All about Cymbidium orchids, care and tips!
According to Wikipedia, these lovely plants are
"commonly known as boat orchids, is a genus of evergreen flowering plants in the orchid family Orchidaceae. Orchids in this genus are epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial or rarely leafless saprophytic herbs usually with pseudobulbs."
If you're wondering what all these words mean, here is a quick breakdown:
- Epiphytic -> a plant that derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and grows usually on another plant.
- Lithophytic -> a plant that grows on rock.
- Terrestrial -> living on or in or growing from land.
- Saprophytic -> obtaining food by absorbing dissolved organic material.
Temperature: cymbidiums are perfect for places with varying temperature. Although they could stand the frosty weather for a few days, it could still mean death to them if left outside unattended.
Light: dependig on the season and strength of the sun's rays, a cymbidium can be placed in direct sunlight for a limited time daily. If they are not getting enough sunlight, the leaves will turn dark green.
Apple-green is ideal, while very light green with yellow tones means it is getting too much sun.
- Outdoors - Cymbidiums compared to other types of orchids need less water. Since the majority prefers to grow them outdoors, they are okay with a watering once or twice every month even in the summer. And during winter, you can even forget about watering them because the regular rainfall takes care of that for you.
- Indoors - If you grow them indoors, then you will need to make up for the rainfall that’s not occurring. During spring and summer, keep the potting mix evenly moistened regularly. You can water less in the late summer, and barely at all in the winter – keeping it barely moist (much like when you grow them outside). When you water them, let the water run through to wet the mix thoroughly. Then let it drain completely.
Depending on where they are planed, cymbidiums could be vulnerable to several types of scale, spider mites, aphids of flower stalks, buds and flowers. Slugs and snails, while not a problem with the foliage, feed on the tender, new flower spikes, buds and flowers.
Cymbidiums are susceptible to a number of viruses and diseases, including:
- Cymbidium mosaic virus
- Odontoglossum ringspot virus
- Orchid fleck virus
- Tobacco mosaic virus
Cymbidium orchids prefer a crowded pot, but
should be repotted in a course mix every two to three years or once the potting medium remains soggy and no longer drains properly. You will want to repot during the spring after the orchids flowers have bloomed. Before repotting, you should trim away the damaged roots with a sterile cutting tool.
Keep the newly potted plant in a shadier area for the next few days, while it adjusts to the new pot.
When repotting an orchid, please remember to:
- Use gloves.
- Sterilize your cutting tools.
- Have a clean new pot ready, or carefully clean and sterilize the old one.
- Have fresh potting mix available. Do not reuse the old one or mix the old and new together: the aim is to get rid of rotting potting mix, and make sure mould and pests do not transfer into the new pot.
Here are a few tips to remember for cymbidium care, in case the above info is a bit 'TLDR'
- Indirect sunlight
- Apple green leaves
- Don't leave outside in frost
- Lots of clean water (salts in tap water can damage your plant)
- Repot once every 2-3 years