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  #1  
Old 07-17-2020, 12:09 PM
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Cymbidium ensifolium blooming and repotting questions Female
Default Cymbidium ensifolium blooming and repotting questions

Hi everyone! I love scented orchids and I have a few Chinese cymbidiums. They haven’t been blooming much for me for several years. Yesterday I found to my surprise a cymbidium Tie Gu Shui Jing in bloom. Right now they’re outside in their summerhouse in partial shade. More than half shade. Our temps have been in the 90°’s most of the time for several weeks. Watering once or twice a week unless it rains.

In winter they grow in my plant shed under Florescent lights but a bit off to the side. Temps during the day 65°+ as sun comes in through a south slanting skylight. At night the temp drops to 55°. (A choice I opted for hoping to bloom cats, phals, brassavola and other miscellaneous other orchids. I keep the humidity as high as I can by spraying the cement floor every day. Most are fed weekly with U of M orchid food.

Most of my Chinese cymbidiums don’t flower under these conditions. They did flower years ago when I had a couple I kept in the house all year about 3' from south facing windows.

What should/could I do to get blooms?

My second question is what part if any should I cut off of this plant when I repot? It was repotted early this spring. I was unable to get it lower in the pot because of the difference in the height of the pseudobulbs.
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Last edited by WaterWitchin; 07-20-2020 at 11:07 AM..
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2020, 03:10 PM
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Smallish pots like decorative tall Cym pots imply frequent repotting and dividing. Happy Cyms will rapidly fill a pot like that. When you repotted you could have cut off older pseudobulbs so the plant fit.

The photos you show look to me as though you're underwatering. The plant is not happy. These should be beautiful, prolific plants. They don't like going dry, and they especially don't like going dry on a regular basis. If the mix I see is that large throughout the pot, you could probably water daily.

Also, it's spelled ensifolium. Having it correct makes it easier to search. Maybe a moderator can correct the title.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:32 PM
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Sorry about the spelling of ensifolium. It was a typing error.

What potting mix would you suggest. I will make it and repot after blooming. Is cutting off the back bulbs what I should have done? I have larger cymbidium pots and will move it up to one of them. Will do the same with the rest of the cymbidiums I have.

How about my winter temps. Are they too low?

---------- Post added at 02:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:30 PM ----------

Also, would now be a good time to repot all of my cymbidiums? I don’t know what the best time of year would be.

Thank you.
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:41 PM
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Your mix is ok if you can water more frequently. If you only have time to water once or twice a week, use something with smaller particle size. The exact components don't matter.

Yes, especially for that kind of pot, you can cut off back bulbs. Keep them and try to grow them. People leave 2-4 good bulbs and cut off older ones.

Best time to repot is just as new growth begins, but don't repot in spike if possible.

I don't think your winter temperatures are too low. These get a lot cooler than that in habitat. Perhaps when they were in your house they got more water?
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Old 07-17-2020, 03:53 PM
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A good thought! I probably spent more time with them in front of me than I do with the collection in the growing shed all winter.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:12 AM
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Also consider upping the amount of light.
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Old 07-20-2020, 10:17 AM
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Thanks I will!
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:02 PM
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The potting mix is not okay. C. ensifolium like all other East Asian Cymbidium in the Jensoa Section in the Genus Cymbidium (C. sinense, C. kanran, C. goeringii, C. goeringii subspecies, and C. faberi), they are all terrestrial orchids.

In these pictures, the plant is not receiving enough water. The plant is only growing from the outside, all the pseudobulbs in the center of the plants are all leafless, this means that the plant is not receiving enough water. When grown properly, each leaf on every single pseudobulb should be green for 3-4 years before it turns brown and die naturally (senescence). If the leaf is turning brown and falling off less than 3 years, then it means that the plant is struggling so they turn brown to provide energy to the plant.
The correct potting mix should have pH between 5.5-6.8 (slightly acidic), with a good moisture retention and drainage capabilities. In the coarse bark mix, when you water, the materials is not good enough to keep an evenly moist root system (the whole root system should have the same amount of wetness/dryness). The potting I use to grow all East Asian Cymbidiums is a Blend of Hard Kanuma, baked Akadama, and Satsuma in 3 grades, large, medium and small as described in the traditional method. For C. ensifolium, since it is the easiest East Asian Cymbidiums, if you cannot find these materials, you can try 50% small bark and 50% medium to small grade hard kanuma/or Satsuma. This is an substitute, the plant will live but I cannot guarantee if it will thrive and flower every year.
In terms of the old and leafless pseudobulbs, you only cut them off if the bulbs are black and soft. If they are hard and juicy, don’t cut them. When grown properly, new babies will come out from these old leafless bulbs.
Also, in this mix, you only need to repot every 3 years or so, East Asian Cymbidiums hate to be disturbed often. It is grown in these tall East Asian Cymbidium pots to accommodate the long root growth habit. All my C. goeringii, I can see many white juicy roots on the bottom of the pots after 2-3 years.
Lastly, unlike standard/miniature cymbidiums, you only need to provide morning sunlight, no direct sunlight after 11:30am, in the summer time, even shadier. They only need little to no fertilizer, if you fertilize them heavily, they will like it.
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