Cymbidiums are among the easiest of the
orchids to grow outside here in San Diego County.
They can be left out all year long with minimal
protection during the coldest nights of the year.
They will take cold down to 26° F. for an hour
or two with minimal damage.
LIGHT: Insufficient light is
the main cause for lack of flowering. Place
plants near outer edge of a tree canopy to give
direct morning and afternoon sun and mid-day
shade during summer, or, place on east or west
facing patio. Plants can take full winter sun all
day. Plants do best in bright but cool locations.
Light green leaves indicate plants are getting
good light, dark green leaves says it's too
shady, yellow leaves tell you it's too bright.
prefer cool temperature. Days of 80° F. (Maximum
of 90°F.), nights 55°F. or lower (minimum of
32°F.) are ideal. They need at least a 20° F.
difference between summer and winter NIGHT
temperatures in order to set buds. Plants enjoy
cooling breezes at all times.
WATERING: Cymbidiums like to
be MOIST, not wet. Water when the top 1/2"
inch of the mix dries, usually once a week. Use
about one gallon of water per pot each time you
water or until water runs freely from the bottom
of the pot. Do not let plants get completely dry.
Warm or windy days dry the potting mix sooner
than cool cloudy days so you must alter your
watering schedule accordingly.
FERTILIZER: During periods of
rapid growth (April thru August) feed at the rate
recommended for ornamentals using a high nitrogen
fertilizer like 30-10-10 at every 10 to 15 days.
During the slow growth period (Sept. thru Jan.)
use low nitrogen fertilizer like 5-10-10 once
each month. Never fertilize a dry plant. If leaf
tips turn black or brown flush pots with plain
water several times in succession to leach out
REPOTTING: Plants need to be
repotted once every two to four years depending
on the mix you are using. Best time to repot is
right after flowering. When numerous roots are
seen at the surface of the mix and your finger
does not easily penetrate into the root zone it
is time to divide and repot. Knock the plant out
if it's pot and gently separate the roots. Use
your hands to separate the plant into 2 or 3 bulb
divisions (complete with roots). using cymbidium
potting mix found at many nurseries, place
divisions into a clean pot large enough to allow
for 3 years growth. DO NOT bury bases of bulbs
more that 1/2 inch into the mix. Plant firmly
using blunt stick to settle mix, plants must not
be loose. Water thoroughly then only enough to
keep the plant from drying out for the next 4 to