|Cool growing orchids need
a minimum of 7C - 10C (45 - 50F) during the winter and a maximum of 24C
(75F) during the summer
mothers day orchids
This is one of the most often seen orchids
and is found in bridal bouquets quite often as well as being given on
mothers day, these are the ones you see in a little box containing a
single bloom in a tiny jar filled with water. These orchids can be
difficult to flower as they are often over cared for!. Cymbidiums require
cool nights during the summer and a definite rise in temperature during the
day of at least 5C (10F) if you want to see flowers rather than a plant
pot of sword like leaves. They do not like draughts or extremes of
temperature and are best kept out doors in a bright position but not in
direct sun during the summer and early autumn - they must be kept frost
free though otherwise they WILL die.
Cymbidiums like high levels of sunlight but
not directly otherwise the leaves will scorch. Keep outdoors in summer and
in a well lit position indoors during the winter, avoiding the direct rays
of the sun.
These plants have very thick roots which
have a sponge like quality; useful during the summer months as a reservoir
for the plant but not so useful during the winter when over watering can
be disastrous if they are kept cold and wet. Water during the winter at 10
- 14 day intervals and water them by flushing the pot through with tepid
water - not cold from outside or the tap as this will shock the roots.
During the summer months they can be watered a couple of times a week in
warm weather, less often if it's cooler. Don't be tempted to give a 'little
drink' to your plant because it is damp and not quite dry as they don't
like it - give it a couple more days and give them a good flush through.
This also helps to flush out any unused plant food.
A new Cymbidium flowering spike
||A new bulb 'growth'
note the difference between this spear shaped
spike growth and the new bulb growth shown above - the bulb growth
clearly has leaves growing whereas this flower spike is smooth
During the winter months feed the plant no more than once a
month otherwise the roots may be burns by unused plant food.
From spring to mid summer feed them every 2nd or 3rd watering
with a high nitrogen plant food which will encourage strong
growth and big pseudo bulbs to develop, from mid summer through
to the following spring use a high potash feed to harden the
pseudo bulbs and encourage more blooms.- Dilute the plant food
to half to a quarter the recommendation your pack suggests.
Left: A typical Cymbidium
plant not in flower
Repotting Cymbidiums should be done every
second year and should be done in the spring as the new growth has
started. This is also a good time to split large plants in to 2 or more
divisions, after all they make excellent presents!. See division for
instructions. Use a good open mix of bark compost which will allow swift
drainage of the excess water.
Take a look at the Division page
for information on repotting a bulb type orchid like Cymbidium,
Here's some useful equipment you
may need with summer on the horizon
Thermometers | Thermostats | Humidity Gauges