Orchids can make good indoor plants and the Cattleya is no exception. It is easy to care for and produces large, colourful and beautifully shaped flowers, which are often used for corsages. The plant usually flowers in the summer but can bloom at other times and may even produce flowers throughout the year, with short rests between each flowering. During these rests, which may last four to eight weeks, keep the compost a little drier and the plant cooler, at no less than 13°C (55°F). When propagating the Cattleya by division, gently tease the plant apart and cut the rhizome with a sharp knife.

Plant type : Flowering orchid with erect habit
Season of interest : Summer, sometimes other seasons
Size : 20-30cm (8-12in)
Flower : Magnificent, up to 15cm (6in) across, white, pink or purple
Leaf : Strap-like, 20-30cm (8—12in), green
Temperature : 18-22°C (64—72°F)
Aspect/Light : Well-lit situation, shaded from direct sunlight
Humidity : Moderate to high
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer, allowing to dry a little before re-watering; keep on dry side after flowering and in autumn and winter, watering just enough to prevent dehydration
Feeding : Once every four weeks with half strength flowering plant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Divide plant and plant in orchid compost at 21°C (70°F) in spring
Potting : Orchid compost
Problems : Mealy bug
Availability : Infrequently available
Uses indoors : Close to window in warm, well-lit position out of direct sunlight, possibly in kitchen