Growing Orchids Tips

The flowers of Cymbidium Orchids can vary from tiny 1cm blooms to over 15cm across, everything from miniatures that suit decorative pots to huge varieties that can grow a metre across.

They are exotic plants and are not hard to grow. If you are not getting many flowers on your cymbidiums, there are some suggestions on optimizing their growth.

By moving your plants into a position where they receive more light may encourage plants to come into flower. They like it warm, airy and bright. A protected position away from hot sun, strong winds and direct frost is ideal.

In spring, fertilise plants that haven't been repotted this year. There are two approaches to feeding – 1. Applying controlled release osmocote in spring and also liquid feeding a few times during the warmer months. 2. Using a liquid fertiliser as often as weekly during the growing season - that's from September to May.

If plants are left to dry out for long periods they will survive, but they often won't flower well in the next year or two. Water once a week in the cool weather, twice once weather warms up.

If your orchid is bulging out of the pot, it's often a sign that it needs to be repotted. The optimal time to do this is after flowering and then re do them every 2 to 4 years. Loosen the roots and remove old potting mix and dead roots - you don’t need to be particularly careful; use a sharp knife if it's too difficult. To guarantee flowering the following year, keep at least one old bulb with leaves and 1 back bulb - that's the bulbs without leaves - in each new plant. Refrain from fertilising newly planted plants for at least a month, give the roots time to recover.

In the wild Cymbidiums grow as epiphytes so they're roots grow in decaying timber and leaf litter with plenty of air around them, so choose a good coarse open orchid mix.

The secret of healthy plants is to add dolomite lime in pellet form, to your orchid mix. This prevents the pH of your potting mix becoming too acidic. It also gives the plant a calcium boost, which they love.

Tip: Water on flowers can quickly ruin the blooms so flowering plants prefer being shelter to expand their longevity; or cut them and use as a floral display as Cymbidiums can last 2 to 3 weeks in a vase.

Tip: Use seaweed solution as a bonus to your fertilising regime to help promote good root development and increase their tolerance to drought.

Angels' Advice

Bright green leaves are a good sign that orchids are happy.
When dividing orchids keep pieces fairly large to ensure continued flowering.
Bring flowering plants undercover to make blooms last longer.

SUPPLIERS - (potting mix)


Collectors Corner
810 Springvale Rd, Keysborough Victoria.

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