has the ability to withstand and acclimatize to extreme conditions. Read below to find out its most distinguishing features:

– Size

This species falls in the category of small to medium-sized orchids. You will often find them decorating tiny window sills around orchid lovers’ homes and nurseries.

– Flowers

The flowers of Cattleya Intermedia grow on both long and short stalks of this orchid; each inflorescence containing from three to around seven flowers each.

The flowers are surrounded by a small floral bract and emit a heavenly fragrance. If you take good care of your plant, you can get flowers that grow up to four inches across in diameter.

– Cattleya Intermedia Petals

The petals of intermedia are often long and slender but some varieties also offer rounder petals. The flowers of intermedia come in a variety of petal colors and are classified into groups based on these colors.

There is the C.intermedia var.alba which is pure white as well as the C.intermedia var.coerulea which is bluish with a purple lip, along with many others.

– Leaves

Two to four leaves grow from each stem. These leaves are arranged in a sub opposite manner, meaning two leaves arise from the same node at almost the opposite side of the stem. If proper light is available, the leaves should be neither too dark nor too light.

– Pseudo bulbs And Stems

Pseudo bulbs are thickened structures growing from the root systems and serve as storage and support organs for the stems that arise from them. The pseudobulbs of Cattleya Intermedia are cylindrical and covered with a bark-like sheath.

– Blooming schedule

This orchid blooms during early spring and summer. It is one of the perennials, so this means that it’s a plant that lives for several years.

Cattleya Intermedia Care: Learn the Right Method

This plant is relatively low maintenance and easy enough to cultivate at home. Still, you need to follow some set guidelines to make sure that the basic needs of your intermedia orchids are being fulfilled. Find out what those needs are below here:

– Water Requirements

Cattleya intermedia tend to have uniform water requirements throughout the year. So don’t worry about changing your watering schedule from season to season.

Water them regularly and abundantly: let the water flow freely each time through the entire plant and use a potting mixture that allows rapid drainage to prevent root rot.

Let the orchid and the potting media dry completely before the next watering. Many Cattleya cultivators recommend that you should only water the roots of these orchids and spare the stems and leaves. This decreases the risk of bacterial and fungal rot of this plant.

Overall, you will need to water Cattleya Intermedia only one to two times each week. But during hot, dry months, if you notice the stems and leaves appearing dry and wrinkly, increase the frequency of watering.

– Light Requirements

Like all other Cattleya orchids, intermedia too love and thrive on bright, indirect light that they use for their growth as an energy source.

These orchids should not be placed under direct sunlight as that will definitely lead to sunburn.

You should place them somewhere where they receive bright but indirect sunlight for extended durations of the day.

Early morning or late evening sunlight is the best for Cattleya orchids. Especially avoid midday sunlight. These orchids exhibit the ability to acclimatize to higher levels of light when gradually exposed to them.

If natural light is scarce or unavailable, filtered artificial light work just as well. You can even get ones that are timed to spare yourself the extra work of turning the light on and off all the time.

Approximately light intensity equivalent to two thousand to four thousand foot candles is needed for adequate growth. You can judge whether your Cattleya intermedia is getting the right amount of light by observing the color of the leaves: A dark green color of leaves indicates too little light and very light green leaves indicates too much light exposure.

– Soil Requirement

Even orchids have their favorites when it comes to the kind of soil they want to grow in. Read ahead to find out the most suitable soil for Cattleya intermedia.

  • Choose a potting medium for Cattleya intermedia that is coarse and drains quickly. Most florists swear by pieces of bark or a combination of husk chips with perlite.
  • Sphagnum moss should not be used in this particular case.
  • Like all other orchids, they can also be mounted on pieces of cork and bark or hung bare-rooted in baskets.

– Temperature Requirements

In their natural habitat, intermedia orchids are exposed to and can tolerate a variety of temperatures.

  • Ideal daytime temperatures: 70-90 Fahrenheit.
  • Ideal nighttime temperatures: 60 Fahrenheit.
  • This orchid is unique in the sense that, for a short period of time, it will be able to tolerate extremes of temperatures from 100 Fahrenheit to freezing zeros.

– Humidity Requirements

At least sixty percent humidity is needed year-round for growing Cattleya intermedia. High humidity allows your orchids to absorb more water from the atmosphere and bud flowers.

If you reside in a dry, low humidity area, you should definitely invest in a quality humidifier. You can also increase humidity around your potted orchids by placing a pebble tray filled with water under their pots.

Growing Cattleya Intermedia: A Step by Step Approach

For starters, you can either repot shoots from an already grown Cattleya Intermedia plant in a new pot or cultivate this orchid from scratch using seeds. Continue reading to learn both methods.

– Cattleya Intermedia Seeds

Say you have decided to take over the daunting task of growing Orchids- specifically Cattleya intermedia- from seedlings all by yourself at home: Don’t worry, we have you covered.

  1. First of all, you can easily get Cattleya Intermedia seeds from an established orchid nursery or garden. They can also be ordered online through an authentic source.
  2. These seeds are very sensitive and will come in sterile packaging. You should handle them with utmost care.
  3. Your next step is to take a flask and fill it with a suitable orchid medium. We recommend using something like Knudson’s C that is rich in nutrients.
  4. Plant your seedling initially in the flask. Make sure the temperature and humidity levels are ideal.
  5. Start with an initial exposure of only 200-foot candles of light for most of the day and gradually increase the intensity of light over time.
  6. After six to eight months, the orchid should have grown enough to be repotted in a small three-inch-sized pot.

– Repotting: The Ideal Time and Method

A month or so after flowering, you will notice a bunch of roots half-inch or less emerging from the base of fresh pseudobulbs. This will be your cue to repot them because growth is at its best during this time.

Cattleya intermedia can and should be repotted every year. We recommend using clay pots as they allow the media to dry faster. Any suitable growth media will do.

– Fertilizer for Cattleya Intermedia

Apply fertilizers every week during the growth period. We recommend using a liquid fertilizer at only half the recommended strength. Orchid experts swear by a combination of fertilizer granules with granular lime.

Conclusion: A Recap Through Everything We Have Learned:

Mentioned above is detailed information on growing and caring for Cattleya Intermedia yourself at home. Let us go through the most pertinent points once again to make sure we have got everything covered.

  • Cattleya intermedia is an orchid species native to south American shorelines that can withstand a wide variety of conditions.
  • The water needs of intermedia remain uniform throughout the year. They will need to be watered at least twice per week.
  • Let the substrate and the plant dry between each watering. Otherwise, this orchid tends to start to rot.
  • These orchids will need bright, indirect or filtered, natural or artificial light for the most part of the day.
  • Maintain humidity levels of around sixty percent around them for proper growth.
  • Use a potting medium that is coarse and drains well rapidly.
  • You can grow them in a pot or mount them.
  • Repot Cattleya Intermedia every year once a cluster of new roots emerges from new pseudobulbs.
  • During the growth period, use liquid fertilizers every week.

We think that now is the best time as any to go and get yourself some Cattleya Intermedia and add them to your orchid collection. Using our little tips and tricks, you really can’t go wrong with them.

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