How To Care For A Cymbidium Orchid
For years orchids have been a popular choice for many people when they want to send flowers to somebody really special. As a cut flower it has always been a success due to its amazing beauty and its ability to outlast any other cut flower. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many people are now choosing to send orchids in the form of potted plants instead. People just can’t get enough of them and, instead of giving somebody a few cut flowers that will die eventually, they prefer a gift that will keep on giving year after year. Cymbidium orchids are fairly easy to care for so there is no reason to feel intimidated by them. If you want to buy or send a potted orchid plant, then take a look at the following guidelines on how to care for the plant properly.
When selecting your cymbidium orchid, take a close look at the plant and make sure that there are no signs of disease or damage. Handle with care and protect the plant on the way home. That means that, even though it’s one heck of a hot day, you should not drive with your windows open. If you must, turn your air conditioner on low and make sure that any vents near the orchid are closed or pointed in a completely different direction. If you don’t have an air conditioner, then try to only open your window slightly and prop the plant up securely behind the driver’s seat. This is the part of the vehicle that will be least affected by any wind.
Once you get home, remove any plastic wrapping, place the pot on a drip tray and refrain from watering the plant for approximately 10 days. The orchid’s soil should be fairly moist but you don’t want to drown the plant. You should only water your orchid every 7 – 10 days. There should be holes at the bottom of the pot – to allow excess water to drain away. Don’t worry about the water that runs out into the drip tray because this is a good thing. Orchids like humid environments and as the water evaporates, it will cause the air in the plant’s immediate surroundings to become more humid. Extra humidity can also be created by gently spraying the plant with fresh water so keep a spray bottle handy.
Allow your cymbidium orchid to enjoy the morning and afternoon sun but keep it out of the midday sun as it is simply too harsh. If you notice that the leaves are light green in colour, the plant is receiving a sufficient amount of sunlight. However, if the leaves are dark in colour, this indicates that the plant needs more sunlight every day. If you place your orchid in a place that receives sunlight all day long, simply close a curtain during the hotter times of the day.
From February until July, the plant should be treated to some high nitrogen fertilizers but between August and January, you should rather use a low nitrogen fertilizer. There are special fertilizers just for orchids and you should find them at your local nursery. You should only apply fertilizer once a month. Follow the instructions carefully since too much fertilizer can harm your plant while too little will have no effect.
Keep your orchid out of the cold. They prefer hot days and this allows them to tolerate cooler nights but they can’t tolerate frost and such cold conditions.
Your orchid will need to be re-potted from time to time. It is recommended that this is done every 2 or 3 years and also that it is done between the months of February and June. Make sure that you use the correct potting soil in the new, larger pot. Special orchid potting soil is also available at your nursery.