All of our cymbidiums are grown outdoors. They are under 55% shade cloth with direct sunlight all day. Cymbidium devonianum and it’s hybrids are grown under 70% shade.
All of our cymbidiums are watered once a week or every other week during the winter, depending on the level of moisture in the air. During the growing season (spring and summer), we generally water a minimum of once a week, and sometimes up to 2-3 times a week when the temperatures get above 80 degrees. During hot and/or windy weather (especially when the Santa Ana winds are blowing), the plants tend to dry out much quicker and require watering every other day or even daily for the smaller pots.
We water by hand to ensure proper leeching. This helps wash accumulated salt out of the pots preventing leaf tip burn. We use city tap water for most hybrids, and we use Reverse Osmosis water supplemented with a low dose of fertilizer for all plants that require low salinity, mainly species and most importantly devonianum and it’s hybrids.
All of our cymbidiums (except cym. devonianum) are fertilized with Nutricote 13-13-13 (270) slow release applied once yearly in February. Cymbidium species and particulary cym. devonianum and it’s hybrids are fertilized with Nutricote 13-13-13 but at a controlled dosage of 150 ppm using R/O water supplemented with the nutricote.
Redwood gorilla hair mix for Cymbidium Orchids
We use a mixture of redwood gorilla hair with 20% perlite #3. The plants have been growing extremely well from 3 inch pots up to 1 gallon pots. They appear to grow faster than any other mix I have tried, mainly due to the ph of the mix combined with it’s wicking nature. However, the mix has a short life of about 2 years, so we add redwood bark to the mix when going to pots greater than one gallon to extend the life of the mix for the specimen plants.
Seedlings just out of flask are planted in 1 gal community pots (25-40 plants per pot) with the same mix as above. In the past we have tried cell trays with different media, and all tend to dry out to quickly in our growing conditions. The community pots provide a much more successful option, with a much larger success rate in a shorter period of time. However, separation into individual 3 inch pots can be quite time consuming.