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  • 1 Post By Dorsetman

Cymbidiums in the Northeast?

This is a discussion on Cymbidiums in the Northeast? within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    Gritz is offline Junior Member
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    Post Cymbidiums in the Northeast?

    Hello!

    Iím wondering if anyone successfully grows cymbidiums in the Northeast and if the have any tricks?

    I used to grow and flower them outside with no issues in the SF Bay Area, but moved to upstate NY recently. Iíd like to try again with them but am worried our falls are too short to give them enough of the cold nights they need before temps go arctic. Figured Iíd ask if anyone out there has luck before I waste the money

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    Living in south Florida I can not help you but hopefully some of our cold weather members will help you out.

  3. #3
    Keysguy is online now Senior Member
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    I used to grow them in NH but I had a greenhouse.
    They lived outdoors on the east side of the house from late May right up to the first hard frost at which point they would be the last orchids back into the greenhouse.
    They need that cold exposure to set bud.
    Don't know about how to winter them over in a house. I suppose it's possible but they can get awfully big for a houseplant.

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    Iím lucky to have two very large growing areas with great south east and south exposures inside and a SO who lets me cover them in plants so Iím not worried about size, just temps. It does get cold near the windows in our house...Iíd guess high to mid fifties at night, which I donít think is quite cold enough, but maybe Iím wrong?

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    Maybe you should stick to cymbidiums bred with warmer species, so they won't be so demanding of the cool nights.

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    You misunderstand. Yes, they do need cold nights, but not in the fall. It s when flower buds are being initiated, in early summer that is critical.
    Whilst I don’t even live in USA, I hve been told on more than one occasion by visiting orchid people that they get cymbidiuums to flower in Southern California, by watering with ice water ( water with ice added , so that the water is near to freezing point) and here is the crux of the matter, they do this in May and June only. After mid-summer, they go back to using water at ambient temperature.
    And, by the way, i was told this 30 or 40 years ago, before the modern cym hybrids, at a time when an early, meant a December flower, and most flowered in the first 3 months of the year. Yes, spikes are first seen in the fall, but it is the initiation, months earlier, which is the problem.that is when the temperature is critical.
    So, you are asking the wrong question. The right one is how you give them cold nights, much earlier in the year.
    Maybe an easier one for you ?

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    Keysguy is online now Senior Member
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    Really! That's interesting and I've never heard it that way before Geoff.
    I'm not questioning this but I don't see how that would apply to the "warmth tolerant" varieties here in South FL.
    The spring chill you suggest NEVER happens here. Dec/Jan we may or may not get nights down into the high 50's for maybe a few hours at a time. Those tend to be the years we can get the warmth tolerant cyms to bloom. By "spring" here (March-May) it is never "cool". Low temps this Feb were mid 70's plus and granted warmest Feb on record.
    Even if temps occasionally touch mid 50's here, the bloom success rate , even on the warmth tolerant varieties, probably still just runs maybe 1-2 years out of 5. It is very hit and miss proposition.
    AOS put out a supplement edition on cyms a couple years back but it's at our place up north. I'll have to dig it out this summer and see if that addresses this question anywhere.
    Something fun and interesting to look into,

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    I have to say that the advice I mention was given when "warmnth tolerant" cymbidiums were only a twinkle in breeders eyes. But indeed, AOS must be the place to ask about our members actual question.

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    Gritz is offline Junior Member
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    Iíve also never heard it that way before. Iíve always been told itís the cold fall nights (you need the temp difference as well as the drop) to initiate a spike, and cool temps during flower to prevent bud blast.

    Leigh, Iíd be curious what the temps in your greenhouse were during winter if you remember? Also great call on the Aos Cym. Edition! I have a digital membership, so itís always with me!

    Iíll probably try a warm variety out because I suspect Iíll do fine with it. The reason I ask the question though is iím majorly crushing on a particular variety I saw out west. Omg the flowers just glow. I suspect itís probably a standard variety. The name on the tag was Koushu Mae and bred by Mukoyama in Japan but I canít find any info on it and doesnít seem to be registered. :,(

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    Keysguy is online now Senior Member
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    Hi Gritz,

    I kept them on the floor at the opposite end from the heater (16') so it was probably the coolest sunny spot in the GH. That being said, "sunny" in New Hampshire in the winter is a relative term. Maybe on average you get 1-2 das per week each of full sun (6 hrs) and partial sun for a couple of hours or so even though it had a due south exposure. Other than that it's overcast or just flat out dark! (You would understand that in Albany as you are close to the same lat.). Heater threshold was 55 degrees but on a calm, full sun day it was possible to get into low 90's for a short time even if it was sub-zero outside. Those cyms flowered like crazy and got huge!

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