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These orchids are prized for their long-lasting flower sprays, which are popular in the spring as cut flowers or corsages. Cymbidiums are divided into two categories: standard and tiny. Only miniatures can be advised where summer evenings are warm (over 70 F), because many are more heat tolerant and able to flower in hotter weather.
In this beginner guide of Cymbidium Orchid care you will learn about these popular tropical orchids which have become a coveted houseplant for plant lovers, including;
- Cymbidium Orchid Origins
- Cymbidium Orchid Varieties
- How to care for Cymbidium Orchid
- How to propagate Cymbidium Orchid
- Common pests and diseases of the Cymbidium Orchid
- And a few Frequently asked questions.
Cymbidium Orchid Origins
Cymbidium orchids are one of the easiest orchid kinds to care for, despite the fact that they aren’t really low-maintenance plants.
The Cymbidium orchid is sometimes known as the “boat orchids.” It comes from Asia and Australia. Cymbidium orchids come in around fifty different varieties.
In 1799, the subspecies was described by orchid growers. The word ‘cymbidium’ comes from the Latin word ‘cymba,’ which meaning ‘cup’ or ‘boat,’ as in ‘small boat’ or ‘little cup.’
The name was reportedly obtained because some types’ flowers have a bowl-like form.
This orchid genus has been known for so long that it was even described by Confucius in one of his texts!
In Bhutan, cymbidium is also used as a traditional spice.
Cymbidium Orchid Varieties
As I already stated, there are numerous cymbidium varieties.
Here are a few of the more intriguing types of orchids:
- Cymbidium eburneum — This cimbidium features purple variegation on its white, ivory-colored flowers. One of the most popular variations is this one.
- Cymbidium aloifolium — cymbidium flowers are variegated in yellow and scarlet and have a powerful aroma. Aloe-leafed cymbidium is the name given to this cultivar.
- Cymbidium kanran, often known as the ‘cold-growing cymbidium,’ is a type of cymbidium that grows in cooler temperatures. The spiky, fragrant blossoms are variegated brilliant green with crimson highlights.
- Cymbidium ensifolium — in contrast to the other types, this one is heat tolerant. The blossoms range in color from green to light brown.
- The tree orchid, Cymbidium dayanum, is a species of Cymbidium dayanum. The sprays of flowers are brownish yellow in color.
Cymbidium Orchid in Bloom
Cymbidium orchids bloom from mid-fall to mid-spring, all winter long. The flowers are vibrant and last a long time.
You should provide the necessary daily temperature drop to improve the blooming process. A cymbidium flower emerges from a spike.
Spikes can be seen in late summer and early autumn.
Because the spikes are unable to produce new flowers, the dead stem should be removed after the blooming period. It should be cut with a sharp, sterilized tool.
How to care for a Cymbidium Orchid
These popular orchids are simple to grow. Simply follow the specified instructions, and they will flourish without requiring much effort on your part.
Orchids of the genus Cymbidium are semi-terrestrial plants. That implies they’ll need a potting medium that’s well-drained and well-ventilated.
The robust root system required for optimum growth requires a fresh, fast-draining, but water-retentive medium.
Orchids have been successfully grown in a variety of media, whether a bark-based mix (which drains well, is forgiving of watering errors but breaks down quickly), a peat-based mix (which retains moisture well but requires more careful watering and frequent re-potting) or some inorganic, essentially hydroponic method.
I recommend utilizing store-bought orchid potting mixes. Look for a potting media that is somewhat acidic. It is critical to have good drainage.
Make sure the flower pot has enough drainage holes to allow water to flow freely.
Cymbidiums, which are semiterrestrial plants, require a steady supply of moisture.
They produce all of their vegetative development in the spring and summer, and this is when they require the most water.
During the growing season, water often to keep the potting material equally moist.
When the pseudobulbs have finished growing in late summer, reduce the amount of water they receive.
During the winter, keep the plants slightly damp.
Cymbidiums require a lot of light to flourish. They require high light but cool temperatures, having come from cool and bright parts of Asia.
High summer temperatures, especially at night, in many southern climes may prohibit plants from blossoming.
Plants should be exposed to as much light as possible without being burned.
This indicates only light shade, or roughly 20% shade, in the middle of the day. Full sun is allowed in cool places (such as coastal California).
The tint of the leaves should be a medium to bright green, not a dark green.
Temperatures play an important role in flowering both regular and miniature cymbidiums.
Standard cymbidiums are often cultivated outside in semishade throughout the summer, where day temperatures should be 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (or higher), but night temperatures must be 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit to initiate flower spikes in the late summer to autumn (August to October).
In the winter, the ideal temperatures are 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Temperatures must be kept consistent between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit when plants are in bud.
Miniatures can flower in temperatures five to ten degrees warmer than standard. Although most cymbidiums can survive light frosts, it is not recommended.
When the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bring them indoors. They can be grown outside all year in temperate areas.
For the winter months, a bright and cool place inside is ideal.
Except in dry locations, where evaporative cooling in a greenhouse is required, humidity outdoors is usually sufficient during the summer.
Maintain a humidity level of 40-60% during the winter, especially if your plants are in bloom. To avoid fungus (Botrytis) from spotting the blossoms, keep the air circulating.
Fertilize cymbidiums at the right time to help them flower. High Nitrogen fertilizer (such as 30-10-10) is used during the growing season (spring to late summer).
Use a high-phosphorus bloom-booster fertilizer (such as 10- 30-20) in late summer to help develop bloom spikes. Fertilize every week to two weeks at full dosage.
Fertilize once a month during the winter. Always use a specialist orchid fertiliser.
Potting and Repotting
After flowering, potting is normally done in the spring every two years or when the potting media decomposes.
Remove all of the old potting mix from the roots and, if desired, divide the plant. Choose a water-retentive potting mix, such as medium-grade fir bark with peat moss and perlite.
Before crowding the pot, choose a pot that will allow for at least two to three years of pseudobulb growth, with the active growing pseudobulb(s) of the division placed farthest from the pot’s side.
Fill the container with medium, pushing it into the roots and firmly tamping it down. Spread the roots over a cone of the mix in the bottom of the pot.
Single backbulbs should not be added to the mix until fresh growth and roots are visible.
Keep in the shade and warm until new growth emerges, then pot as directed.
Pro-Tip: When selecting a new pot, keep in mind that the cymbidium will continue to develop in it for another two or three years, so make sure it is large enough. However, don’t go carried away and choose an excessively large container, since this will encourage root growth but cause the upper plant portions to stagnate.
Continue Reading: Best Pots for Orchids Complete with Reviews
Cymbidium Orchid Propagation
Because cymbidium generates pseudobulbs, you can separate them and propagate a few new plants while repotting.
Four to five pseudobulbs should be included in each bundle. Fill new pots halfway with planting soil and carefully tuck them in.
For two weeks, don’t water them. Instead, spray them on a daily basis. After then, water them sparingly for a month and a half (once every two weeks or so).
Continue to care for your cymbidium orchids as usual once the roots have formed.
Common pests and diseases of the Cymbidium Orchids
Although they aren’t susceptible to pests, spider mites, aphids, and scale may pop up on your cymbidium orchids.
Purchase an insecticide soap ideal for orchids from a nearby flower shop. Spider mites love the long, thin leaves because they can hide in them.
Shower the plant once a month with lukewarm water to prevent them from appearing.
Slimes can form when the pot is held outside due to the long leaves of the cymbidium. They prefer to lurk under the bases of leaves and bulbs.
You should, however, be aware of the slimy path they leave behind.
Cymbidium Mosaic Virus
This virus is rather prevalent.
Cymbidium is likely infected with the mosaic virus if you observe pale white and yellow dots, rings, or bruise-like bright brown areas.
Because there is no cure, you will have to say goodbye to your green companion, as the infection may spread to your other houseplants.
Common Cymbidium Orchid Care Issues
When it comes to caring for Cymbidium orchids, there are a few common difficulties to be aware of. Let’s have a look at what they are and how to handle them.
If you detect fading cymbidium leaves, it’s possible that the plant has been exposed to too much afternoon sun. The leaves will become a light brown color and become crunchy and dry.
Find a new location with greater shade. When looking for a new site, take in mind that the temperature of the light is increased by the window glass.
Browning of the leaves
The plan hasn’t been getting enough water if the leaf tips have turned brown and dried out. Examine the soil to see if it is sufficiently moist.
If root system can’t absorb enough water, it could signify a future root problem. Water absorption may be hampered by sunburns, insects, or decaying roots.
Infections caused by fungi
A fungal infection could also be the cause of leaf yellowing. The leaves will gradually become brown and then black in this situation.
The root stems will also develop black patches. Infections caused by fungi are caused by improper drainage or overwatering.
When it comes to cymbidium orchid care, don’t forget that overwatering is one of the most common issues. A fungal infection can also be caused by stale air.