A plant that should be way more popular in our San Francisco Bay Area gardens is the Cymbidium orchid.
Why? Take a look at the flowers… Take a look at the thin strappy, evergreen leaves. (Ok, forget the leaves, just take a look at the flowers!)
Not many plants offer the bloom finesse this regal plant offers. Plus, blooms can last for 2 – 3 months grown either in a pot or in the ground (photos below.) Each year, if planted in the right location, these evergreen beauties will send out reliable flower spikes that will have you and your neighbors talking.
An Orchid that Thrives Outdoors?
Most orchids are tender and grown indoors. Think of the popular easy to grow houseplant the moth orchid (Phalaenopsis).
Not the case with Cymbidium orchids. In fact, in our mild Mediterranean climate, these orchids bloom continuously for many months. Makes sense since hybrid Cymbidiums (well their parents) hail from a similar climate as ours making them a good match to our cooler, foggier summers and mild winters. The temperature along the coast is in line with what these modern hybridized varieties like. Hybrid Cymbidiums can survive an occasional temperature drop (say just above freezing) but this will definitely cause damage to the foliage and flowers. Protect them if the temperatures are dipping down to frost.
Cymbidium: About and Care
- Where to plant? Look for filtered light or morning sun.
- If growing in a pot, repot every 2 to 4 years.
- Flower best when roots are pot bound. Unlike many other plants, Cymbidiums can remain crowded and pot bound for numerous years.
- Flower spikes are covered with up to 30 blossoms.
- Cymbidium spikes bloom only one time.
- Blossoms are 2-5 inches across and last 8 to 12 weeks.
- Hybrid Cymbidiums are available in a wide range of amazing color combinations.
- Cymbidiums are native to Asia and Australia.
- For planting beds, the soil needs to be amended with at least 50 percent coarse organic material such as orchid mix, fir bark or wood shavings.
- For containers, a basic mix combines fine fir bark, loam or planter mix, and sand.
- The more crowded the roots the higher the spike count. This means more flowers!
- As cut flowers, Cymbidium stems can last 4-6 weeks. Wow!!!
Cymbidium Orchid Blooms Spikes Can Last for Months
Take a look below at photos A + B. The flowers spikes are still going strong after two months. Impressive, right?
Hope you enjoyed this short post.
We’ve provided our links for an easier search. Sellers offers range from bare root bulbs to 4″ potted plants with or without blooms. We always recommend a quick glance at the sellers reviews before purchasing.