I fell in love with Orchids while I was young, maybe ten or eleven, my Grandparents gave me a cattleya for Christmas & that is how I got hooked. I purchased a pair of books, read all I could & I eventually built up my collection to above one hundred and twenty different varieties over numerous years. Many of those were collected on family vacations where some way I managed to persuade my folks to go during towns that hosted some of the best Orchid nurseries about. I guess you could say I was & still am weakly in love through these, the Royalty of the plant world!
I will go over a few of the more common, easier to produce varieties here for you then start out with one of these if you wish prior to you tackle the more challenging ones. The Cattleyas is the most beautiful Orchids you will find, & the easiest to grow.
These are the flowers most people think of while they hear the word Orchid. Mostly summer flowering, Cattleyas like to almost entirely dry out between waterings. They grow in either fir bark or osmunda fiber, you will need to stick your finger into the average to find out if they need water. When in doubt, do not water.
Cattleyas similar to average home temperatures, fifty five to sixty degrees at night, ten to fifteen degrees warmer during the day. In summer, if temps get so high, make sure to mist frequently around the plants to lesser the temperature. Keep Cattleyas in a clear location, they like a lot of light. In the home, a west facing window through the summer months & a south facing window in the winter months will give them the light levels they need to flower healthy.
After flowers fall, let the plants rest for five to seven weeks with no water except for a time or 2 to keep alive. Within this time, they like cooler temps. Re-potting every year after flowering keeps the plants healthy, make sure to keep pot sizes small as they like to have their roots confined.
Feed Cattleyas each other week in the warmer months to encourage growth & flowering. Restrain on fertilizer during the cooler months & during their rest period.