Briefly: the cymbidium report

A note on the cymbidium orchids growing on my patio. This has been not only an especially wet rainy season, but also a cold one, and the orchids seem to be about a month later than usual in blooming. The buds on roughly half the flower shoots have not yet opened, and it’s mid-April; this is a bit ominous, because once hot dry weather comes (normally, the beginning of June), any flowers shrivel and die, while the plants go dormant until the cool rains come again (roughly, in November), though their strap-like green foliage remains.

Always the first of my cymbidiums, a variety with bright yellow has just, today, come to the end of its season. Its flower shoot appeared just after Halloween, the buds finally opened 2 months later, just after New Year’s, and the flowers lasted for 3½ months.

Unfortunately, the 8 stalks of buds that haven’t yet opened have only about 6 weeks until the floral grim reaper’s scythe; their normal lifespan will be much shortened, and some buds might even wither in the heat before they can open.

But what I actually have, to view out the window where I work, is quite a display, the central items being a pink variety, and one in the palest of yellows. Photos of these from 3/20/21:



3 Responses to “Briefly: the cymbidium report”

  1. Mark Mandel Says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for the photos, and I hope this year’s blooms will fare better than your predictions.

  2. lise menn Says:

    Can you get someone to bring the orchids that are still just buds indoors when the dry season starts?

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Well, no. The first thing is that I live in a small (4 rooms, including a tiny kitchen, plus bath) already crowded condo, and these are *big* plants: the very sturdy flower stalks are about 2 ft tall. They don’t need especially large pots, but they do need regular watering, year-round (which I do with a hose outdoors when the rains stop) and a lot of bright indirect light (which is simply impossible inside my ground-floor condo). My front patio is pretty much perfectly situated for them. What sends the plants into dormancy — they are handsome foliage plants for most of the year — is heat (not dryness; if they dried out, they’d just die).

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: