Friday, June 11, 2010
Winter colors - Cattleya Orchids
Here in AU we are in the beginning of winter with cold and rainy weather, at times experiencing strong icy winds from Antarctica and our beautiful and lush tropical gardens look a bit muted, waiting for a spring time when a new growing cycle will start it's magic in our part of the world, however it's great anticipation time for orchids growers and collectors since Cattleya orchids are in flower at the moment, giving us much needed color infusions.
My Cattleya's just started flowering and with the names like "Sweet Valentine", "Tokyo Girl", "My Blue Heaven", "Firewalker", "Pink Angel" - who can resist these flamboyant beauties!
Cattleya's are one of the most popular orchids with orchid hobbyists as well as the general gardeners and these days have many spectacular varieties and forms. They are the easiest of all orchids to grow, being very tolerant of poor conditions and neglect.
This species are widespread in the American tropics, mainly in costal Brazil and the Andes. There is also significant Cattleya occurrences in Mexico and other Central American countries.
These orchids are quite easy to grow and in our climate need light shade during summer, lot's and lot's of water during hottest part of the year and a bit of a shelter during colder months. They are quite forgiving plants and store their energy in large bulbs, which means that even inexperienced orchid novice will be able to grow them, since they recover very quickly from any neglect.
Right at this moment it's raining quite heavily outside, cold with strong winds sweeping everywhere, dark clouds with a bit of thunder somewhere close - I am off to the greenhouse for much needed color therapy with my Cattleya's and their magical blooms!