Monday, May 6, 2013

Cattleya bicolor 'Mendenhall-beta' (4N x self)

Cattleya bicolor 'Mendenhall-beta' (4N x self)Cattleya bicolor 'Mendenhall-beta' (4N x self)Cattleya bicolor 'Mendenhall-beta' (4N x self) - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI got this Cattleya bicolor as a seedling just under two years ago. The original plan was to mount it but I finally decided to pot it.

Cattleya bicolor grows in Brazil. It is fragrant, cool to warm growing and blooms in spring.

When I potted it I didn't have enough small pots so I over potted in a 5-inch clay pot. I have now down potted to a 3 1/2-inch pot now that I have some smaller pots available. The plant has grown some and has some thick, adult roots. I am happy with the progress, although much of the original plant is gone.


  1. I see lots of references to small pots for orchids, for instance, here you downpotted the cattleya.

    Why are small pots important for orchids?

  2. Most orchids grow attached to trees or rocks. (The common exceptions are the slipper orchids and Cymbidiums.) The roots are exposed to the air and dry between chances for water. In a pot they stay wet longer and the roots can rot.

    Cattleyas don't like water around the roots. One way to minimize this is to make the pot fit the roots. Healthy roots use a lot of water. If there is a lot of extra medium the water just sits there.

    Even though sphagnum holds a lot of water, it can work as a medium if the pot is full of roots, the pot is clay and you let the sphagnum develop a hard surface before watering again.

    I hope that helps.