Common Name: King of the Cattleya Orchids
Habitat: Colombia and Peru. Cattleya rex grows high up in trees where it is exposed to bright light and breezes in wet mountainous forests around 1350 meters in elevation.
Plant Size: Medium. Unifoliate. Cattleya rex has 8 or 9 inch tall flattened pseudobulbs with a single yellow-green leaf. New growth begins in the fall (in the northern hemisphere) and the growth matures during the winter. Flowering occurs as the growth matures in the winter or spring.
Flower Size: 7 inch (17 cm)
Flower Description: Fragrant. Cattleya rex produces between 3 and 8 flowers on a short stem. The flower stem is short and the flowers do not extend above the leaves. The petals and sepals are narrow and variable. The flower color is variable. The lip has yellow, rose, and magenta markings and stiations.
Bloom Season: Winter to Spring
Growing Temperature: Cool to Intermediate.
Light: Standard Cattleya conditions.
Humidity: Provide 80-85 percent humidity for most of the year. Its acceptable for summer humidity to drop into the 75-80 percent range.
Water: Plants should be watered regularly throughout the year, but they must dry rapidly after watering. Make sure that the plants never stay dry for long periods of time, however. Give mounted plants a daily misting in summer with a thorough soaking of the entire plant and slab twice a week in summer, or three times a week in extremely hot weather (adjust for your climate). Water should be reduced somewhat in winter, but plants should never stay dry for long periods.
Growing Media: Plants are frequently grown mounted on cork slabs or in baskets or pots with extremely open and fast draining medium such as coarse bark nuggets. Whatever the choice of medium, it is critically important that the roots dry rapidly after watering or root rot is a near certainty. Divide, repot, or remount only when new root growth is just starting. This lets the plant become established in the shortest possible time with the greatest success.
Synonyms: Cattleya labiata var. rex