Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidium Orchid
Cymbidium Orchid

Last Spring I was given five large Cymbidium orchid plants by a commercial flower grower. Each year when flowering is finished commercial growers divide some plants, add new varieties and throw out surplus plants. These throw outs make great garden plants in our mild climate. Their strappy leaves look good all year round and if well fed they produce lots of colourful flowers in mid-winter. I don’t bother about dividing. Good healthy plants are very heavy to handle, have plenty of strong, bright green leaves and not many bare “back bulbs”. I dig a shallow round hole, deep enough to hold about a quarter of the root mass. I remove the plastic bag or pot they come in and dump the whole plant into the hole so that three quarters of the roots are exposed. This looks a bit ugly so if I have some small rocks handy I pile them up around the root ball. The one thing these plants can’t stand is too much moisture so this method of planting keeps them out of wet ground but stops them tipping over. Cymbidium species from which these commercial varieties are bred are mostly epiphytic so they are quite tolerant of dry spells. They are best planted in high light, either full sun or dappled shade. These outdoor flowers wont be cut flower standard of course, and it certainly pays to use slug stuff as the spikes appear. I give them a good dressing of slow release fertiliser a couple of time a year. 

Cymbidium Orchid