Monday, February 11, 2013

Cymbidium: antidote to a blizzard

Braving the snowy roads was worthwhile, if only because of the blooms waiting inside.

 I feel a special happiness when I get a Cymbidium to rebloom.

It's not hard once you nail down the rules, but it took me a while to figure it out.

1)  Move it outside in summer, into dappled light.
2)  Leave it out till the last possible minute, just before frost.
3)  Bring it into a lightly used space (spare bedroom?) where the lights can be left off and the heat kept low.  I leave the temperature at 50F and try not to turn the lights on after the sun goes down, so as not to disrupt the orchid's perception of day length.
4)  You'll probably only need to water about once every two weeks in this low temp/low light environment.
5)  Buds start to form about three months later.  The flowers take another month to fully open and last for several more.

Sure helps get me through the winter.