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Me and Cattleya percivaliana (‘Summit’ FCC/AOS x v. alba ‘Sonjia’)
The Cattleya species….like my friend Alan Koch would say, the ‘real’ orchids. These are the orchids early explorers risked possible death by disease, wild animals and unfriendly natives to find. And once found would go to great lengths fabricating lies about the locations just to deceive the competition. These beauties called the cloud forests of Central and South America home, but would soon be imported to the stove-heated hot houses of England at any cost (monetary AND enviromental). And so the era of Victorian orchid mania began…
Believe it or not there was once a time when people learned to grow orchids by growing Cattleyas. This might seem alien to some since almost everyone who started growing orchids in the last 15 years probably started with a Phalaenopsis of some sort. But at one time the Cattleya was the King (or more appropriately Queen?) of orchid growing. In my opinion those growers who start with Phalaenopsis are at a disadvantage. Don’t get me wrong, they also are beautiful and much desired with there own significance. But so few other orchids grow like Phalaenopsis..and yet so many grow like Cattleyas. Bright light lovers, with a distinct seasonal growth pattern and a necessary rest period to succeed. You really couldn’t ask for a better master. They teach you when to water, when NOT to water and how to re-pot. Oh, and did I mention the large, fragrant flowers? A fortunate side effect of learning how to grow these ‘real’ orchids.  All through keen observation and a little trial and error.   High-res


Me and Cattleya percivaliana (‘Summit’ FCC/AOS x v. alba ‘Sonjia’)

The Cattleya species….like my friend Alan Koch would say, the ‘real’ orchids. These are the orchids early explorers risked possible death by disease, wild animals and unfriendly natives to find. And once found would go to great lengths fabricating lies about the locations just to deceive the competition. These beauties called the cloud forests of Central and South America home, but would soon be imported to the stove-heated hot houses of England at any cost (monetary AND enviromental). And so the era of Victorian orchid mania began…

Believe it or not there was once a time when people learned to grow orchids by growing Cattleyas. This might seem alien to some since almost everyone who started growing orchids in the last 15 years probably started with a Phalaenopsis of some sort. But at one time the Cattleya was the King (or more appropriately Queen?) of orchid growing. In my opinion those growers who start with Phalaenopsis are at a disadvantage. Don’t get me wrong, they also are beautiful and much desired with there own significance. But so few other orchids grow like Phalaenopsis..and yet so many grow like Cattleyas. Bright light lovers, with a distinct seasonal growth pattern and a necessary rest period to succeed. You really couldn’t ask for a better master. They teach you when to water, when NOT to water and how to re-pot. Oh, and did I mention the large, fragrant flowers? A fortunate side effect of learning how to grow these ‘real’ orchids.  All through keen observation and a little trial and error.