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Orchids/Cattleya labiata



Is a  Cattleya labiate an unifoliate or bifoliate species? What conditions should you provide for optimum growth?

Thank you,


ANSWER: Derick, Cattleya labiata is a unifoliate cattleya. Once the growth has matured in the fall and the flower sheath has completed its development, watering should be greatly reduced.  It always likes a lot of light and warmth. Use a balanced fertilizer (ie 20/20/20)in a half tsp per gal of water when the plant is in active growth). Flower emergence is in the spring, often from dried sheaths.  

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QUESTION: Thank you for the insight on Cattleya labiata. I greatly appreciate it! Are there considerable differences regarding the cultivation of unifoliate and bifoliate Cattleyas?

Happy Holidays to you, Wayne.

Kind regards,


One important difference is that most bifoliate cattleyas have canes rather than pseudobulbs.  Pseudobulbs serve to provide fluids to retain turgor in other parts of the plant when moisture is not present in the environment. While neither unifoliate nor bifoliate types appreciate water during their resting period, bifoliate types require occasional misting to prevent the canes from shrinking.  In nature, while these plants may receive little to no rainfall during the dry period, morning mists and higher humidity provide sufficient moisture to prevent dehydration of plant tissues. Overwatering during the rest period is the most common cause of rot at this time.  


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Wayne King


Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.


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