South of the border Cymbidiums

Cymbidium photo courtesy Bob Harris of OrchidPeople in WaimeaThis month the KDOC goes south of the border as Bob and Jennifer Harris of OrchidPeople in Waimea will be giving a talk on tropical cymbidiums at the October 9 meeting.

Cymbidiums are prized for their long-lasting sprays of flowers, used especially as cut flowers or for corsages in the spring. They require lots of light. Leaves are always a good indicator of proper light. They should be light green with a tinge of yellow – dark green means not enough light and your plants won’t bloom. Too much sun and the leaves will turn yellow or bleached white.

Some things to remember when dealing with your Cymbidiums:

F E R T I L I Z E cymbidiums regularly. They like to be fed a lot!

L I G H T is important for growing cymbidiums. They like part sun to full sun as long as they have at least one good pseudo bulb on them (if they are very young then I keep them under 50% shade for about 6 months to a year). Leaves should be a medium to golden green in color, not dark green.

W A T E R provide a constant supply of moisture to cymbidiums, which are semiterrestial plants. Water them at least twice a week. Except for the most epiphytic cymbidiums (canaliculatum, madidum, aloifolium etc.) they like to have roots kept moist. The epiphytic ones like it dry in winter to initiate flowering.

M E D I A use orchid bark &/or cinder. For good drainage, use larger bark or
styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of the pot.

R E P O T when the pots have split, or when the bulbs have grown over the sides or there are many dormant back bulbs. Or every three years whichever comes first.

D I V I D I N G When dividing cymbidiums, keep at least 3 bulbs to a division.
Back bulbs can be germinated in lightly soaked and drained bark and placed in a ziplock
bag and sealed until they germinate, 1-6 months.

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