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  #1  
Old 12-29-2018, 01:48 PM
BD11 BD11 is offline
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Miniature cymbidium question
Default Miniature cymbidium question

Hi everyone, I have a miniature cymbidium that all the leaves are turning yellow and then brown. I know it is normal to lose some leaves but it looks like they are all going one by one. It currently has 3 bulbs (one has no leaves at all) and none of them feel soft or rotten. When I got it, it did not have a ton of roots but it looked like it had enough for the size of the plant. They seemed to look ok so I potted it up in bark and I have been watering about once a week. I am giving it a little fertilizer once or twice a month. Also, I have it under my grow lights with some other plants since it is winter here.
Any suggestions would be appreciated? Can it lose all its leaves and still live? It does seem to have a new growth coming up but I didn’t expect it to lose that many leaves.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Last edited by BD11; 12-29-2018 at 01:57 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2018, 02:10 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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They require lots of water, only slightly less in the winter season. They are terrestrial, so while that bark could work, terrestrial mix is preferred. They are also heavy feeders during the growth season. I think you plant is potted in too coarse a mix (for it's size) and grossly underwatered.

We have a couple of cymb experts that will chime in. What I know, I learned from them.

Last edited by Dollythehun; 12-29-2018 at 02:37 PM..
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:35 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Dolly's correct. Especially for a miniature, bark is way too large for watering once a week. You can especially tell it isn't getting enough water by looking at the new growth attempting to come up and already looking dehydrated.

What's the average humidity in the area where it lives? The temperature range? Hours a day of light?
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Old 12-29-2018, 02:36 PM
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I'm not a Cymbidium expert but I agree it's been severely underwatered for quite a while. It might die. Don't give up hope, though; sometimes even ones looking like this can come back if there's still a good growth point remaining. But you only get one more chance with a plant this sick.

Pull it out of that pot. Don't cut off any roots; you can't tell which are good and which are dead. Repot in a pot about twice that size. For medium use something with good aeration but more water retentive. It will depend on what you have. You could mix 75% that bark with 25% commercial potting soil.

Don't let it dry out, but don't keep it soggy wet. Put it someplace with bright shade and hope for the best. Once a new shoot starts begin fertilizing with water soluble fertilizer as you would for house plants.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:38 PM
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You think it's that far gone E.S.? I think if repotted soon into better media, it's not a goner. If watering commences. Cymbs are so darned hardy. Growing and blooming them are of course two different things.

As long as the bulbs are still viable, it may turn into one of those back-bulb stories... which will take a lot more time, but with new bulb(s) coming up the plant will survive.

Wow... I just questioned E.S. I need to go lie down for a bit.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:02 PM
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Wow thanks for the advice. I didn’t realize it was a watering issue. The bark has been staying wet and the directions I read for this plant was it ok for it to slightly dry out. I have another cymbidium that is doing great however it came to me a much larger plant and already potted in medium.
I have some plain old peat moss that I use to mix up for my African violets. Would that work? Also I am hearing I need a bigger pot which is something else I didn’t know. All my other orchids I try to put them in pots that are on the smaller side so they don’t stay too wet.
I have it in my basement on a light shelf that I have some African violets, streptocarpus, and a couple succulents on which all seem to be fine. I am not sure how humid it is down in my basement but I have a whole house humidifier set on 35%. The temperature in the basement is about the same as it is upstairs. We have do have vents down there. We keep it mid 70s in the daytime and low 70s at night.
Thanks again and fingers crossed. If it doesn’t make it I guess I least know what not to do at this point.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:12 PM
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We have a senior member who grows them in peat moss and manure. The bark is too large, change it to a terrestrial mix and chop up that bark and add some back in. I don't think your pot is too small but, remember, cymbs have deep roots. So, the diameter may be right but the depth too shallow. Wait to see if it can recover before you invest. Humidity is not an issue for me but, they are tough and can probably shrug off less than perfect humidity.

How long have you had this little guy? What did it look like when it came to you?

Last edited by Dollythehun; 12-29-2018 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:02 PM
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Thanks again for the replies. I have had this plant for about 3 months now so not very long. When it came to me, I didn’t think the roots looked that great but this was my first cymbidium so I wasn’t 100% sure so I just potted it up. It was the same size as now just all the leaves were green. I did notice within a couple days of having it the leaves on the right started to fall over so I staked it up. I thought maybe it was just adjusting to the trip and my environment. After that those leaves turned yellow and brown and then the leaves on the right started turning yellow and brown.

I went ahead and repotted it a little bit ago and added some peat moss, perlite and vermiculite mix to the bark. It had some spag moss already in the pot which I left in. I did put it in a bigger pot that is bigger around but also slightly deeper so we will see how it does. I gave it a good watering and took it out from under the lights. I put in front of a west window but several feet back so it won’t get a lot of sun (plus it is winter here).

Also, I took a picture of the current roots and again they don’t look good to me. I could be wrong but they look too brown and brittle but they were still wet from last time I watered. I did not cut any of them off even though some do not look viable to me.

Anyway, I will give it a bit and see if it is able to recover.

Thanks again for all the help.
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Last edited by BD11; 12-29-2018 at 06:04 PM..
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:14 PM
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It's viable. It is amazing how vigorously these grow when they are happy.
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:02 PM
orchidsarefun orchidsarefun is offline
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What Cymbidium is this? My ensifoliums dislike water in the crown area of the bulbs - as I discovered when they were outdoors in the rain and I lost a few bulbs. I have mine in comparatively large bark and make sure 1) they are in Cymbidium pots ( deep ) and 2) they are watered around the outside of the growths with room temperature water, roughly 1x per week. Water runs out the bottom of the pots over sink. I water again when the pot is "light" again.
Another no-no is planting them too deep in the media - your's look ok but check this.
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