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Cymbidium - temp fluctuation

This is a discussion on Cymbidium - temp fluctuation within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hmm, I can see the discussions about the heating coming already.... I as is already ...

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  1. #11
    hcubed's Avatar
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    Hmm, I can see the discussions about the heating coming already.... I as is already open windows and the boy runs around shutting them all the time!

  2. #12
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    This may sound ridicules, but I know the temp in my refrigerator is 41 degrees F. Would putting it in the refrigerator at night for about a week or so do the trick? The circulating fan will give some air movement.

  3. #13
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    Um, I don't think it would fit in the refrigerator!

    Besides, I am sure that damp refrigerator air would grow all sorts of (icky)things!
    Last edited by hcubed; September 10th, 2007 at 04:49 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcubed
    Oh, so I need to have a semi immature bulb to get a bloom?
    That is what I have been told, but I have not yet confirmed that myself.
    I would say try it even without a young pseudobulb. Unless I see any publication that confirms it as fact, I would just treat it as a gardener's rumor.

    Quote Originally Posted by padams2359 View Post
    This may sound ridicules, but I know the temp in my refrigerator is 41 degrees F. Would putting it in the refrigerator at night for about a week or so do the trick? The circulating fan will give some air movement.
    If you have a refrigerator big enough to fit a cymbidium, it could be worth a try
    My concern there is that there is very little fresh air inside a refrigerator and stagnant air will be another problem altogether.
    The refrigerator interior also tends to be wet and thats another serious problem when a plant is cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gin
    I just wanted to mention one thing, if you get buds try too keep the plant away from dry heat
    That is true. Although the plant itself is pretty much bullet-proof, the flower buds are absolute babies. Once you see flower spikes emerging, start treating them like some other delicate orchids.
    And follow appropriate "anti-bud blast" protocols


    Quote Originally Posted by Shaydra
    Is it safe to give them that nice 25F temp swing for 6 months or more out of the year? If so, I'd just go that route. That way you get the "bloom swing" exposure on the young growth and the older.
    I know several gardeners in neighboring San Diego and Oceanside who leave their cymbidiums outdoors year round where they get almost uniform daily temperature fluctuations (70F-80F daytime, 50F-60F nighttime). Every now and then the weather deviates from the norm but not long enough to cause any serious problems. Having an ocean next to you really does wonders with stabilizing the temperature
    Their cymbidiums produce almost one spike for every unbloomed pseudobulb.

    ~John

  5. #15
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    Well, I guess I will just keep plugging away then. For now it will live in the cold kitchen at night and a warm sunny south window by day. According to the numbers I should be getting at least a 15F swing, but who knows!

    The new (and imaginary) apartment is going to have a nice balcony for me to use!

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    Some good tips here which I will try out.

    A couple of other questions -

    1/ I do get flowers (but not often) from my plant but they do not last very long, only a couple of weeks. Could that be down to dry air? I keep thinking about standing their pot in a saucer of water to help with humidity.

    2/ Some of my older leaves have developed black spots but they are probably about 4 years old. Should I cut them off or leave them? More generally a number of the leaves have a white discolouration - almost like chalk powder over them. Is that normal?

    3/ I now have about 11 "new" pseudobulbs on top of the original one. 2 of these have flowered. Is it time to divide?

    Any help at all would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Simon

  7. #17
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    Mine will unfortunately not be flowering this year after all - must have gotten some water in the new growth by mistake because it suddenly rotted away. :-(

    So I fear I'm not much help. I would however guess the chalky/white discoloration is spots from hard water. Not really something to worry about, unless that water is getting in places it shouldn't be.

    Hopefully Webfeet will chime in though - he really seems to know his way around these plants!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teppsta View Post
    Some good tips here which I will try out.

    A couple of other questions -

    1/ I do get flowers (but not often) from my plant but they do not last very long, only a couple of weeks. Could that be down to dry air? I keep thinking about standing their pot in a saucer of water to help with humidity.

    2/ Some of my older leaves have developed black spots but they are probably about 4 years old. Should I cut them off or leave them? More generally a number of the leaves have a white discolouration - almost like chalk powder over them. Is that normal?

    3/ I now have about 11 "new" pseudobulbs on top of the original one. 2 of these have flowered. Is it time to divide?

    Any help at all would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Simon
    I'll try to give some answers:
    1. Do all the flowers wilt at the same time? or do they follow a similar timing of when the buds originally opened? (older flowers wilt first then move up slowly).
    If the flowers wilting appear to follow the same sequence as when they opened, then maybe that is the plant's natural life span for the flowers. Some hybrid flowers last for months, some only last a few days.

    However, if all the flowers suddenly wilt at the same time then it could be an indication of dehydration, malnutrition or drastic environmental change when moving the plant indoors from outside or vice versa. In most cases, "dry heat" is a major culprit of early flower death when bringing plants indoors.

    2. Chalk/white powder on the leaves are most likely mineral deposits from your water supply. The water evaporates but the minerals stay on the leaves and all over the plant. These are usually harmless unless they completely cover the plant - in which case the plant suffers from reduced light. A regular "bath" schedule would be a good solution (the plant, not you ). Rinse the plant thoroughly with clean water to make sure that the mineral build up is regularly removed.
    You may not be able to remove all of them, but removing some of then is better than not removing anything at all.

    3. Dividing is usually a personal preference. If you want several smaller, more manageable plants then you should divide the plant. It is recommended that each division have at least 3 mature pseudobulbs.
    Personally, I do not count the new growths as a pseudobulb when dividing. For example: If a plant has two mature pseudobulbs and 10 new growths, I would not divide it yet since it only has two pseudobulbs. The following season, it would have the two original pseudobulbs plus the 10 that have matured. This would then be counted as 12 pseudobulbs and can be divided into 2 or 3 divisions.

    If you have the space (and muscle), you can leave the plant in one piece and just keep repotting it into a bigger pot as it grows. Specimen cymbidiums produce spectacular blooms, at the cost of bench real estate.
    Imagine a 50-gallon clay pot with 100+ pseudobulbs. It would be quite a flower show but you will need a forklift to move it around.

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubed
    Mine will unfortunately not be flowering this year after all - must have gotten some water in the new growth by mistake because it suddenly rotted away. :-(
    That happens to me too. Every now and then, a seemingly healthy plant will have one new growth rot away. When you gently pull the newest leaf in the middle it just comes off the plant like it was never even attached. The rest of the new growths continue to grow to maturity.
    I have also noticed that this happened more frequently when the cymbidiums were inside the greenhouse. They performed better after I moved them back outdoors under the shadehouse. They like their roots moist, but their leaves dry.


    ~John

  9. #19
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    This one was doing just fine until I decided I was worried about the potting media breaking down and poked it too much. Must have gotten some water where it shouldn't have been and then it got those cold nights.

    Now I just don't have enough bulbs to bloom it, so back to growing new bulbs and waiting. Like I said, this one was my very first, so it's been through a lot already. Oh well, maybe next year. Glad to hear than even the master rots a bulb or two occasionally, too! ;-)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcubed View Post
    Oh well, maybe next year. Glad to hear than even the master rots a bulb or two occasionally, too! ;-)
    If killing orchids qualifies me to be a master, I am probably a third degree master by now
    I am nowhere near master gardener yet. There are a lot of people here who are probably more qualified for that title.
    I just happen to have killed a LOT of orchids throughout the years. And what matters is learning from those mistakes and trying not to make the same mistakes again.

    Unfortunately, these orchids dont hand me a written report card to tell me what I did wrong. So it all boils down to trial and error and trying to learn from others' experiences.

    ~John

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