This is one of my favorite plants in my entire collection. It was a gift from a very experienced grower in the orchid society. The year before he gave it to me he had a specimen of ‘Debbie” that was a show stopper, or at least a show table stopper. It had 8-10 bloom spikes and 12 or so flowers on each. The next year he had divided it and had a large piece in flower on the show table and donated a smaller piece in bud to the society for auction. I bid on it, but in the end it was just to rich for my blood at the time. To my surprise at the next meeting he brought me a piece. I have enjoyed it ever since.
I follow the culture recommendations of the Chadwick’s. They go something like this, “In the United States, C. skinneri normally begins sending out new growths in late summer and will complete these by late autumn or early winter. If you encourage the plant to begin growing a little earlier with frequent light sprays of water in late June, it can make two growths a season and bloom on both of them.
Once a growth is mature, the sheath will turn brown and buds will develop and emerge from the dried brown sheath in time for it to flower in late March into mid-April. The flowers will last in bloom three to four weeks under normal home conditions — a little longer at cooler temperatures of 55 to 60 F (13–16 C). After blooming, the plant should receive less water and be allowed to rest for a couple of months.
Like most Cattleya species, C. skinneri needs lots of sun and moving air. A night temperature of 58 to 60 F (14–16 C), and a day temperature of 85 F (29 C) suits it well.
Repot C. skinneri immediately after it has finished flowering. If you want to develop an exhibition plant with many growths and flowers, instead of cutting it up and repotting it, simply move the plant into a larger-size pot as soon as the lead pseudobulb reaches the edge of the container. You should do this before the lead pseudobulb begins to root.”
I plan to let this plant grow into a specimen and will repot it when it is done flowering. Which now, by the time I have gotten around to posting this has been done…. I almost skipped posting this, because by the time I took the pictures the flowers were starting to fade. Not by best work.