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How to grow cymbidium orchids


June 2, 2023


Searles Gardening Team

Orchids are among the most beautiful and unusual flowers in the world. They have been used for religious ceremonies and decorative purposes for hundreds of years.

Cymbidiums are natives of Northern India and South East Asia and Australia. They grow in moderate climates similar to those in which humans feel most comfortable.

Cymbidiums require at least 50% light. They will do well outdoors under trees, for example, gums, where there is filtered light to moderate shade. DO NOT put your orchids under dense shade or beside walls that restrict the light. 99% of Cymbidiums that do not flower are not getting enough light. However, this light must not be direct as direct sunlight burns their foliage.

Very good air movement is most important as it reduces fungi and bacterial problems. Keep pots off the ground. This assists air circulation and drainage and also prevents grubs and snails from breaking down the potting mix or eating the plant. All orchids must be protected from direct winds.

Vary your watering according to climatic conditions. Cymbidiums like to be kept MOIST but NOT WET. During mid-Spring to early Autumn, watering in the evening is preferable. Watering in the morning is best in late autumn, winter and early spring. Water about once a week in cooler times, with every other day or every day watering during hot weather.

They will flower for a period of 8 to 12 weeks each year. When the flower sheath swells and the buds emerge, bring the plant in out of the weather and keep the flowers dry to prevent bruising.

When the plant grows over the side of the pot, remove the plant and, if necessary, divide it. Always have three bulbs – the lead bulb and two bulbs behind it in a clump. If this is not possible, do not divide the plant, just repot it as is into a larger container. Use Searles Cymbidium & Bromeliad Mix and put charcoal, polystyrene or bark into the bottom of the pot to assist with drainage. Place the plant into the container with the oldest bulbs at the edge of the pot and the new growth in the middle. The plant should be at the top of the mixture, not buried in it. Place a stake into the pot and tie the plant loosely to it for support. The best time to repot is in Spring or after flowering.

To promote healthy growth of your Cymbidiums, feed with Searles Flourish Orchid Booster and SeaMax Organic Fertiliser regularly. To boost flowering, supplement feeding with Searles Liquid Potash prior to flower bud development.

To control mealybugs and scale use Searles Pest Gun. Use pellets to control slugs and snails. Fungicide all orchids every 4-6 weeks with Searles Mancozeb. Also, be aware of attack from thrips or red spider.

For brilliant results with your Cymbidiums:

  • Repot with Searles Cymbidium & Bromeliad Specialty Mix.
  • Feed with Searles Flourish Orchid Booster and SeaMax Organic Fertiliser.
  • Use Searles Pest Gun to control mealybugs and scale and check fungus with Searles Mancozeb.