How To Repot Cymbidium Orchids?

How To Repot Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidium orchids, otherwise known as boat orchids, are native to Asia and Australia and can grow up to two feet tall. They have long, thin leaves and attractive blooms that come in white, yellow, pink or green. Like most plants, these orchids need to be repotted periodically if you want them to thrive. This article will dive deeper into how and why to repot your cymbidium orchid, so read on to learn more.

How to repot cymbidium orchids

To repot your cymbidium orchids, you will need to untangle and separate the mass of roots, which will be especially tricky if they have become overcrowded. You may need to use sharp pruning shears to separate some of them and make them more manageable. 

Next, remove any wilted or wrinkled roots and bulbs. To differentiate between healthy and dead roots, check their color and texture: Healthy roots are firm, vibrant and pale, while dead roots are brown and spongy. Cut out any dead bulbs so that you are left with a single row of old bulbs. Trim off the dead roots and shake off the debris. Also trim off any damaged leaves. 

Inspect the plant carefully for any insect or pest damage. You can help protect your orchids from pests by wiping the foliage with white oil or neem oil. 

Next, prepare your pot and make sure that it has very good drainage. If there are not enough holes, you can drill more – these plants have zero tolerance for soggy roots. 

Place the biggest clump in the center of the container and surround it with coarse orchid potting mix. Put the smaller clumps around it and fill with more orchid mix. Keep the bulbs just above the potting mix and the roots below. 

Water the orchid bulbs to settle and stabilize the fresh potting mix around the roots. Apply a wet orchid fertilizer and feed your orchid again during the late spring or summer, which is the growing period for its main foliage. 

When should you repot your cymbidium orchid?

Repot your cymbidium orchid when it has outgrown its container or if it has been in the same soil for at least two years. The best time to repot these plants is after their blooming has finished and right before the new growth begins. 

Cymbidium orchid care 

Cymbidiums thrive in temperate regions and grow in containers in any climate, but should be moved indoors at the first sign of frost. These plants are easily divided for repotting during spring and they grow quickly during the summer. The natural blooming season is winter, when the plants are placed indoors. Falling temperatures and reduced water usually trigger blooming. 

These plants prefer dappled sunlight during their growing season. If they are placed outdoors, do not put them in areas where there is direct sunlight as it could burn their foliage. Ideally, they should have a few hours of morning sunlight and shady afternoons. 

The leaves will be apple green if the lighting conditions are right. If the orchids have dark green leaves, it is likely that they are not receiving enough sunlight.

Cymbidiums are semi-terrestrial orchids and grow naturally in loamy soil. They will grow well when their potting mix is a rich, loose, organic one. The ideal combination is peat moss, fir bark, perlite and other loose organic materials.

Water the orchids regularly during the growing seasons, which are summer, fall and spring. Opt for pure water and steer clear of tap water, because an accumulation of mineral salts could cause damage such as leaf-tip dieback, which is when the tips of the leaves turn black and die. To get rid of a buildup of mineral salts, flush the potting mix with plenty of water. 

Reduce watering during the winter, but do not let the plant dry out completely. Keep the potting mix consistently and slightly damp. 

Cymbidium orchids are more cold-tolerant than many other orchid varieties. The larger varieties require an extended cold period to encourage blooms, while miniature varieties are not considered cold-weather dependent for blooming. These plants can withstand freezing temperatures, but frost could kill them. Inversely, they can survive the summer heat because they are suited to Asia’s temperate regions where day-to-night temperatures can vary greatly. 

These plants can tolerate high humidity but not very dry climates. An indoor humidity level up to 60% is ideal. To raise the humidity, place the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, ensuring that the bottom of the plant’s pot is not touching the water to avoid root rot. 

Conclusion 

Cymbidium orchids feature lovely blooms and are more cold-tolerant than other varieties, making them easier to grow in certain regions. Also known as boat orchids, they are native to Asia and Australia. Like most plants, they need to be repotted periodically to help them grow healthily. To repot these orchids, remove them from their previous containers, separate the roots and prune away any unhealthy ones. Use a coarse orchid potting mix in the new pot, and water the newly-repotted plant to stabilize the potting mix around the roots.

Image: istockphoto.com / joloei