Posts Tagged ‘resting orchids’

Cymbidium update

November 22, 2009

A second flower spike has appeared at the base of my cymbidium. Although the plant should be resting, I’ve been putting it outside on mild – and not so mild – wet days, and this seems to be doing it no harm at all. Those flower spikes should start lengthening rapidly come the new year.

I’m careful to look out for slugs, though. I often see small ones on the leaves or the pot when I come to bring it in. I just flick these off before they can do any serious harm.

Cymbidium flowers are firm and waxy in texture

I mentioned last time that I’ll need to start feeding, but haven’t decided what with yet. Watering in orchid feed is all well and good, but because of the swift drainage that the plants need, a great deal is always wasted. Besides, orchids have a low nutrient requirement anyway. I might try a foliar feed (in the wild, orchids are ‘fed’ by the detritus that washes down over them from above, not by what they absorb through their roots) – or possibly one of those fertiliser sticks that you insert at the edge of the pot.

Cymbidium update

November 1, 2009

I took advantage of the mild damp (actually, wet) weather today and stood my cymbidium outdoors. While I have been known to bang on about ‘inducing dormancy’ in houseplants, in practice I think a rest period is best kept as brief as possible – in their country of origin, these things would be more or less permanently in growth.

So, take advantage of any opportunity to keep them ticking over. It’s always good to keep handling your plants anyway (unless you know them to be poisonous), and I noted in picking up the cymbidium that a new growth bud has appeared at the base.

This is not a fledgling pseudobulb but an emerging flower stem, always an exciting discovery. This suggests I should start feeding – but not just yet. Growth won’t (indeed can’t) be rapid until we have passed the shortest day. So come the new year, I can start watering and feeding regularly to build up the developing flowers. I’ll report back on this in January.