Cattleya...First love.

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Nov 17, 2021
Reaction score
Hello orchid lovers, I wondered what was for you the spark which pushed you to starting an orchid collection?
For me no doubt a giant strongly sweet smelling dark magenta coloured Cattleya!!!
When I entered that GH, many years ago,and saw that heavenly beauty which hit most of mine senses, I was sure I had to have one! And so It was.


  • IMG_20200314_160254750_HDR.jpg
    179.9 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_20200814_104113270.jpg
    104.3 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG_20201117_101858069_HDR.jpg
    135.4 KB · Views: 12
  • IMG_20211125_151550546_HDR.jpg
    145.7 KB · Views: 12
  • IMG_20201226_093410617_HDR.jpg
    141 KB · Views: 13
  • IMG_20201206_093159400_HDR.jpg
    139.8 KB · Views: 13
  • IMG_20200811_192225883.jpg
    102.1 KB · Views: 17
  • IMG_20200807_184940879_HDR.jpg
    145.8 KB · Views: 16
  • IMG_20200321_180351071.jpg
    109.1 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_20200812_092900539_HDR.jpg
    134.7 KB · Views: 13
It started with the almost proverbial Phalaenopsis - actually, two of them from IKEA, that I somehow succeeded in not killing off. They seemed to thrive in the light of my 5th floor window sill. During a summer vacation, I borrowed a book about growing orchids from the local library, and visited Hans Christiansen's nursery in Fredensborg.... and off I was down the slipper(y) slope...
At some early point of my "career" a colleague at work, supposedly a bit fatigued by me talking on her about orchids, proposed that I joined an orchid society. I remember clearly my immediate reaction to that: I'm not that much of a nerd! And here we are 8-10 years later, and me having just accepted the post as vice chairman of our local branch of The Danish Orchid Society! 😁
Last edited:
Back then I clearly remember what sort of excitement a simple green tiny root tip or a new shoot just emerging from the pseudobulb was.
I also had joined an orchid society which was situated 40 km. away from Milan, in a beautiful location, a wide park with old lebanum cedars, camelia japonica, azaleas etc.
There was a fascinating GH dug in the rock with lot of orchids everywhere. Once a month we met there to talk and watch the new flowered orchids. Still have beautiful memories...
Hello orchid lovers, I wondered what was for you the spark which pushed you to starting an orchid collection?

Your wonderful collection of photographs sums up the reason extremely well. The colours - the shapes - the variety - the way that they look ---- their flowers, as well as the whole plant - including roots --- and their various behaviours.

I was immediately impressed with orchid flowers the first time I saw them (in somebody's greenhouse) ------ maybe pretty much like a lot of us orchid growers here. Also was impressed with colours and shapes of carnivorous plants - including Nepenthes. It's not unusual in that many people that like orchids will also like carnivorous plants - and vice versa. And some like all sorts of other plants too. But --- in this thread - it's about what was the spark. The spark is just that - orchids are fascinating to watch - and they have fascinating features.

My favourite individual orchids are Rlc. Memoria Helen Brown - such as Link1 and Link2 and Link3.

When combined with other very beautiful and interesting orchids in our collections - we are able to have our own home orchid shows - so that we can just watch these wonderful plants leisurely at home.

And when we combine all our pics in orchid forums such as this one ------ we are then able to go to the 'best' (open 24 hour, and free entry too) orchid shows in the world. Our orchid-forum photograph collections combined - make for an impressive orchid show display.

In the past, I assumed that I actually needed a green-house to grow orchids. But - very fortunately - it turned out that it is absolutely not necessary to grow many sorts of orchids (such as Cattleya) in a green-house ------ well, at least not in tropical North Queensland, where most of my orchids just grow under a balcony - sheltered from the rain - which led to the understanding of ----- orchids provided with suitable growing conditions will do just fine - provided we keep attacking organisms under control - or prevent them from doing anything bad to begin with.

Some orchid flowers do indeed have beautiful attractive scents/fragrance. That is certainly an added wonderful feature - even though scent/fragrance isn't a factor for my own liking of orchids.
Last edited:
Was working at a research facility when a co-worker from the Philippines brought a phalaenopsis to work. I was stunned by the beauty of the flower. Our home had a sunroom with a lot of foliage plants and it took about 6 months to convert to mostly orchids. That was 40 years and three greenhouses ago. I still get excited when a bud is opening for the first time. In retrospect, the most surprising thing has been that there is always something new to learn. I suspect I will be growing orchids until the very end, which I hope is more than 10 years away, since I just made some new multi-flora crosses. Mike
I grew phals effortlessly on windowsills in 3 different homes over 15-20 years and had about 10. This was way back when the first two or three were $75 each!! Then I saw Lc. Dinard ‘Blue Heaven’ as a showcased plant in an orchid nursery nearby. It had 15 magnificent flowers and I was shell shocked and had to have it!! Brought it home and almost killed it before it finished blooming… I took it back to the grower who divided it into 3 plants (it was huge)! I kept buying catts in bloom over the next 4 years, yet nothing would rebloom for me. Down to 1 of the 3 ‘Blue Heaven’ divisions left and with nothing cattleya reblooming, I decided to give all the catts back to the grower. He suggsted I look into LED lights. The rest is history…. Within 2 weeks of growing under lights my catts were all in spike! All they needed was light!! I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited!! I was hooked. Four or so years later I’m at just under 100 plants (it’s a very slippery slope)—catts mostly, paphs, phrags and a couple of the original phals. I’ve learned most the hard way except for great mentoring from members of this group. That one surviving ‘Blue Heaven’ division is now in an 8” pot and will soon be divided, as that’s the largest pot size my room can handle. It’s still my emotional favorite. Thankful for all of you, but mostly terryros who taught me almost everything I know about growing under lights. Oh and i forgot to mention, I got my first HCC for Paph. delenatii ‘Deborah’s Delight’ (3N) HCC/AOS (‘Pink Lady’ x ‘Deerwood’ AM/AOS (4N)) at the D.C. Paph Forum a couple of years ago (last one before COVID) and was totally surprised and thankful!!
Last edited:
Great collection LO69.

It was my grandmother's multigrowth Phalaenopsis amabilis with 15 spikes, hanging and growing over the river edge in our wooden house on stilts, in Borneo! It was so majestic it took my breath away at the age of 7. An addiction was born that day lol.
Thank you all for your kind words and exciting past memories!
The show must go on!


  • IMG_20191207_130115585_HDR.jpg
    168.3 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_20190802_122203.jpg
    246 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_20190305_130259.jpg
    58.3 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20190929_081903.jpg
    95.7 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20191217_111400352.jpg
    104.4 KB · Views: 5
  • IMG_20191009_082830.jpg
    118.2 KB · Views: 7
  • IMG_20190415_182407.jpg
    117.6 KB · Views: 6
  • IMG_20190712_104537.jpg
    158.2 KB · Views: 10
  • IMG_20190804_153441.jpg
    237.2 KB · Views: 11
Last picture Is of one of the oldest orchid that's still with me. The best velvet magenta I ever had, camera can't get its true colour.
She Is Slc. Natalie Canipelli 'moonshot' AM/AOS
After all this time she has lost vigour but still wants to be loved!