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  #1  
Old 11-29-2022, 09:39 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Default Cymbidium won’t grow

Hi all! I need some help with my Cyms. They grow super slow and stop at around 6-8 inches long for the leaves. The leaves also don’t usually last very long. When I first got the plant (it has been split into two) there were tons of leaves and clusters that were easily twice that with really big healthy bulbs. I haven’t been able to get any pseudoblubs of any decent size either.

They are in separate plastic pots but the same decorative pot so the get the same everything when it comes to water and environment. They are kept wet/ moist, get fed miracle gro tomato food every few watering, and receive mostly full sun for several hours a day. They were outside getting really good light but are now inside with slightly less, but still bright light. The roots seem to be doing well, from what I can see through their pots. A definite improvement from when they were potted last year. I’m in zone 7 so they don’t winter outside. I currently have some leaves growing which started over a month ago, I think. I’ve attached pictures. What should I be doing differently so that they grow better?


(The twine is there because they were previously outside in a very windy place and the moss kept flying away. They aren’t there anymore because it was way to much light. I just never got rid of the twine.)
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2022, 12:30 AM
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We need more information to answer properly.

What is the potting medium? How long since they were repotted?

How much Miracle Gro are you adding to how much water?

How do you decide when to water again? How do you water them - do you take the pots somewhere and water, then let drain, or do you add more water to the pots in the decorative container?

Are there holes in the individual pots? Do you stand them in water in the decorative pot?

The leaves look to me as though they are drying out from lack of water. This suggests to me the roots aren't healthy since you discuss keeping them moist to wet.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2022, 09:56 AM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Ok. Potting medium is mostly sphagnum with some bark.

I add 1 tsp miracle gro to 1 gallon of water.

I water when the top moss starts to dry/ feel a little crispy. I recently removed about 1/2” of moss fron the top since they are inside and don’t need to hold in as much moisture. I have also removed the twine.

I usually water them in the green pot. It has three holes in the bottom and they are sitting partially in more bark with a little moss. The pot fully drains and they do not sit in any puddles.

The individual pots are clear plastic orchid pots so they have lots of holes.

I don’t think the roots are particularly unhealthy. The ones I can see are white, full and firm. I can’t necessarily vouch for the ones I can’t see of course. I have attached pics of the roots that show and the park they are sitting on.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2022, 10:25 AM
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Based upon the pictures, I'd say the potting medium is old, decomposing, and saturated with fertilizer residues, and is killing the roots.

The fact that you can see white growth on the ends does not mean the roots are healthy. The attached photo (I use it in a presentation, and it originated with someone here) shows the issue - the nice, healthy roots started to die as the medium decomposed, but the new root tips appear to be fine. Unfortunately, eventually, the roots between the tip and the plant will be lost altogether, rendering the "good root tips" of no value.

I wasn't clear on your feeding regimen, but if the Miracle Grow is the 30-10-10 formula, you should use no more than 1/3 teaspoon/gallon one time per week.
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Old 12-05-2022, 12:09 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Feeding regimen is about 1 every other watering and I usually cut the fertilizer in half. I premix 1 gal and do about half half with regular water when I feed this one.

It’s sounding like I need to repot them. I was going to wait till spring for that but is it ok to repot in winter?

Also, how much should I be watering my Cyms? I had thought they were a keep wet orchid but it sounds like that is not the case.
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Old 12-05-2022, 12:15 PM
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You can repot Cyms at almost any time, since they are usually growing roots. I agree with Ray. I would repot them now into a mix that holds a lot of air. If you glance through the Cymbidium forum here you can read what other people use.

They need to stay moist but not soggy wet. They can come close to dryness between watering.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2022, 12:49 PM
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In my opinion, understanding and managing the air/water ratio is the most important factor in orchid culture, but is the most difficult one to master, as that can vary with potting materials, containers, ambient conditions, and even the watering habits of the grower.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2022, 02:05 PM
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Cymbs can be considered terrestrial orchids. That means sphagnum is not a suitable medium.
Use large bark instead and water them frequently.
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2022, 06:35 PM
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Choice of medium is based on the goal... damp but not soggy. Large bark is OK if climate is humid and one waters a lot... If it works, then it's a good one for you. In my climate (southern California USA) humidity is moderate-to-somewhat dry. I use small bark with perlite (which helps to maintain airspace), I water about every 2 days, may let it go 3 in winter. My Cyms are always pretty wet, I repot every 2-3 years. Mix is very free-draining... plants are on wire racks not solid shelves, so there is air circulation under the pots. All of them grow outside... winter lows down to mid-30's F, 2 deg C occasionally lower for a few hours, and summer highs usually around 85-90 F (29-32C), occasionally somewhat higher. Almost full sun, some light shading mid-day summer. I use time-release fertilizer on them in spring to supplement the general fertilizing that everything gets... they are hungry because they grow fast.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2022, 03:45 PM
Girl_With_An_Orchid Girl_With_An_Orchid is offline
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Roberta, I laughed when you said quick growers. Mine have always been turtles! Hopefully I can change that! I finally got to repotting them. I e attached pics of the roots and potting medium. For the most part, I’d say they are in fairly good condition. I’ve left them out for a day to let everything dry fully so I can see if they roots stayed firm. Maybe a tiny skish of softness left but I’d say I’ve removed the dead ones. They did a little growing since I potted them last summer but not much. Thankfully not a lot of rot either. It is normal to find a little when reporting though right? Like 1 or 2 roots? Even with my happiest Phals I tend to find at least 1 or 2.

I’m not one to remember to water every other day, especially since these two are outside most of the year, so when I repot I’m still gonna have moss but I’m gonna use a lot more bark this time. I have been using black volcanic rock for airspace but is perlite better? What is a good time release fertilizer to use?
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