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Cymbidium Orchids

November 20, 2011 by Ricky Coburn in Garden, OB, San Diego with 0 Comments

cymbidium orchids

The cymbidium orchids are starting to bloom. The above images is of the first batch this year. Three years ago Lyndsey and I picked up some of these wonderful orchids from my Grandma GG’s house. She has been growing different color cymbidium orchids for years and let us take a couple of different ones home so that we could start growing our own.  We missed the blooms last year because we were in Puerto Rico, so they seen extra special this year.

Ocean beach San Diego Garden

The orchids make a wonderful addition to our to our backyard aquaponics garden that is continuing to thrive with tomatoes, strawberries, celery and a handful of green and different herbs. This flower continues to be one of my favorites with its intricate pedals and  unique pistol.  Growing orchids can be a little bit difficult if you do not live in the right environment.

Cymbidium Orchid in San Diego

How to grow Cymbidiums:

I have found the following information provided by Argus orchids to be a good source when it comes to growing orchids.

Light: It is important to give cymbidiums as much light as you can, short of intense direct sunlight that can burn the leaves. Firm, light green foliage upright indicates that plants are getting enough light. Good air movement is essential — especially when temperatures are above 80° and/or when humidity is high. Remember that high temperatures are better tolerated with higher humidity and more air movement. It is recommended that you place your cymbidiums outdoors in the spring as soon as temperatures are above 50° at night (and leave them out until they fall below 50° in the fall).
Temperature: When it comes to growing Cymbidium Orchids, this is usually the most restrictive factor. Similar to most orchids, cymbidiums need a 10 to 15° differential between night and day temperatures to thrive and bloom. They also like cool nights, especially in the fall months when flower spikes are setting. Living in a Southern California beach town like San Diego, I leave my cymbidiums outdoors all year around because the temperature seldom drops below 50°. Most cymbidiums will do best with day temperatures no more than 80°. Short periods above this will be fine but make sure your plants are well watered in a shady location. This is where some of the new warmth tolerant hybrids such as Golden Elf ‘Sundust’ or Solar Flare excel. These hybrids have been bred to withstand higher heat.

Watering and fertilizer: Water frequently, as these plants like to be moist and drink a lot. Drench the pots thoroughly when you do so. Also make sure you fertilize your cymbidiums regularly. If if they are outdoors, a timed release fertilizer may be more efficient. Like most orchids, cymbidiums can be kept little drier and fed less during the cool darker winter months.

Blooming: Flower spikes are set during the winter months when night temperatures are cool (approx 50°). I hear that this is usually the hardest part for indoor grower once plants have been brought inside. Many growers will keep their cymbidiums in an unheated garage overnight and take them out during the day, or place them in a cool bright sunroom This, again, is where the warmth-tolerant hybrids have an advantage as they may not need as much of a temperature drop at night to bloom.

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