Apartment plants

Cymbidium orchid

Characteristics of the Cymbidium orchid

The Cymbidium orchid genus includes about 40 species native to Asia, Australia and Africa. They are evergreen plants that produce very beautiful flowers, grown in pots, as an ornamental plant, and as cut flowers, for commerce. Their basic colors can be white, pink, green and yellow, even combined three of them and with many different shades. In nature, these orchids can live as terrestrial or epiphytic plants, that is, they have aerial roots that produce chlorophyll and absorb water from the air, in the form of steam, and are also fixed to a tree that acts as a support. Their leaves are thin and long. Flowering begins in late autumn and continues until the spring season. The flower has 3 sepals and 3 petals, one of which is called labellum, usually more colorful.

Cultivation temperatures

Since most of the Cymbidium species on the market originate in the mountainous areas of Asia, they do not need a very hot climate. The ideal daytime temperature is between 15 and 18 degrees. These orchids can also tolerate higher temperatures, up to 30 ° C, albeit slightly, provided that there is good ventilation and sufficient air humidity. The optimal night temperature is around 10 degrees. The orchids can stay outside until October and, during the period of bud growth, it is good that at night there are no more than 12 ° C otherwise they could even fall. In the middle of the spring season, orchids should be kept outdoors, avoiding direct sunlight. It is also advisable to wait for the end of flowering before transferring them outside as any sudden changes in temperature or drafts could cause serious damage to the flowers.

Substrate, watering and fertilizing

For the Cymbidium orchid you can use a specific soil, available from the nurseryman, or compose it with a part of garden soil, two parts of osmunda (dried fern roots) and a part of sphagnum (a dried moss), adding polystyrene or pieces of bark. The substrate must have adequate drainage and therefore the larger parts of the components must be placed at the bottom of the vessel. Orchids must be watered frequently to ensure that the soil is always moist. In the summer season it is necessary to spray water on the foliage. The same thing will be done in winter, but the watering will be more rarefied. Plant fertilization must vary according to the time of year. During flowering, the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium will be 10:30:20. In the vegetative restart the ratio changes ie 30:10:10. At other times of the year the formula will be 20:20:20.

Cymbidium orchid: Orchid diseases and their care

The fall of the leaves of the Cymbridium orchid is often caused by an excess of water. On the other hand, a growth block and the fall of flowers are due to insufficient watering. Failed flowering is caused by inadequate lighting. The burned leaf is caused by sunlight that hits the wet leaf itself. Brown spots on the leaves reveal the attack of the cochineal, to be fought with cotton soaked in alcohol and with an insecticide. The aphids cause yellowing of the leaves and block the growth of buds and buds. They must be eradicated with specific insecticides also to avoid virus infections of which they are vectors. The red spider mite causes crumpled leaves. Leaf vaporisations are useful in this case. Rotting of leaves and roots of dark color are caused by fungi to be eliminated with pesticides and removing the infected parts.