Cattelyas are divided into two groups: unifoliate and bifoliate. The unifoliate group has plants that bear one big leaf on a club-shaped pseudobulb. The flowers are usually big and floppy with large lips. Plants in the bifoliate groups have two leaves and smaller, more compact flowers, but in greater numbers.
There’s no single season when Cattelyas flower. Most begin to develop a new pseudobulb in the spring. Some flowers emerge from the green sheath that develops after the leaves have formed. Others develop a sheath, and then rest until the following winter.
To flower well, they require medium bright light. Without bright light they will become dormant and will not bloom. Cattelyas prefer intermediate temperatures and winter nights of 55oF.
Cattelyas are “camels” of the orchid world, possessing pseudobulbs that store water and must have a well-drained soil mix. Water thoroughly only when the mix has dried out at least an inch below the surface. Keep the pseudobulbs plump with proper watering.
Fertilize at ½ the strength of a 30-10-10 during the growing period and 10-20-10 right before flowering.