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Cymbidiums galore! What now? HELP!

This is a discussion on Cymbidiums galore! What now? HELP! within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Thanks Ron and Pavel. I can give then bright light and warmth / cold in ...

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  1. #11
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    Thanks Ron and Pavel. I can give then bright light and warmth / cold in winter I just can't give them outside during the months when it is recommened. I shall have a think about it.
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  2. #12
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    [QUOTE=OrchidAddict;345520]Hehee...you're welcome...(you can call me Jenn, by the way!) You did see the part where I said I was a "Cymbidiot," though, right? I'm mostly just guessing here from stuff I've read on the internet. I'm far from being an expert in these plants, and I'm hoping an experienced Cymbidium grower will pop in soon and give us some tips! Let's stay tuned....

    OK! This is now the Cymbidiot pagE!!!!!!!!!!! Now that i have 2 Cyms, and have little clue what to do with them, we shall learn together!

    OK Cymbidium Gurus, let the education begin!

  3. #13
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    Include me on this too please. I am almost a Cym parent. A bit more info could make me decide to become one of you.
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  4. #14
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    I can provide pretty high light and heat from my window in the spring/ summer. And outside temps rarely gets down to freezing in the winter. I also have a storage space on my deck which i could put them in on freezing nights. What is the cool temp they need? I really need to invest in a light meter, or expensive camera that will tell my the lux/ f/c.

  5. #15
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    First, I'd like to thank Pavel for his BRILLIANT answers!! THANK YOU!! I wish you had seen this thread when I started it back in February.... LOL!! Anyway, here's an update:

    I've basically learned from talking to as many people as I could that these are like tender perennials here in the North. They bloom in late winter, but never at another time, because they need the plummeting temps in the fall to initiate the spikes. I was told that they need temps in the 40's at night in the fall, and that they can even tolerate a light frost, but that they should be taken in before any "hard freezes" happen.

    Apparently, by the time they are ready to be taken in, you should see bloom spikes on them. If there's no spikes, they aren't going to bloom that season for you.

    As far as what to do with them for now... well, since I didn't get any real answers back in Feb., I sort of putzed around with them to see what they liked. I tried putting them in warm and sunny conditions, but the leaves burned, so I kept backing off the sun until I had them in the sunniest area of my basement, where the temps hover around 62 all day, but there's plenty of light. They were happy there. Once the nighttime temps here were stable into the 40s (basically when I saw all the outdoor plants being put outside at my local nurseries), I moved the biggest ones, which I knew to be "standard" and capable of tolerating the coldest of temps, outside. After a week of morning sun and afternoon shade, they had been doing just fine, so I moved the rest outside too.

    They are in a partial-sun (morning sun, afternoon shade) environment. I lost one plant when the rest went out... it was the smallest of the bunch--a Pepita Magenta--and I expect it may have been a "teacup" variety or one of the types bred for warmer temps. Ah, well... live and learn. But the rest seem to be bearing up well under the new temp fluctuations (it can get up into the low 70's during the day now and down into the 40's at night.)

    Per Pavel's advice, as the weather warms up I'm going to start fertilizing and watering the heck out of these buggers to get them to grow, since apparently they need to grow A LOT of foliage to support those winter blooms.

    I was told by someone at an orchid nursery that I should stop fertilizing and cut back on watering when the temps start to drop in the fall (around September for us here in PA), and basically just leave them outside until the temps drop into freezing range, at which point apparently the magic is supposed to happen, you can bring them back in, and they will then bloom in February or so.

    What I'm still unsure about is what conditions to give them once they get back INSIDE the house in the winter with the bloom spikes on them. If I keep them cold, will the spikes abort? Do I put them back in my coolest, sunniest basement area where they were happy before and wait for them to bloom? Or do I put them in a warmer area with higher light levels to keep the buds from blasting?

    At any rate, I am quite happy they're not all DEAD already (I half expected to have killed them by now, considering the way the foliage was burning when I first had them!), and I'm excited to see what's going to happen this winter with them... if anything. I figure I'll either have a house full of blooms (I bought even more cyms since I originally posted... I think I'm up to about 10 now), or I'll have a lot of blasted spikes and need some Prozac to get me through the loss. LOL

    Any more words of wisdom from the cymbidium masters on the forum here are quite welcome! (Pavel, I'm looking at you... )

  6. #16
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    Well I do not think they will be blooming for some seasons I think, they are quite small divisions and Cyms like to be pot bound and will take a while to come along and bloom after dividing.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    I wish you had seen this thread when I started it back in February.... LOL!!
    Oops! I did not notice that the thread necromancers had been at work!

    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    After a week of morning sun and afternoon shade, they had been doing just fine, so I moved the rest outside too.
    This time around forget about the afternoon shade. As Ron mentioned, you are aiming for yellow-green (chartreuse) colored foliage. If your plants are darker green than that outside, they can take more light.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    Per Pavel's advice, as the weather warms up I'm going to start fertilizing and watering the heck out of these buggers to get them to grow, since apparently they need to grow A LOT of foliage to support those winter blooms.
    I've actually run into folks who will throw fresh horse manure (not the mellowed aged stuff) on their cyms with no issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    What I'm still unsure about is what conditions to give them once they get back INSIDE the house in the winter with the bloom spikes on them. If I keep them cold, will the spikes abort? Do I put them back in my coolest, sunniest basement area where they were happy before and wait for them to bloom? Or do I put them in a warmer area with higher light levels to keep the buds from blasting?
    They might not be in spike when you bring them in -- depends on how long as well as how much of a chilling they get before being brought in. In any event, when you bring them in, put them in a cold but brightly lit room/area. Once the spikes have fully emerged and buds are starting to open you should be able to bring them into a warmer area. Not sure if you can move them to a warmer area before then without bud blast.

  8. #18
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    here in southern california we can grow these things like huge weeds. i'm not sure how well they would adapt at the whole indoor/outdoor thing. they don't like being moved or disturbed. we have 3 seasons of cymbidiums, and the newer heat tolerant types are trying to add a 4th. the old standards (largest) bloom from october to may. most of the minis were fall bloomers but there are some spring and now some summer types from china.

    some tips: be careful watering new growth. splashing water into a newly growing bulb's basal leaves will rot the growth. especially on a cold night. keep them out of the cold rain.

    we fertilize year round here. sept/oct to jan/feb feed bloom booster orchid food, rest of year regular or high growth fertilizer for orchids. some people stop once they see spikes forming. they have a seasonal growth cycle, and should flower the same time pretty much each year. once they settle into your climate.

    they like to be crowded, and might skip a year's blooming if you repot, so only re-pot right after flowering, so the plant has more time to recover. don't re-pot unless you have to.

    move them slowly into brighter light. moving them can make the flowers fall off, so try to grow them where you plan to enjoy them. and they get heavy. very heavy.

    i've been seeing some odd dark green novelty short ones this year, trying to force my self to not get one. i like hanging them on the trellis, so they help block out sun and shade the other orchids.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Well I do not think they will be blooming for some seasons I think, they are quite small divisions and Cyms like to be pot bound and will take a while to come along and bloom after dividing.
    Ahhh, well... thanks for giving me a heads-up! Although a couple of the divisions have new growth on them that appears to be progressing rather quickly, so there might actually be hope for a couple of them after all! I'll make sure to report back in the late winter and let you all know what's going on with my collection!

    Quote Originally Posted by coeruleo View Post
    Here in southern california we can grow these things like huge weeds. i'm not sure how well they would adapt at the whole indoor/outdoor thing. they don't like being moved or disturbed. we have 3 seasons of cymbidiums, and the newer heat tolerant types are trying to add a 4th. the old standards (largest) bloom from october to may. most of the minis were fall bloomers but there are some spring and now some summer types from china.
    We'll have to see how mine do when they're brought back inside in the fall. Leaving them outside all winter just isn't an option for me; the plants would freeze to death. I've spoken to several local cymbidium growers recently though, and they've all said that the plants handle the switch from outdoor to indoor just fine. I'm still getting mixed info on whether I should put them in a cool/sunny spot or warm/sunny spot when they're brought back inside in the fall. Perhaps I'll experiment with a couple of them and see which ones do better.

    some tips: be careful watering new growth. splashing water into a newly growing bulb's basal leaves will rot the growth. especially on a cold night. keep them out of the cold rain.
    Dang. I wish I had read this earlier. The plants just recently sat out for a couple of nights through a cold rainstorm. A recent check seems to show all new growths unharmed though, so perhaps I got lucky!

    They like to be crowded, and might skip a year's blooming if you repot, so only re-pot right after flowering, so the plant has more time to recover. don't re-pot unless you have to.
    Good to know! I had to re-pot the ones that I ordered in the mail, because they came bare-root, so I didn't really have a choice with those. But I tried to give them the smallest pot possible for their root systems.

    The two that I bought in-bloom dropped their flowers about a month ago and are currently growing like gangbusters in full sun outside. The only problem is that they're potted in gallon-size nursery pots in what looks to be DIRT (with a little Perlite that appears to have been tossed in there for good measure), so I really do need to re-pot those... I just wasn't sure when to do it. Considering your advice, it would seem like now would be the best time. I just don't want to leave them in that potting mix any longer than I have to!

    Hopefully the re-potting goes well... I'll definitely be posting pics if I have any problems!

    Thanks for ALL of your wise advice, everyone! I was completely clueless until you all chimed in and shared your wisdom!


  10. #20
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    New Cymbidiot here. Got talked into buying a Cymbidium dayana at a big orchid show; I had the genus on my 'do not buy' ist because of their requirement for cool temps to bloom. A central Florida gentleman talked me into the purchase; they do well attached to trees at his latitude (probably the right combo of sun but enough of a winter cooldown). So I'll put it in a tree; I suppose it will be my insurance: every fourth winter or so we get a decent freeze down here and just maybe when the other 'chids are screaming in agony this guy will flower....

    Until I can get them to bloom for me I am also a Cattlidiot, Vandiot, Dendridiot....you get the picture

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