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La Foresta Orchids

Cattleya trianae var. tipo ‘Henningtons’ x var. tipo ‘Radiance’

Cattleya trianae var. tipo ‘Henningtons’ x var. tipo ‘Radiance’

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Cattleya trianae ‘Henningtons’ x ‘Radiance’

Cattleya trianae is called the Christmas Orchid is a lavender-white flowering, tropical epiphyte orchid native to Columbia with succulent light green leaves. An epiphyte grows in the branches of tall jungle trees where its fleshy rhizomes wrap around the branches for stability. It gets its nutrients from the air, water and decaying plant matter that collect around the rhizomes.

This is a blooming size in a 5" pot, about 1 to 2 years to blooms. Grown from Seed

Cattleya trianae requires quick draining soil, high humidity, specialized light requirements, and high temperatures. However, Cattleya are among the easiest orchids to grow and the reward is a spectacular, fragrant flower. The plant is the national flower of Columbia chosen because the lip of the flower is yellow, blue and red, as is the Colombian flag.

Cattleya trianae grow best in bright, indirect light and the leaves will be lime green in color when the light levels are optimal. A dark leaf indicates insufficient sunlight. A south-facing window works well and most plants will need 5,000 fc (foot candles) of light intensity to flower consistently (full, direct sunlight is approximately 10,000 fc by comparison). As a house plant, it requires a potting soil of open rooting compost (for example, coarse redwood or fir bark, epiphytic orchid mix) for circulation of air and water.

The plants tolerate temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees F and prefer higher humidity levels. Humidity can be achieved by placing a saucer filled with medium sized pebbles under the plant. Keep a small amount of water in the saucer but never allow the pot to sit in water. The rhizomes very quickly succumb to root rot. If that isn't enough to maintain the right level of humidity, mist in the morning so the leaves can dry out before the temperatures drop at night. A mature plant will need water once a week.

Let the potting mix mostly dry out between waterings, but never let it fully dry. Water the plant by placing it in a sink and running a not too strong stream of lukewarm water through the pot for a minute or so. Let the pot drain well before returning it to it's place. 

This is a blooming size orchid in a 5" pot, about 1 to 2 years to bloom, grown from seed, limited!

The plant has three main parts – thick, fleshy rhizomes for support with a fleshy covering that acts as a water retention area, one or two leaves and pseudobulbs. The pseudobulbs, 1-3 inches thick, are food and water storage organs that also bear the flowers on single naked stems. Fertilize regularly after watering with a balanced fertilizer twice a month at half strength or weekly at quarter strength. Repot as needed (usually every two years) in spring or just before new roots sprout from the rhizome. Repotting is needed when the rhizome of the plant protrudes over the edge of the pot or when the potting medium breaks down and drains poorly. Only divide if there will be least 4-5 pseudobulbs per division.

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