Name: Cattleya warscewiczii
Size: Cattleya warscewiczii is famous for its large size. This orchid develops the biggest flower spikes of all the orchids in the genus Cattleya and each flower spike and produce up to 10 huge flowers. Each flower can be up to 12 in. (over 30 cm) from petal tip to petal tip. The pseudobulbs can be up to 4 in. (over 12 cm) and each bulb develops a single leaf that can reach a length of 8 inches (over 20 cm).
Placement: In order to get a really powerful flower spike, you should get your Cattleya warscewiczii growing as early as possible after its rest, ideally in late January or early February. Provide the plant with full sun. When the growing point breaks and starts to grow, you should continue to provide it with as much sun as it can handle without being burned. Sufficient air movement around the orchid is very important to prevent the leaves from overheating. If the leaves feel warm when you touch them, you must provide your orchid with enough shade to save them from sun burn.
Flowers: As mentioned above, Cattleya warscewiczii is famous for its huge flowers. The flower colour is a purplish pink shade, the lip is deep purple, and there is a bright yellow centre. The flowers are fragrant.
There exist three main types of Cattleya warscewiczii. In the first group, you can for instance find the forms Cattleya warscewiczii ‘Firmin Lambeau’, ‘F.M.B.’, and “Imperialis”. Members of this group blossoms from late June to early July, at least in the northern hemisphere. The second group blossoms from late July to early August, and includes forms such as “Sanderiana”. The third group is very rare and is not commonly cultivated nowadays. These orchids can produce up to 12 flowers for each spike, but the flowers are comparatively small and the group is therefore not very popular.
Watering: After the resting period, you should start giving your Cattleya warscewiczii as early as possible in late January or early February. While providing it with full sun you should spray it light. When the growing points breaks and starts to grow, you should still continue with the sprayings. If you give the plant too much water you can harm the flower production. Do not give the orchid a lot of water until the new growth is at least 4 inches (over 10 cm). The amount of water should then be gradually increased. It is also very important to make sure that it dries out thoroughly between each watering.
Rest: It is important to give your Cattleya warscewiczii a resting period. Really strong plants might be able to produce new growth right after flowering, but the safest thing to do is to let the orchid have a resting period after blooming.
General: As the buds emerge from the sheath of your Cattleya warscewiczii, it is important to check the leaves regularly and make sure that they are not getting too hot in the sun. Proper air circulation is very important to remove heat. Too much heat can make the spike curve over. It will still flower, but the flowers will be placed horizontally and most growers prefer the vertical formation.