I ordered a mystery Cattleya recently from a supplier in Hawaii. It’s easy to find great deals on orchids if you are willing to take a chance on a plant not in bloom, or cuttings/back bulbs from plants. This particular plant at some point got mislabeled/unlabeled, so the seller has no idea what variety it might be. I may have to wait a while to see, however, it was a deal. I’m using my baby Cattleya to mount to cholla wood, as it is the perfect size.
How to Mount a Cattleya Orchid
I began by preparing my supplies:
- Cholla wood (mounting substrate)
- Sphagnum moss
- Florist wire
- Cup of water
First, I began by soaking the moss in some warm water to allow me to work with it. I then cut a couple lengths of the florist wire, and used the wire to secure a clump of moss to the cholla wood. We live in the Upper Midwest and the humidity in our house is quite low for 6 months out of the year due to the furnace. The moss is necessary for a mounted specimen in our climate to retain enough moisture near the roots in the winter months. In tropical climates or climate controlled greenhouses/terrariums, it is ok to mount directly to the wood without added moss.
After the moss was secure, I soaked the orchid for a couple minutes to soften up the roots and prevent them from breaking. I placed the orchid and gently secured it using the wire. At this point, it’s critical not to break the roots. In a few months, the roots should have grown enough for the orchid to be secure on the mount on its own. When the orchid is secure, the wires can be removed.
After the orchid was secured, I dabbed the extra moisture off of the moss with a paper towel. Then I sprayed a small amount of Superthrive on the roots to stimulate growth. Rooting hormone can be used as well for root growth.
In a week or two, once growth occurs, foliar fertilizer can be sprayed onto the medium and roots once a week.
This orchid will probably flower in about a year.