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  #1  
Old 02-14-2011, 05:28 PM
ambalamba ambalamba is offline
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Growing Orchids in a Montana office
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Hi there!

In August, I began working an office job. Part of establishing my space here was to buy some plants and see if I could cultivate them under mostly florescent lighting. I ended up purchasing a beautiful moth phaleonopsis from a local grocery store. It was blooming and so pretty- but I knew nothing about orchids and soon found myself struggling to save the poor thing from root rot. It's roots had been packed in soggy sphag and shoved into a plastic bag. The flowers all died, and the spike also expired. I replaced the medium with bark and have been alternating watering and fertilizing. Now, it has lost two leaves, but also has sprouted two. The roots look greenish/white and are firm. I check it every day for growth and am encouraged by it's color. I hope it blooms again!

Today, my husband gifted me with a huge cymbidium for the office, it is blooming with one spike. It looks as though it has been in the same pot and medium for a long time. I am looking for tips on how to spot clues as to the health of this plant, and how to encourage it to grow in my office. I don't want for this orchid to be half dead before I realize it! (like what happened with my poor little phal!) If anyone has some advice for me on growing and maintaining these plants, I would surely appreciate it!
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2011, 07:55 PM
mayres mayres is offline
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Do you have windows in your office and if so which direction do they face? Ceiling fluorescent lights will NOT provide enough light for your orchids to grow. I also grow orchids in my office, but they are in windowsills facing slightly north, but mainly east. I'd prefer slightly south and east if I had an option, but alas....you work with what you've got - which you are finding out.
Where do you live? You will want to place your cymbidium OUTSIDE during the warmer non-freezing months - it will NOT thrive indoors. You can probably keep it indoors during the freezing months and enjoy the flowers at your office.....
Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 02-14-2011, 08:40 PM
ambalamba ambalamba is offline
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Growing Orchids in a Montana office
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Thank you for replying! I live in Montana, and it doesn't get consistently warm until around June (probably the end of June). My part of our office suite has no windows, but I have my phal in a spot that catches natural light for a few hours in the afternoon. Based on your advice, it sounds like I should bring my cymbidium home where I can make sure it gets proper light.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:22 PM
quiltingwacko quiltingwacko is offline
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You can get free care sheets for different kinds of orchids at American Orchid Society online. That will help you get started. Also, if you get into it more, a book called Orchids for Dummies has a lot of information in it. Last but not least, there are your fellow orchid addicts at the Orchid Board. Carol
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  #5  
Old 02-15-2011, 04:20 AM
RosieC RosieC is offline
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Welcome to Orchid Board

Cymbidiums often look root bound by this time of year. They can grow a LOT of roots in a year and will easily be trying to break out the pot. I would leave it for now and repot in the spring as new root growth should be starting then and that's the best time to repot.

When repotting a cym the advice is to remove 1/3 of the root ball. It seems really drastic but that's what I've been advised and they grow roots so well. That's why you are meant to repot in the spring, with a massive root ball it's almost impossible not to disturb the roots when repotting anyway (you need to try and remove the old medium from between them) and so repotting is best done when new ones will quickly grow to replace them.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:55 AM
ambalamba ambalamba is offline
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Thank you! I am really excited to look into the resources that have been recommended and also looking forward to being able to get words of wisdom from those of you here as I tend to these. I am sad about having to take the cymbidium home. It is so nice in my office! (color and dimension of any sort is SO welcome)
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:07 PM
Vanda lover Vanda lover is offline
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You could enjoy the cymbidium in your office for a while, but when in growth they need all the light that you can give them without burning them. In order to get them back into bloom, they need to feel the changing of the seasons, the lower temperatures. Full sun by August helps them to ripen. They also need regular fertilizing. Some people put Nutricote on them about now.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:28 PM
ambalamba ambalamba is offline
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Thanks again, everyone, for responding. While obsessing over the Cym today, I noticed that it has two little spikes. It is currently blooming, and a few of the flowers have begun to brown. Since I just got it yesterday, I don't know how long it has been blooming. The spikes are less than an inch tall, but nice and thick. My question will really reveal how much of a newbie I am but here goes... from what I am reading, it seems that the growth season is not when the orchid is blooming, but in the summer and spring months. Should I be making sure this plant gets plenty of light while it is producing these spikes, or does it need light most during the summer and spring?
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  #9  
Old 02-15-2011, 05:49 PM
Vanda lover Vanda lover is offline
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Cymbidium are one that grows year round, though they do slow down for the winter. Once it stops blooming, you'll want to get it outside as soon as it warms up enough [usually the begining of June] Be sure it gets well watered and fed through the summer. Don't let it dry out completely, but don't drown it, either.
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  #10  
Old 02-15-2011, 06:23 PM
ambalamba ambalamba is offline
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Thank you!
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