Near perfection in an orchid flower: subtle, delicate color and symmetry in the flower of Cattleya (Laelia) alaorii ‘TON Too’. This species is a wonderfully adaptable, compact, and easy grower for us. It resides on the shadier side of our bench of rupiculous Laelia, with a few other members of the Section Hadrolaelia. We have three different clones of this Brazilian species, and this year (2019), they flowered nearly a month apart (August — October). The last cultivar to flower, still blooming in later October, is the final image.
We grow Cattleya (Laelia) alaorii both potted and mounted. Our potted plants are in clay pellets (hydroton), as we grow most Brazilian and Mexican Laelia species. Since the Laelia alaorii are in small pots, and prefer a bit more moisture, we use plastic pots rather than clay pots. In the summer growing season, they are watered bi-weekly with our standard 25ppm N fertilizer (RO water). Winter watering is decreased to weekly or so, depending upon humidity and temperatures. All of the Brazilian Laelia (Cattleya) do seem to enjoy morning misting. Daily misting is an important cultural addition for rupiculous Laelia, and the Hadrolaelia seem to benefit as well.
Temperatures are intermediate year-round, with summer nights in the low 60s (17C) and winter minimum of 58F (14C). Daytime highs are in the upper 60s to mid 70s (20-26C).
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