For the first time EVER, all four of my Cymbidium orchids are blooming!
Back when I wrote my first orchid book (2002) I warned readers that Cymbidium could be tricky to bloom indoors because of the temperature drop required to set bud. You know how I like a challenge. I've never actually bought a Cymbidium for myself, but when they finish blooming for clients, I bring them home and experiment.
I think I've got it down.
The Cymbidium go outside in May and spend 4-5 months in the shade of a blue spruce. They're the last house plants to come indoors in October, staying out till nighttime temps get into the upper forties. I move them to a north facing window in the guestroom, and set the thermostat to fifty.
I usually see several bloom spikes start in February; last year I spoke harshly to one recalcitrant orchid, explaining that non-productive plants might find themselves on the compost pile. Would I really have done it? We may never know.
Perhaps this is Mother Nature's way of rewarding me for all the hard work I've been doing, writing this new orchid book. The first third of the text is due on Tuesday and I've been busting my ass to meet the deadline. (75 pages in 18 days? That's tight!)
Thanks Mother Nature, I'd say we're even.
P.S. Clivia says hello, too. She sits on the cold windowsill, next to the Cymbidium Sisters.