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What to do with a species that will not re-bloom in the area you live in?

This is a discussion on What to do with a species that will not re-bloom in the area you live in? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I bought the Cymbidium I own from the grocery store. I have also seen them ...

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  1. #1
    78Terp's Avatar
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    Default What to do with a species that will not re-bloom in the area you live in?

    I bought the Cymbidium I own from the grocery store. I have also seen them in the big boxes here in Colorado. But now that I have been talking to other Colorado orchid fans, I have heard that it is nearly impossible to re-bloom a Cymbidium here. In my orchid culture class yesterday, at our only orchid nursery in Colorado, they indicated the same and stated that the orchids they sell are the varieties suited to the environment here. They do not sell Cymbidiums period. I haven't asked, but I bet they don't sell vandas either.

    It is still in bloom (3 spikes. One done and gone so far) and I believe it has a new flower spike growing, so it will still be in bloom for several months.

    So my question is:
    What do I do with the plant after I give a shot at re-blooming it? It is rather large, my largest orchid plant, and I am not sure I want to spend the space and time and effort on it with a low probability for success. I would not have bought it if I had known this beforehand.

    This is a shot of the new flower spike emerging on my Cymbidium.

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  2. #2
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    The secret to re-bloom a cymbidium lies in the temperature, during winter months, which are pretty warm in your area anyway, you need to cool the plant at night. Once the new growths have matured you put a couple of ice cubes around the plant in the evening for three to four weeks and you should be blessed with spikes, it worked for me when I lived in Zimbabwe. Good luck you can but try.

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Littlton Co gets cold in the winter. I don't see why you would not be able to rebloom a Cym it is important for it to get very strong light during it's growing season and a fall cool off. I would move my Cym outside once the weather got warm enough and gradually move it to almost full sun with mid day shade. With bright light the plant also needs to be fed well with a high nitrogen fertilizer. The leaves would turn yellowish green in color. I would leave it outdoors until the first frost was predicted then move it in and set it in front of a west facing sliding door, for the brightest indoor light I could get. Decrease fertilizer in the fall to a bloom booster or balanced fertilizer. I would keep the plant barely moist and balanced fertilizer maybe one time a month during the winter. That room stayed cooler than the rest of house. It would spike every year.

  4. #4
    78Terp's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Putting it outside is in the plan. We can have snow here in May and it is not considered unusual. It comes and goes pretty quickly that time of year if it happens. I have a small, postage stamp sized backyard where I do my veggie garden and at peak of the season it is done with full sun by 2:30-3:00 due to building blocking the sun. Most nights in the summer here, are between 58-70. And stays to the low side of that temp spread on most of the summer nights.

    I do have a semi-heated garage that might help since we get a first frost pretty early here. I think average date is Oct 10.

    Ron, I will give your suggestions a try. And certainly will report back over the battle to make it happen.

  5. #5
    pavel's Avatar
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    Many of the standard sized cyms can handle a light frost without issue. Keep it chilly but bright light until spikes have emerged and are well on their way. Many folks I know cease fertilizing completely in the fall.

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Harvey your weather is not much different than mine. My first frost is usually in first week of Oct with last frost early in May.

  7. #7
    78Terp's Avatar
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    I am able to over-winter spinach and kale in my garden. Even thru the bitter cold. So maybe seeing a light frost would help force it even? I wouldn't leave it out if it was to go below 30 F. The AOS website I think says down to 44 F, Cyms are ok. I like pushing its envelope though. Does elevation have any effect?

  8. #8
    pavel's Avatar
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    Not to the best of my knowledge.

  9. #9
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    At least I have a couple more months of enjoying this round of flowering.

    Would it be able to flower again this winter? Or will the plant be too tired? It will have had at least 4 flower spikes this flowering cycle.

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    I bring mine in if frost is in the forecast...we usually will have further warmer weather beyond that and I may put it out again. I also don't think elevation should make a difference.

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