Name: Cattleya dowiana
Size: Medium. The pseudobulbs can reach a size from 3 1/4 inches to 8 inches (8-20 cm).
Placement: Cattleya dowiana needs a lot of sun to thrive. Plenty of moving air is also important.
Flowers: The flowers are extremely showy and can reach a size of 6 inches (15 cm). Cattleya dowiana is famous for its strong yellow coloration and its dark wine red lip that is intricately veined with gold. Petals and sepals are of a coppery-yellow shade. The flowers appear from midsummer to early fall, but are unfortunately not very long lasting. The flowers are fragrant.
Watering: As long as your Cattleya dowiana is growing, it needs a lot of water. After flowering, you should give it very little water during the resting period. Commence frequent waterings when your orchid starts growing again in spring (in the Northern Hemisphere). Giving more than just a little hint of water during the resting period is very harmful. A soggy medium is harmful year round.
Fertilizing : Light fertilizing is recommended during the growing season. You can feed your orchid ¼ teaspoonful per gallon of water every second week if you use a soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer. When buds can be seen in the sheath, it is time to stop fertilizing. Don’t start fertilizing again until the orchid starts growing again after the resting period. Slow-release fertilizers are dangerous since they can continue to release nutrients during the resting period.
Soil: In the wild, the Cattleya dowiana is found growing at the tops of tall trees in the jungle. The roots will therefore become dry very fast after each rain. Planting your Cattleya dowiana in a medium that does not drain extremely well will lead to a lot of problems. Cattleya dowiana is often planted in clay pots that just barely accommodates the plant, or in hanging baskets that dries out quickly.
General: Cattleya dowiana hails from the Caribbean coats of Panama and Costa Rica in Central America. It is found at elevations from 250 meters to 2500 meters. It is accustomed to temperatures conditions that vary from warm to hot. In its natural habitat, the resting period for the Cattleya dowiana is in December and January. This species is commonly known as Dow’s Cattleya and was named after Captain Dow, and American ship captain from the 1800s.