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  #1  
Old 07-26-2020, 08:03 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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I have exactly one Cymbidium. I have to grow the ones that don't need cool weather to spike here in Texas, so I have Milton Carpenter 'Everglades Gold'. It is still too young to flower, but if it does flower, i want to invest in some more. I actually have my eye on some. There's a nursery in Hawaii (can't think of the name) that specializes in warm blooming Cymbidiums, but their minimum purchase is 5 plants, and that's a lot of plants to buy when I'm not eve sure I can bloom one, so I'll wait.

My question is about potting medium. My Milton Carpenter is planted in the classic Cymbidium mix from repotme. I typically buy the Imperial mixes from them, because they are typically better quality, but I tried the Imperial cymbidium mix, and it's almost entirely chunky peat moss. Is that the best way to grow a Cymbidium? In almost pure peat? It doesn't seem that way to me. The classic mix has a bunch of stuff in it. Coir, various inorganic bits (maybe stalite or lava rock, can't remember) and what looks like maybe rice hulls, plus some peat. My plants do much better in the classic mix than the imperial one. It's much more complex, and I much prefer it. It seems my plant does much better in it.

So I'm just wondering, has anybody else used these to mixes to compare them? The imperial mix is more expensive,but seems to me to be inferior to the classic mix. And I wrong here? Is almost pure peat the way to with Cymbidiums? I just think it's odd that the supposedly better, more expensive mix is almost all peat, while the cheaper classic mix has a bunch of stuff in it to create a complex blend that my cymbidium roots seem to love.

Anybody have any thoughts on that?
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2020, 08:13 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Cymbidiums don't care in the slightest about the mix, so long as they can stay moist but still have some aeration. Since before I was a kid people in southern California who don't know anything about plants and don't know even know the plant names grow them in huge pots on the porch with whatever bagged soil is cheapest.

I would think it makes sense to adjust the mix to your growing environment and how often you want to water. I've had very good results recently growing Cyms in pure LECA; a mixture of very large particle perlite plus potting soil; and a mix of pumice and potting soil. I'm probably going to use the perlite/potting soil going forward because the 5 gallon / 19 liter nursery pots filled with this are so light and easy to lift.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2020, 08:42 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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I wasn't too happy with that mix either, JScott. I just added chunky bark to it. They aren't fussy.

Orchid People is the place in Hawaii. Also look at Santa Barbara Orchid Estates. Their web site is amazing. Roberta knows them.
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Old 07-26-2020, 10:06 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
I wasn't too happy with that mix either, JScott. I just added chunky bark to it. They aren't fussy.

Orchid People is the place in Hawaii. Also look at Santa Barbara Orchid Estates. Their web site is amazing. Roberta knows them.
I have bought a few plants from SBOE, and they've been very nice, buy my gosh are their prices high. If I see something I want there, I usually go look for it elsewhere and I only buy from Santa Barbara if nobody else has the plant. But I've checked up on their Cymbidiums, and they have some really nice ones with ensifolium in the background or Peter Pan as a parent or grandparent, so if I see one there I really like, I'll probably get it. I'd really like a green one with a red lip, like Valentines Love or even Peter Pan itself. And yeah, the Repotme imperial Cymbidium mix is just too heavy for me and stays water logged too long. I prefer the classic mix because it is more open and drains better, which is good for me, because I love to water (I tend to be an overwaterer, so I like a loose, free draining mix haha)

And yes, Orchid People was the nursery I was talking about before. They have some really nice plants that don't need to cool down to bloom, but yo have to buy 5 at least. But I think I've almost got myself talked into buying 5 hahahahaha
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:35 AM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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The mix I use here in NJ has CA growers shaking their heads. However, it is an approach I learned at a cut flower nursery in Denmark, where they had 20 acres of greenhouses, half of them with Cymbidium.

3 parts chunky peat
2 parts composted manure (available at Home Depot)
1 part bark
1 part perlite

I can no longer get the chunky peat (without buying a trailer load), so I have switched that component to plain mulch.

While the plants are outside (late April through October, sometimes longer) in full sun, if there is no rain, I water with a sprinkler - 3 times a week, at least 3 hours each time.

Finally, we top dress with slow release (NutriCote) in March, and water with Peters 20:20:20 every 2 weeks.

PS. I have used the chunky peat for other genera, which do not like going dry:
  • Large Oncidium
  • Paphiopedilum
  • Phalaenopsis
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Last edited by Fairorchids; 07-27-2020 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:13 AM
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Many moons ago I imported about 500 “Chinese” cymbidiums a month from Taiwan. They arrived bare-root, usually 2-3 mature pseudobulbs plus a new growth, in-spike. They immediately went into S/H culture and took off - never lost a plant and rarely lost a flower.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:27 PM
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I have heard of one or two southern California old-timers (who I think are no longer with us) using things like composted manure in their mix. Given that Cyms are heavy feeders, I can see how it could be useful if the rest of the watering regimen works. I have to admit that Cyms are so easy where I live that they don't get proper respect, but I use cheap seedling-size bark mixed with perlite, top dress them with time-release fertilizer (which probably does pretty much the same thing as the manure).
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:44 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
I have heard of one or two southern California old-timers (who I think are no longer with us) using things like composted manure in their mix. Given that Cyms are heavy feeders, I can see how it could be useful if the rest of the watering regimen works. I have to admit that Cyms are so easy where I live that they don't get proper respect, but I use cheap seedling-size bark mixed with perlite, top dress them with time-release fertilizer (which probably does pretty much the same thing as the manure).
I am going to continue using the Repotme classic Cymbidium mix because I really like it and my plant is doing great in it, and I hate the Imperial mix, until I have so many plants that it becomes cost prohibitive to repot that many plants in Repotme mixes, then I'll come up with something cheaper. I have some manure. I may top dress the pot my Cymbidium is in with some manure. Seems like that would be a good idea, yeah?
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JScott View Post
I am going to continue using the Repotme classic Cymbidium mix because I really like it and my plant is doing great in it, and I hate the Imperial mix, until I have so many plants that it becomes cost prohibitive to repot that many plants in Repotme mixes, then I'll come up with something cheaper. I have some manure. I may top dress the pot my Cymbidium is in with some manure. Seems like that would be a good idea, yeah?
Note that FairOrchids uses composted manure... I do think that is a necessary step... uncomposted manure is likely much too strong, likely to burn plants, especially orchids. Cyms are heavy feeders as orchids go, but not compared to plants that grow in dirt.
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:42 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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I've been switching over to time release. I'm quite pleased with the results. When I think of it, I fertilize a little. Roberta is right. Uncomposted manure is too hot. Just like fresh bark isn't good for your soil. (I have to watch how I phrase that statement, as I might use the wrong wording.) Lol
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