Common Name The Felt-Capped Catasetum
Flower Size more than 4" [to more than 10 cm]
This large sized, hot growing epiphytic species comes from Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador in lowland forest at elevations around 100 to 200 meters with tropical conditions with a long wet period and a short dry season with clustered, fusiform-ovoid, several noded pseudobulbs that are enveloped by several leaf bearing sheaths carrying distichous, lanceolate, suberect, plicate leaves and blooms in the spring through fall on a basal, erect to pendant, 12" [30 cm] long, several to many [4 to 10] flowered, racemose inflorescence carrying fragrant flowers that open very flat and arise on a mature pseudobulb.
Venezuela made this their national flower until 1921 when it was changed to Cattlaya mossiae var wagnerii.
Care and Culture
Cultural information should only be used as a guide, and should be to be adapted to suit you. Your physical location; where you grow your plants, how much time you have to devote to their care, and many other factors, will need to be taken into account. Only then can you decide on the cultural methods that best suit you and your plants.
Catasetum pileatum needs a light level of 25000-40000 lux. Moderately bright light should be filtered and dispersed, the direct southern sun can burn the plants. Strong air movement should be ensured all the time.
It is a thermophilic plant. Throughout the year, the average day temperature is 29-32 ° C, and the average night temperature is 23 ° C, which gives a daily amplitude of 7-9 ° C.
The Felt-Capped Catasetum needs the humidity of about 80% in summer and autumn, falling to 70-75% in winter and in spring.
Substrate, growing media and repotting:
Catasetum pileatum grow well mounted on pieces of tree ferns, if during the summer they will be watered at least once a day. In the period of extremely hot and dry weather, attached plants may require even several waterings during the day.
They can also be grow in pots or baskets filled with a loose, fast-drying substrate that provides good access to the roots, but contains substances that retain some moisture. Wood charcoal is also often added to ensure the air permeability of the substrate and protection against acidification. In addition to the standard fir bark substrate, you can apply the tightly packed roots of Osmund ferns, tree fern fiber, sphagnum moss, pumice, cork shards, and even a mixture of equal parts of recomposted and fresh horse manure and charcoal.
These plants do not tolerate acidification within the roots, which is why it is recommend the annual repotting regardless of the substrate used. Repotting is carried out when a new growth appears at the base of the pseudobulb. All pseudobulbs should be removed in addition to 1-2 youngsters. Because old roots die after repotting, most of them can be cut off. A few can be left to facilitate plant fixing in new substrate until new roots develop. After repotting, no plants are watered until the new growth will release the roots into a new substrate and its height will reach 10-12 cm. Only then can you take a normal summer watering scheme.
Rainfall is moderate to heavy throughout the year, with 2-3 months slightly drier winter and early spring. During active growth, the cultivated plants should be watered abundantly, while in autumn, when new growths reach maturity, the amount of water should be gradually reduced.
This species require strong fertilization, so during active growth, they should be fertilized with a full dose of balanced fertilizer every week. You can use high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring to mid-summer, switching to high-phosphorus in late summer and autumn.
Catasetum pileatum should be dry after the leaves have fallen, but they should be watered if the pseudobulbs get too wrinkled. Fertilization should be eliminated until spring, when watering resumes. Normal watering and fertilization should be resumed when new increments begin to appear and new roots are 2-4 cm long. However, water remaining in funnel-like new growths can cause them to rot.