James H. Schutte
Plant Common Name
Decker's Cattleya, Decker's Corsage Orchid
Many violet-pink, lightly fragrant flowers are produced on Decker's cattleya in fall. An epiphytic orchid from the hot, lowland rainforests from Panama to Trinidad, it sometimes clasps to moist rocks as well as trees, under the protective shade of tropical shrubs. This orchid forms a loose cluster on a tree branch, wood basket or heavy pot.
Two oblong, stiff, leathery green leaves grow from each flattened pseudobulb. In fall, a mature pseudobulb will produce a fleshy stalk with two to eight blossoms. Each lightly fragrant blossom is rosy lavender with a deeper colored lip that has yellow spots in its throat.
Grow Cattleya deckeri in dappled partial sun to very bright partial shade. It is a true epiphyte that should be grown in pots with coarse bark or charcoal media. From spring through fall provide warmth, high humidity and excellent air circulation. In autumn and winter, allow if to become slightly drier and provide more light. Leaves can scorch in excessively hot afternoon sun, especially with low ambient humidity. Leaves also become overly yellow-green when light is too intense. Lack of sunlight also can prevent flowering. Repot only when it becomes rootbound, and then only after it finishes flowering.
Use the cut flowers for corsages and floral arrangements.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 10
USDA Hardiness Zone
12 - 15
Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Latin America and the Caribbean, Central America
Container, Cutflower, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns