Cattleya Skinneri is one of the most sought-after orchids in gardens and nurseries all over the world. Our aim is to bring you the right knowledge and information collected over the years so that you can grow them easily and properly by yourself.
With only a little effort, you too can get to experience their beautiful bloom by Easter this year!
Cattleya Skinneri: A Description
This exotic orchid is a native of Central America and enjoys a highly popular status in the countries there. It has even been named as Costa Rica’s national flower owing to its rising demand among the local population. Find out how this orchid looks like here:
– Pseudobulbs, Flowers, and Leaves
Cattleya Skinneri is a medium-sized orchid and comprises a delicate root system from which grow pseudobulbs and stems on which bloom lavender flowers.
The inflorescences of Skinneri emerge from mature pseudobulbs and grow to be around five inches tall and straight erected.
Each stem of this orchid tends to produce five to twelve fragrant flowers at its terminal end. The flowers are on the larger side, measuring approximately four to five inches across in diameter.
You will notice that the petals in the outer whorl are narrow and tapering while those in the inner whorl tend to be broad with wavy edges.
In most cases, Cattleya Skinneri petals and sepals are both rose-lavender/ rose-purple in color. One special variety, called Cattleya Skinneri var alba, is pure white in color. Some semi-white varieties also exist in which white flowers have a single purple spot at the base of the lip.
This Cattleya species is bifoliate, meaning each stem produces two leaves each.
The blooming period of this Cattleya Sskinneri is from mid-March till April. Once in bloom, the flowers last for four to five weeks.
Cattleya Skinneri Care
– Water Requirements
Cattleyas seem to be quite choosy when it comes to their water requirements. Find out our easy-to-follow steps below to keep your orchids happy and hydrated.
Watering: Potted vs Mounted Orchids
The substrate in potted plants tends to retain moisture for longer periods, contributing to the high moisture and humidity needs of Cattleya Skinneri. You will only need to water these once the potting media is completely dry.
On the other hand, the bare-rooted mounted forms do not store any water and will need daily watering, sometimes more than once per day.
The Best Type of Water To Use
Distilled or reverse osmosis water is the most suitable one for growing any kind of orchid. Rainwater comes second. You can also use municipal water but do check that its pH is below 6.5 at least. Alkaline water is not recommended.
Watering During Growth Period
The growth period of Cattleya Skinneri lasts from spring till autumn. During this time, you will need to water them frequently and abundantly. Let the water flow freely each time and allow the roots some time to dry thoroughly before the next time.
Watering During Rest Period
In nature, this orchid experiences a period of drought for about four-five months starting from early autumn. You should also decrease the frequency and quantity of water in your homegrown orchids during this time.
Check Before Watering
For starters, we suggest putting a finger or a pencil down the potting medium before watering. Do not water your orchids unless it comes out absolutely dry. Many beautiful orchids have been lost to fungal and bacterial infections due to overwatering.
– Light Requirements
Your Cattleya Skinneri needs loads of light to grow and bloom exuberantly. Continue reading to learn how to provide the best light for them at home or in your nursery.
The Bright Group Orchids
Cattleyas are considered among the ‘bright light group’ orchids. They owe this title to their affinity for bright morning and evening light. Always make sure that Skinneri receives adequate morning and evening light each day.
No Direct Light For Cattleya Skinneri
The light for Skinneri should be indirect or filtered. Direct sunlight will most definitely lead to sunburn and stunted plant growth. In fact, Cattleyas need to be out of the direct sun for about sixty percent of the time.
LEDs For Growth
If you live somewhere where providing enough natural sunlight is a hassle, do not worry; LED lights have got you and your Skinneri orchids covered.
As with all orchids, Cattleya Skinneri grows best and bloom on time only when the temperature conditions are within range. Read on as our florists spill the beans on the temperature requirements of this orchid.
Temperature Requirement During The Year
This orchid tends to have the same temperature needs throughout the entire year. For some orchid growers, these temperatures can be difficult to maintain in the house all year round.
- Ideal daytime temperature: 77-84 Fahrenheit.
- Ideal nighttime temperature: 59-64 Fahrenheit.
Temperature Drop For Bloom
A drop of temperature from day to night has been found to be of paramount importance for the flowering of the Cattleya species. You will also need to ensure a noticeable temperature drop by either moving your Sskinneri near an open window at night, keeping a fan on or simply adjusting the thermostat at night.
All Cattleyas need and thrive under very high air humidity conditions. From spring to autumn, provide an average humidity of around eighty to eighty-five percent.
During the dry months, it should fall to approximately seventy percent from autumn till the next spring. Read some sure-shot ways we recommend our orchid growers to maintain humidity at home below:
- Use pebble-filled humidity trays under your orchid pots and mounts.
- Regularly mist your homegrown orchids in both the morning and evening.
- Keeping similar plants huddled close together has also been found to increase the surrounding air humidity.
- The easiest way is, of course, to buy an automated air humidifier.
- You can also use a top layer of moss to achieve the same purpose.
– Air Movement
Air movements are very important for Cattleya maxima to grow properly. Good air allows water droplets to evaporate from your orchid. Otherwise, dead spots or fungal infections might ensue where these droplets stay.
You can put your maxima orchids near a slightly open window or under a slow-moving fan for adequate air circulation. Do not huddle plants too close together. We also do not recommend putting them under air vents.
Our florists say that fertilizer should be applied every week. You should only use one-half to one-quarter of the recommended strength of the packaged fertilizer. Leech or flush out the stored toxins from fertilizer use by watering your potted orchids copiously at least once per month.
Growing Cattleya Skinneri From Seedlings
Growing Cattleya Skinneri from seedlings tends to be a bit difficult. You will need to buy sterile seedlings from a verified source.
Initially plant the seedlings in a flask with a good quality orchid nutritional media. Provide adequate humidity, temperature, and light regularly until roots and bulbs emerge.
Be patient! It can take months before you see any growth and years before you experience your first bloom.
Repotting Cattleya Skinneri: The Right Time And Method
– Repotting: When And How To Begin
Check the base of your orchid for any new growth of roots. That is when you should ideally repot Skinneri. You can also repot them as soon as they stop flowering.
Use small-sized pots that will last approximately one to two years. Clay pots are preferable over plastic pots. If you choose to use plastic pots, make holes in them for air circulation and water drainage.
– Soil: Use The Right One
You should choose the soil and potting media for Cattleya Skinneri that fulfills two basic requirements of growing orchids:
- It should allow good air circulation and prevent the cramping of roots and seedlings inside the potting media. Therefore, very fine grain mixtures are not recommended.
- The soil and potting media should allow rapid and thorough drainage of water. Any media that allows water to pool for long times should be discarded.
Use Medium Grade Potting Mix
A medium-grade potting mix will provide stability and proper water drainage to your Cattleya Skinneri. Add some fir bark, tree fern, or clay pebbles as your potting mixture. We also then add pieces of charcoal or perlite to the mix.
– Mounted Or In Baskets.
You can mount Cattleya Skinneri bare-rooted on corks or pieces of barks. They also look beautiful hanging down from baskets.
Conclusion: Final Thoughts
We now know everything there is to know about growing Cattleya Skinneri at home. Let us go through the most important points one more time:
- Cattleya Skinneri is a great indoor orchid.
- It needs copious amounts of watering especially during the growth period from spring till autumn.
- The potting medium and the plant should be allowed to dry between each watering.
- Skinneri orchids need to be placed in a brightly lit room away from direct sun exposure. You can substitute natural light with artificial LED ones.
- They require a temperature drop from day to night in order to make their flower buds bloom.
- Provide seventy to eighty-five percent humidity levels during the growth period.
- Buy a medium-grade potting mix such as fir bark or tree fern mixed with pieces of charcoal.
- Ensure good air circulation by keeping them near an open window or under a ceiling fan.
- Fertilize every week at one half to one quarter the usual strength of orchid fertilizers.
Cattleya Skinneri is super easy to grow and can be so rewarding with its beautiful flowers and heavenly smell filling your house. Go buy a couple of bulbs and give it a try. We promise you will not regret it.
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