Growability scale = 1 (1=extremely easy, 10=very difficult)
Photo Cattleya aurantiaca is one of my personal favorites when it comes to Catts. The flowers are bright orange with darker markings in the throat and on the lip, usually red and in the form of dots or elongated dots. The blooms are smallish, usually 1.5-2.5". The blooms are borne on short spikes, usually in clusters of 2 - 10 blooms per spike. Of particular note is the fact that these plants reach blooming size at a very young age and in fact will often bloom in 2" pots with only 2 or 3 growths. They do get quite a bit larger, though not quite as large as a full sized Catt. Well grown specimens may sport hundreds of blooms. In addition to the normal orange form, there are reds, yellows and alba's as well. Any of these are excellent plants for the beginner though the non-orange forms can carry a rather hefty price tag. We grow C. aurantiaca in intermediate conditions, temps 60-90, light in the 3000 FC range, feeding and watering just as the media is becoming dry. They do well mounted, grown in pots with a medium bark mix, or in water culture. With respect to this last method, the plants grow well, bloom and will even carry a seed pod with no apparent detrimental effects.
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