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Wake up time for orchids

This is a discussion on Wake up time for orchids within the OrchidTalk Members Grow Area - Photos forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; That plant looks great Richard. Dont you love cattleya roots? You have all that nice ...

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  1. #11
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    John
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    That plant looks great Richard.

    Dont you love cattleya roots? You have all that nice fresh bark in the pot and the roots just grow OVER them on the way to the outside surface of the pot!

  2. #12
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    I have one very large Cymbidium. I would like to divide it, how did you do it? Also it is the only orchid that I have that I cannot get to rebloom. I've had it now for three years, repoted it two years ago into a orchid mix bark medium. The plant looks yery happy with lots of new growth and new chutes. Its poducing lots of this clear, sweet tasting dew drops, is this a bad thing? It was in bloom when I purchased it and cannot get it to rebloom. It looks like you are having terrific luck with you wounderful collection. Could someone possibly stear me in the right direction.

  3. #13
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Friesen View Post
    I have one very large Cymbidium. I would like to divide it, how did you do it? Also it is the only orchid that I have that I cannot get to rebloom. I've had it now for three years, repoted it two years ago into a orchid mix bark medium. The plant looks yery happy with lots of new growth and new chutes. Its poducing lots of this clear, sweet tasting dew drops, is this a bad thing? It was in bloom when I purchased it and cannot get it to rebloom. It looks like you are having terrific luck with you wounderful collection. Could someone possibly stear me in the right direction.
    Hi Rick,

    Cymbidiums need slightly different growing conditions in order to bloom. (Australian species may have even more specific requirements compared to commercial hybrids).

    Light - Cymbidiums need very bright light, brighter than vandas and cattleyas. The plant will do well under less light, but it might not bloom if it is not getting enough light.

    Water - Cymbidiums are heavy drinkers. They need frequent watering and like to keep their roots moist.
    The exception to this is during winter, I cut down on the watering during the cold season to avoid the risk of freezing the roots at night.

    Temperature - Cymbidiums need long exposure to very cool nights to stimulate flower production. Several weeks of 40F-45F every night would do the trick. I dont think they care about the daytime temperature as long as they are getting enough light.
    The leaves and roots are known to tolerate temperatures as low as 35F.
    Flowers however, cannot tolerate temperatures lower than 45F.
    Mature pseudobulbs can survive much colder temperatures, but they drop the leaves and roots and go into dormancy.

    This is my biggest challenge with my cymbidiums. I live in a very warm area and cool nights only usually occur from December through February.
    There is my dilemma: If we get 4 or 5 consecutive months with cool nights annually instead of just 3, then I might have better cymbidium blooms.
    But that kind of climate might be challenging for my warm growing cattleyas and dendrobiums

    Potting mix - If your cymbidium is growing properly with your current mix, then you can stick with it. No need to fix what is not broken

    Fertilizer - Cymbidiums are heavy feeders, and want year-round fertilizers.
    If your cymbidium is already growing a lot of new pseudobulbs (or of you feel that it is producing TOO MANY new growths but is not blooming) then stop using "balanced" (20-20-20, 18-18-18 etc) or high nitrogen formulas. Your current growing conditions and feeding regimen are probably giving the plant too much nitrogen and this leads to excessive leaf growth instead of flowers.
    Switch to "bloom" fertilizers to encourage flower production.

    For my mature cymbidiums, I use 20-20-20 from June through October (this is our warm season) and then 6-30-30 the rest of the year.
    For the young cymbidiums and growths from backbulbs, they get 20-20-20 all year until I feel that they have enough pseudobulbs and are strong enough to bloom then I switch them to the first schedule.


    As for dividing a large cymbidium, get the butcher's cleaver ready!
    Study the plant and look for any "bald spots" along the center of the plant. This spot would look like a line or cluster of old leafless pseudobulbs. You will want to make your division cut near this cluster.
    Each division should have at least 4 pseudobulbs, more would be better.
    Pry the plant apart or cut the rhizome to separate the divisions.

    I hope this helps.

    John

  4. #14
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    John: thanks for the info. Yes this is very helpfull. In Canada its the warmth that is a challenge. My cymbidium is neer a large picture window, it gets southern exposure with the most light possible. The large window should do the cold trick, its been in the cold now since November. The fertilizer that I'm using is 25-10-10 orchid fertilizer. I have it in a bark medium that is fast draining. This might be my problem, the plant dries in the direct sunlight. Do you think that I should add peat to the bark mediun or should I place the pot in say a 2" water bath pan. I would like to have this sucker bloom atleast once before I start hacking at it, (my wife would freak, I bought it for her), and possibly kill it if I do it wrong.
    Thanks for your help.

  5. #15
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    Try these pics
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  6. #16
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Hi Rick,

    The plant looks good. Lots of healthy new growth and the leaf color to me indicates that it is getting the correct light.
    If the green gets darker = not enough light.
    If it gets closer to yellow = too much light.

    It does not look like you are getting any wilting on the leaves which means that it is getting enough water.
    You will be able to tell if it is not getting enough water or if the roots are getting too dry. The leaves will start losing vigor and start twisting.
    If you want to water less frequently, then you will need to add something to the mix that will retain more moisture. Peat would be a good idea - maybe 20% peat + 80% of your current mix.
    I use 50/50 potting soil + medium bark, but I keep the plant outdoors so the potting soil helps retain more moisture to compensate for the drying conditions outside. My mix might be overkill for indoor conditions.

    I would not plan on dividing that plant until it gets more growths and pseudobulbs are close to touching the edges of the pot. The more pseudobulbs you have attached as a single plant, the better chances of getting good blooms.

    The plant will definitely respond to high nitrogen fertilizer and focus more on leaf production instead of flowers. The plant looks mature enough, perhaps it is time to introduce a bloom fertilizer to your schedule.

    If it gets too cold outside, then you can try bringing the plant close to the window every night. Even when inside the house, it should be colder near the window and it might give the plant enough nightly cooling to trigger blooms.

    As with all orchids, do not try to introduce too many changes all at once. Make one change, and then observe the plant for a few days to see if there are any negative effects. If everything looks ok, then proceed with the next change.

    I am not so sure about the 2" water bath pan. Cymbidiums like their roots moist, but not swimming in water all the time

  7. #17
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    Thank you for your help. Will try moving closer to the window at night and blooming fertilizer. Scratch the water bath idea. If no change , will add the 20% peat to the medium to up the moisture.

  8. #18
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
    Real Name
    John
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    An update on the cymbidiums:

    I had to relocate the cymbidium row to another spot in my yard.
    Their previous location turned out to be too exposed to wind and once the high winds arrived it started knocking down the pots - even the big ones.
    It looks like the strong winds are coming in from the north.
    I moved the cymbidiums to the northwest corner of my yard and is now protected by the north and west wall - I did have to add shading though, as this spot was getting too much sun in the afternoon.

    I will post pictures as soon as I get the chance.

  9. #19
    hera's Avatar
    hera is offline Senior Member
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    I love to see plants in growth. Usually all the commercial sites have is blossoms. I like this forum because of the great info on what a healthy plant should look like and occasionally an unhealthy one.

  10. #20
    kfir from israel's Avatar
    kfir from israel is offline allways press Ctrl+W
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    Talking hi

    i am tottaly agree with hera....
    that grow area is great-good on you..
    verry good job-the roots looks just great!!!

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