Cymbidiums are one of the most beautiful and widely grown orchid in South Africa today. They thrive as garden plants, and there are two main types; the standard and miniature cymbidium. This guide will teach you how to grow Cymbidium orchids, in a South African Climate.
How much Space do cymbidiums need?
Cymbidiums like plenty of space to grow, and must not be overcrowded as they require abundant air movement. If growing them in a greenhouse, fans can be left running throughout the day and night.
Cymbidiums prefer light conditions
Cymbidiums enjoy very high light conditions, with only about 20% shading required. Look out for light green, or yellowing leaves, as this indicates that a plant is not receiving enough light.
Cymbidiums need moderate Humidity
Humidity requirements are moderate, with about 50% to 60% humidity being sufficient – the higher the temperature, the higher the humidity required. They may require more care in dryer areas, so keep the growing area moist with a humidifier or by regularly wetting the growing area floor.
What temperature to grow cymbidiums at
The correct temperatures are absolutely critical for plants to flower well. Standard Cymbidiums require at least a 10°C temperature difference between day and night to initiate flower spikes. During the summer, day temperatures should not exceed 25°C to 30°C and night temperatures should ideally be around 15°C. In winter, daytime temperatures may be allowed to drop to around 15°C to 20°C and to around 5°C at night.
Choosing the right potting mix for cymbidiums
These are terrestrial plants and therefore require a fairly moisture-retentive potting mix but it must still be able to drain well. They can be planted dire
How much Water do Cymbidiums need?
Cymbidiums need to be water about once a week. Keep these orchids well hydrated in spring, when new growth appears. The potting medium should never be allowed to dry out between watering.
Any balanced fertilizer may be used, such as 10:10:10: or 12:12:12:, but always aim on the weak side of the scale when mixing fertiliser. Stoneage Home Centre sells a variety of orchid fertilizers, including Stoneage Guano, which is ideal for keeping orchids happy and healthy. We recommend fertilizing weekly in summer and every second week in winter.
Seasonal Care & Re-potting
Re-potting should take place every two to three years, in spring, in time for the plant to re-establish itself before the next flowering season. When re-potting use a pot large enough to accommodate at least two years’ growth. Dead `back bulbs’ (bulbs without leaves) may be removed at this time, but never divide plants into less than three to four pseudobulbs as this will invariably result in no flowers for a few years. Feed these orchids with fertilize weekly during the summer months. Cymbidiums do not stop growing during winter; they merely slow down and they therefore require fertilizing throughout the year.
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