The genus Cadetia has about fifty species of epiphytic orchids, native to New Guinea and southern Asia; they are small and have no pseudobulbs. Each stem has a single fleshy leaf, oval, elongated, 12-15 cm long, bright green, shiny and waxy; from winter to spring, from the centre of each leaf, it produces a single flower, white or cream, at times pinkish or with yellow dots, carried by a fleshy stem.
The flowers have an intense perfume, similar to that of aniseed, and remain in flower for a few weeks; the roots develop vigorously and at least 3-4 new stems with leaves grow from each head every year.
Not very cultivated by newbies, these orchids, not very showy in size, offer an abundant and prolonged flowering and are not very difficult to cultivate, but actually you can see that each plant has original needs, so it is good to test the conditions of cultivation with each cadetia and modify them slightly if necessary.
For the best cultivation, it is necessary to position the the Cadetia in a very bright place, but far from the direct rays of the sun which can cause dangerous foliar burns; these orchids fear the cold, and in winter they must be kept at about 20°C during the day and about 15°C at night. It is good to place them in a place with a good exchange of air.
- Some species of orchids have very special flowers, with a curved labellum, closed to form a kind of shoe; orchids with cup-shaped lips belong to three main genus of orchids.
- The genus cattleya orchids counts about fifty species of epiphytes and lithophytes, native to South America; they are equipped with fleshy pseudobulbs, which may have dimensions close to the 5-7 cm, with a …
- It is a genus that includes many epiphytic orchids, originating in the wetlands and mountains of South America, from Mexico to Peru. They do not have pseudubulbs and the leaves are long and narrow, they are not…
- The genus Laelia includes about 50-60 species of orchids, mainly epiphytic, native to Central America, very similar to the cattleya. These varieties form dense tufts of pseudobulbs, which are often found in the…
Orchids need a good degree of humidity to grow well; water regularly every 3-4 days, letting excess water run completely, keeping the compound always quite moist. However, it is advisable to let the soil dry a little between one watering and the other. Every 15-20 days provide specific fertilizer for orchids, throughout the whole year, not having the orchids falls a period of vegetative rest.
To increase the ambient humidity is good to vaporize often the leaves, in periods when there are no flowers.
To plant these plants, use a compound suitable for orchids and epiphytic plants in general, consisting of pieces of bark, peat sphagnum and plant fibers. These plants have a fairly vigorous growth, in spite of their small size, they must therefore be repotted every two years, to ensure sufficient space in the pot and to replace the substrate that degrades over time and may no longer provide the necessary support for the growth of the orchid.
The reproduction of these orchids usually takes place by division of the heads; in late spring, the roots are freed from the cultivation compound and the stems are divided into groups of 2-3, taking care to leave for each head a well-developed root. The new plants obtained in this way are immediately placed in a single container.
Cadetia: Pests and diseases
Pay attention to cochineal and root rot. To remove the cochineals, it is possible to intervene manually with a cloth soaked in alcohol to be passed on the leaves. To avoid root rot, it is essential to check the substrate, making sure it is adequate and intervene with appropriate watering.