Cattleya Trianae

Cattleya Trianae

  • Scientific name: Orchid Cattleya Trianae
  • Common name:  May flower, May lily, Colombian orchid
  • Origin:  Colombia
  • Orchid type : Epiphyte
  • Flowering:  Winter-spring. Its flowers last up to 5 weeks
  • Location:  Lots of light, even direct sun, but not the half-day
  • Irrigation:  By observation, when the substrate is dry. In winter you have to space the irrigations a lot
  • Humidity:  High 40% -70%
  • Level of difficulty:  Low

The Cattleya Trianae orchid is native to Colombia, where it is well known and receives the name May flower or May lily. 
Its importance within the country is such that in 1936 it was selected by the Academy of Colombian History as the emblematic or representative flower of the country (it is considered as the national flower of Colombia), although as far as I know, there is no official recognition by the authorities. 
Although it is easy to buy Cattleya Trianae orchids (it is the most cultivated Colombian orchid), it is curious that in nature it is in danger of extinction, because its natural habitats are being destroyed.

The Cattleya orchid can live with substrate in a pot or in baskets without substrate.
There is no problem in having it in one way or another, except that the risks when it is in the basket must be more frequent, and we must pay special attention to humidity. 
If you decide to put it in a pot, remember that the substrate for this orchid must be very light, based on pine bark. 

Table Of Contents

  • 1 Characteristics of the Cattleya Trianae orchid
  • 2 Care of the Cattleya Trianae orchid
    • 2.1 Light needs
    • 2.2 Temperature
    • 2.3 Environmental humidity and ventilation
    • 2.4 Irrigation needs, When is it necessary to water the Cattleya Trianae?
    • 2.5 Substrate
    • 2.6 Subscriber

Characteristics of the orchid Cattleya Trianae

Cattleya Trianae is an epiphytic orchid that grows on the branches of trees , like most of the Cattleya genus . 
The flowers of the Catlleya Trianae appear from some pseudobublos of color between yellow and orange, that reach about 30 centimeters of height. 
They usually offer a single apical leaf, which has an oval shape. At the end of the stem the flowers will appear, two or three as much, although with a duration that can reach five weeks. 
It is common to flower twice a year, repeatedly. First a flowering, to then produce the second. 
The colors of the flowers are delicate and bright,They range from pure white, white with spots on the petals of different shades, to very dark colors like red. 
Its size is also striking, as with this genus of orchids, having a size of between 15 to 20 centimeters in diameter.

Care of the Cattleya Trianae orchid

The Cattleya Trianae usually flowers from the end of December to the beginning of February , with an autumn break. 
According to orchid experts, Cattleya Trianae is not difficult to care for. We can enjoy the Cattleya Trianae for years, if we follow the basic recommendations for this genus of orchids.

Light needs

The Cattleya Trianae orchid requires good lighting. You can receive the morning sun, but we must avoid at all costs to receive the midday, which is the strongest and most harmful. 
If we grow it indoors, a perfect place to place it is near a window. Prevents the leaves from heating excessively, so they do not burn. 
Remember that we are talking about tropical orchids, which in their natural state grow on the outside on the branches of trees. 
This means that they receive a lot of “luminosity”, but not the direct sun and with a fairly stable temperature, but not excessively high.
If our climate is dry, it is essential that it has a good amount of humidity, with the precaution that there is a good air renewal, so as not to incur any fungal problems . 
With perfect lighting, the leaves will have a yellowish green color and will have a good consistency, hard and firm. 
As I mentioned at the beginning, the pseudobulbs should also have an orange or reddish coloration, under the correct lighting conditions.


The temperature can mean the difference between success or failure in the cultivation of orchids, and is rarely taken into account. 
We must try to reproduce to the maximum the temperatures, and environmental conditions of the orchids in their natural state. 
The minimum temperature in winter should be at least 13ºC, and the maximum in summer should not exceed 23ºC. 
We must avoid very sharp variations between daytime and nighttime temperatures.

Ambient humidity and ventilation

cattleya trianae

The environmental humidity required by Catllleya Trianae orchids should fluctuate around 50%. 
We must not forget that environmental humidity has a certain correlation with temperature . Thus, with a high temperature, the humidity has to increase. 
If the temperature goes down, we should reduce the humidity, so as not to favor the appearance of fungi and the rotting of the roots.

Irrigation needs, when is it necessary to water the Cattleya Trianae?

In this sense, we must follow the basic rules for the entire Cattleya family, and water when the substrate of the pot shows that it has dried. 
It is recommended to water in the mornings and an average of once a week, but always taking into account the environmental situation … if we are in summer the risks can be more followed, delaying and spacing the irrigation in winter. 
The Cattleya Trianae requires a process of rest in autumn, during which we will stop watering, to continue with the risks as soon as we detect that the plant begins to grow again. 
To stimulate its growth, the first watering of the orchid will be done by immersion, leaving then drain the pot well.


The ideal substrate should be composed mostly of pine bark, to which pearlite and charcoal can be added. 
To obtain a greater flowering it is advisable to avoid transplanting for as long as possible,and only consider changing the pot when new roots of the main pseudobulb arise. 
As for the best time to face the change of pot, it is when it begins its new vegetative cycle, after autumn. 
Whenever we face this task, it is convenient to eliminate the roots that are damaged, cutting with a sharp and sterilized blade. Then we will cauterize the wounds with coal dust or cinnamon. 
As for thepots ideal for the orchid , the Cattleya is grown perfectly in a clay pot , it is not necessary to monitor the roots as with the genus Phalaenopsis. 
The size of the new pot should be slightly higher than the current one, but not too much. As with all orchids, if we give them too much space for the roots, the plant concentrates on growing and the flowering suffers.


If we want to have a more “spectacular” flowering it is convenient to fertilize the Cattleya Trianae, when it begins its growth after its vegetative state. 
A good fertilizer could have a ratio of 30:10:10, to pass to a fertilizer 10:30:20, when flowering begins. 
Actually the orchids do not need a lot of fertilizer, but if we provide it, they will look more spectacular.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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