Cattleya lueddemanniana is an easy-to-care-for orchid species endemic to Venezuela. It belongs to the Cattleya genus and the Orchidaceae family.
Furthermore, it has many hybrid varieties differing in the colors of the flowers.
In this article, you will find a complete care guide to know how to care for this orchid. Continue reading to learn more about this beautiful plant.
What Is Cattleya Lueddemanniana?
Cattleya lueddemanniana is a medium-sized, unifoliate, and epiphytic orchid species native to Venezuela. You can find it growing in the country’s northern coast, in the scrubby hills lying at heights between 0 and 1700 feet.
It usually grows on higher tree trunks but can also be found growing on bushes and cacti in dry regions.
Some other names of Cattleya lueddemanniana are Lueddemann’s Cattleya, Cattleya dawsonii, Cattleya roezlii, Cattleya malouana Linden. Reichenbach described it first in 1854.
Size and Growth Pattern
Cattleya lueddemanniana is a fast-growing, epiphytic orchid, meaning that it does not grow in soil but is attached to trees, branches, and sometimes rocks. It has cylindrical, compact pseudobulbs. A pseudobulb is an organ storing water, minerals, etc., so that the plant can last through the drought.
The pseudobulbs are found in epiphytic orchids and have leathery leaves with flowers that bloom in winters and spring. The pseudobulbs can get 2 to 10 inches tall and do not get wider than 1 inch. These pseudobulbs are connected through a rhizome which sends out new growth each year.
As compared to other unifoliate orchids, Cattleya lueddemanniana has more cylindrical pseudobulbs. Each pseudobulb takes four to nine months to completely mature.
As the plant grows, the pseudobulb is protected by a leafy formation called a sheath. When it is mature, the sheath dries out, and you can remove it. Removing sheaths is better because they can harbor pests and insects.
Cattleya lueddemanniana has a single, thick, apical, leathery, erect, narrow, and obtuse leaf. It is greyish-green, and its length varies from 3 to 8 inches, and its width is between 1 and 2 inches.
Cattleya lueddemanniana has beautiful pink to purple blooms with magenta or purple-colored lips. The intensely colored lip is the show-stopper of this beautiful flower. The lip is paler towards the base. There are light yellow eye-like patches on either side of the blooms.
The blooms have a strong fragrance and blossom during spring when the plant matures. But occasionally, you might witness some blooming during fall too. The color of the flowers could range from the light-colored yellowish lip and pinkish-white petals to dark magenta petals.
The blooms are not that long-lasting and last for at least two weeks. One interesting point about its blooms is that some hybrid alba varieties have relatively lesser fragrance than the original Cattleya lueddemanniana. The blooms are usually 6 to 8 inches across.
A 1 to 3 inches long sheath produces inflorescences that are 1 to 5 inches long in spring. The racemes bear two to three large, showy, pinkish-purple flowers. After the flowers dry, Cattleya lueddemanniana starts to grow once again.
Cattleya Lueddemanniana Care: Its Growth Requirements
Read on to find out the right growing conditions required for this orchid.
Cattleya lueddemanniana falls in the sunlight-loving group of orchids. It can tolerate more sun than most other orchid species. It grows at sea level, so it needs more sunlight to bloom well. It also grows well under grow lights.
One reason why Cattleya lueddemanniana does not bloom on time is due to lack of sufficient sunlight. Dark leaves mean insufficient light, so move the orchid to a brighter spot. You will know if your plant is getting enough light if the plant shows new growth and the leaves are erect and light green.
Ensure that, along with more sunlight, you keep the air moving around the plant to prevent the leaves from burning. If the leaves start to turn yellowish-green, move the plant to a shadier spot.
Place your plant in a spot that receives sunlight during the morning or the later part of the day. East or south-facing window is the best spot. The general rule for light requirements is that these orchids like to be out of the sun 60 percent of the time.
During its active growing periods, Cattleya lueddemanniana needs abundant watering. But like most other Cattleya orchids, it likes to dry out a bit between two watering sessions. Use lukewarm or room-temperature water for your plant. It is better to stay on the drier side with these orchids. This gap of dryness increases during winter.
Watering once or twice a week works well for its proper growth. However, too much water for long periods will lead to root rot. Higher temperatures and direct sunlight mean more water requirements and vice versa. In hotter and drier climates, add sphagnum moss to the bark mix.
Check your plant by touching the substrate. If it feels too dry, water the plant. If it comes out wet, wait for some days before watering. If your Cattleya lueddemanniana is mounted, watering may be required every day, sometimes even twice a day.
Cattleya lueddemanniana needs a well-draining soil media to thrive. It is prone to root rot. So to prevent root rot, use a loose, quick-drying, medium-grade soil mix composed of fir bark and perlite. Fir bark retains more nitrogen from the atmosphere, which is helpful in plant’s growth.
The plant does not grow well with wet roots. Choose a well-ventilated clay pot or hanging baskets to grow your Cattleya lueddemanniana, as clay pots are better at absorbing excess water and let the roots dry out faster. Avoid using a plastic container to grow these orchids.
For mounted or suspended Cattleya lueddemanniana, use sphagnum moss as it helps in retaining moisture. But suspended orchids need more frequent watering than when they are in pots.
Temperature is one of the most overlooked but crucial factors to be kept in mind while growing a plant. Cattleya lueddemanniana is a hot to warm growing orchid. In its natural habitat, Cattleya lueddemanniana grows at sea level, so it requires a significantly higher temperature during the night.
Growth is slower in cold weather. A temperature of more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night works well for its growth. Young seedlings are prone to rot, so provide them with a nighttime temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or more to prevent rot.
A temperature range of 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit during the day works well for its growth. It needs a drop in temperature at night, so an average nighttime temperature between 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit would be ideal. This drop in temperature helps in stimulating flower spikes.
Cattleya lueddemanniana needs 60 to 80 percent humidity, but it also grows fine in lower humidity (40 to 70 percent) levels. Use a humidifier if humidity is an issue in your home. Using humidity trays, grouping many plants, and using a top layer of moss are some ways you can use to increase the humidity levels around the plant.
At the same time, maintain air circulation around your plant’s roots with humidity. The higher the humidity, the higher the air movement. Because this orchid tolerates drier climates, it is essential to keep the air moving so that its roots do not rot. For air movement, keep a low running fan around your plant.
Fertilize your Cattleya lueddemanniana weekly with small doses of liquid-based orchid fertilizer during its growing period from spring to late summer. Use calcium or magnesium-rich fertilizer to feed your orchid.
Reduce the fertilizer in autumn and stop fertilizing in winter as it is almost dormant in winter. Resume fertilizing as spring approaches. Applying fertilizer when the plant is dormant can damage or kill the plant. Too much fertilizer causes root burn and salt build-up.
Repotting Cattleya Lueddemanniana
Cattleya lueddemanniana blooms in the spring months of March and April. After making another growth, the plant goes into its resting period in winter. The best time to repot Cattleya lueddemanniana is after flowering when the pseudobulbs begin to produce new roots.
Choose a bigger clay pot that is worth two to three years of growth. But remember not to choose a pot much bigger than the orchid’s roots. One size-up works well. While repotting, do not place your orchid in the center of the pot. Instead, place it near the pot’s edge so that new root growth points towards the center.
Extra humidity is required just after repotting. So turn up your humidifier for the newly repotted plant. Use chunky bark mix for root development.
Cattleya lueddemanniana is a compact orchid and quite easy to flower. After Phalaenopsis orchids, cattleya orchids are the easiest to grow and are perfect for beginner orchid enthusiasts. They are quite suited for home conditions and not fussy orchids.
Now that we have covered everything about this beautiful orchid let us sum up all the important points to remember:
- Cattleya lueddemanniana is a unifoliate orchid found in Venezuela.
- It has pale-purple to pink blooms that have a strong fragrance.
- It needs bright, filtered sunlight to grow and bloom well, but the direct hot sun can burn the leaves.
- Water your orchid abundantly during summer and spring, and let the plant dry out a bit in between waterings.
- It is warm to hot growing orchids and does well in warmer temperatures.
- The ideal temperature for its growth is 77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
- Use a loose, well-draining substrate for your orchid in a well-ventilated clay or plastic pot; mix fir bark with perlite or charcoal for drainage.
- It needs 60 to 80 percent humidity to grow well; keep the humidity level high by using a humidifier or humidity trays.
- It loves air around its roots, so airy soil mix in a ventilated pot is a must.
- Fertilize your plant weekly with a well-balanced, all-purpose orchid fertilizer during the active growing period; do not fertilize during the winter months.
- Repot your plant after blooming when the pseudobulb starts to show new growth.
We hope our care guide has helped you clear all your questions on this species. If you are a beginner looking forward to growing orchids, Cattleya lueddemanniana is the one for you.
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