Tuesday, 24 July 2012

How to Care for Your Cymbidium Orchids - Gift Baskets

This is part of Dial a Hamper  Blog series to assist our customers with caring for the various cut flowers and potted plants that we sell here at Dial a Hamper

Dial a Hamper sources top quality cymbidium orchids from a local Perth specialist cymbidium orchid grower, when quality plants are grown and bought it makes the care of your orchid alot easier and more fulfilling.

Cymbidium Orchid Care

Cymbidium orchids are hardy plants and are easy to grow, they are a great gift to send to some one as they flower spikes last for a long time and with the correct care will flower again next season. Cymbidium orchids like similar conditions to humans, temperatures in the 20’s (degree’s) humidity of about 50% and shade in the summer.

Most amateurs can grow orchids well but have difficulty in flowering them. This usually can be overcome by finding a position where the plant receives more light. A healthy well grown cymbidium orchid that is cared for correctly will produce flowers every year and a mature plant can produce from 10 to 20 flower spikes.

Best Position To Grow Your Cymbidium Orchid

Cymbidium orchids will be tolerant of full sun year round however will prefer a protected position away from the direct hot sun of summer. During the hot summer months especially here in Perth it is recommended to find a position where they will receive 50% sunlight. This can often be found under a gum tree or a similar tree with not too thick a canopy, under the eaves of your house (though remembering to keep water topped up as they wont be receiving any water apart from what you provide), under a pergola is great especially if it has 50% shade cloth cover.

It should be noted that too little sunlight on your cymbidium will result in a decrease in flowers being produced by the plant.

It is best to grow your cymbidium orchid off the ground, allowing airflow into the root ball and this also helps keep slugs, slaters and snails down.

Watering of your Cymbidium Orchid

Cymbidium Orchids require watering all year round however this will vary according to the positioning of your orchid, the potting mix used, the temperature and winds, atmospheric conditions to mention a few factors. Plants that are left to dry out for extended periods will survive however flowering the following flowering season will be negatively affected.

In winter, once or twice a week should be sufficient, while in summer 3 or 4 times per week is recommended whilst at the height of summer daily or even twice daily watering may be required (preferably at night to help reduce the temperature). This drop in temperature assists in the production of flower spikes.

Thoroughly saturate the potting mix when watering, stopping when water comes out of the bottom of the pot. We find submerging the cymbidium Orchid in a bucket of water for a few hours really beneficial in soaking the potting medium, while also not wasting water.

Let the potting mix be the gauge as to whether more or less watering is required, if the top is moist or the pot cold watering probably isn’t required.

Fertilizing/ Feeding your Cymbidium Orchid

Like all plants, cymbidium orchids require regular feeding to help produce vibrant healthy plants with good flower production. A slow release fertilizer throughout the year will help the plant, products such as Osmocote Plus are recommended. Some half strength liquid fertilizer such as Thrive, Aquasol and the like a few times over the warmer summer months (from September to May).

Don’t over do a high nitrogen content all purpose fertilizer as this will promote leaf growth whilst taking away from the flower spike production.

Re-Potting your Cymbidium Orchid

Healthy plants should grow 1 to 2 new bulbs every year off the previous year’s bulb growth. The pine barks often used in orchid potting mix breaks down over time, so re-potting is required every 2-4 years (depending on the size of plant, number of new bulbs and condition of potting mix).

When the plants get too large, with a number of bulbs dividing the plants may be necessary. When dividing, try and make every new plant contain 3 green bulbs. The old bulbs without leaves can be potted individually, and will normally produce a new shoot which will grow to a flowering plant.

Choose a plastic pot that doesn’t give the newly repotted plant too much room, enough room only for say 2- 3 years growth. Weathered pine bark is a great medium to plant your orchids in, they should be 10-15mm in size. You should never plant Cymbidiums Orchids into sand as this will destroy its roots..

The best time to divide plants is after flowering and in spring.

Diseases affecting your Cymbidium Orchid

The main disease and pest issue problem is fungal infection. This can be non existent if good air movement in the growing area is encouraged and the plants are not kept in a dark excessively wet area. Should fungal issues occur it may be prudent to minimize watering over a few week period, elevate the plant so it receives good airflow and treat with a sulphur or similar powder treatment.

Cymbidium Orchids are a great looking, long lasting plant that if kept correctly will continue to produce over a long period of time. Its for this reason that its such a great plant to send to someone instead of cut fresh flowers with the Perth Florist evryone knows and trusts - Dial a Hamper.
You can order your Cymbidium Orchids online at www.dialahamper.com.au, call us on                  08 9381 9191 or come into our Perth Florist and Perth Flower Shop at 111 Newcastle Street, Perth Western Australia 6000

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