Cymbidiums are among the most popular winter and spring blooming orchids. The word Cymbidium Comes from Greek kymbe meaning a boat, referring to hollowness in the lip of the flower. Cymbidium is native of tropical and subtropical Asia covering North-India, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Borneo islands and North-Australia, usually growing in cooler climates at high elevation.
Cymbidium orchids are thick, waxy flowers with five pointed petals on each bloom. At present the genus Cymbidium consists of 44 species originating from the Asian continent. Cymbidium is one of the most popular and desirable orchids in the world because of the beauty of flowers. Cymbidiums are very popular in floral arrangements floral corsages. Cymbidiums are available in a rainbow of colours. The breath taking sprays of cymbidium flowers make ideal home or patio decorations. From the time that the first flower bud opens, the sprays will remain in bloom for the next 2 - 3 months.
Facts About Cymbidium
- Cymbidiums have been cultivated for thousands of years, especially in ancient China.
- Cymbidiums became popular in Europe during the Victorian era. One feature that makes the cymbidium so popular is the fact that the plant can survive cold temperatures as low as 7 degree Centigrade.
- In his writings, Confucius referred to the Asian Cymbidium as the King of Fragrance
- Cymbidiums usually bloom once a year during winter and spring seasons and the flowers last for more than four weeks.
- Cymbidiums may be divided into two main groups- Standard Cymbidiums (large-flowered type) and Miniature Cymbidiums (small-flowered type).
A cymbidium plant has three types of bulbs-
1. Old back bulbs without leaves, which reserve food supply for emergencies.
2.Old bulbs with leaves, Supporting the new growth and may produce flowers.
3.New leads or bulbs, from where flowers grow.
- Repotting is done every 2 to 4 years and is best indicated by the plant bulbs filling the pot or the plant not growing well over the past year.
- A healthy plant should grow 1 to 2 new bulbs each year from each bulb that grew the previous year.
- When repotting, the roots should be teased apart to remove old potting mix and then dead roots are to be removed.
- If required a plant may then be divided into two or more plants by twisting and tearing the bulbs apart.
- For best results, each Cymbidium pot should be as large as possible otherwise the flowering will be retarded for 1 to 2 years.
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Cymbidium Plant Care
- Don't take your plant inside where the atmosphere is hot and dry due to artificial heating.
- Cymbidium will drop its flower buds and ultimately drop its leaves in this warm dry atmosphere.
- Don't leave flower spikes on the plant until the flowers die. This can result in non flowering the following season.
- Approximately four weeks after the last flower is fully open, the spike should be removed so that the plant has a full growing cycle for next year's flowering.
- If your plant fails to flower give it the recommended attention plus exposure to a sunnier situation to help force flower spikes.
- Water very regularly in growing season.
- Pour off any unabsorbed water.
- Feed with orchid fertilizer once a month in summer.