Saturday, 22 August 2015 17:03

The Cymbidium Calendar

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  • blooming phase:  late fall to winter in the northern hemisphere, keeping its blooms until spring
  • growing phase:  spring through early fall
  • dormancy: fall – winter

 

Fertilizers

nitrogen(N) promotes growth of leaves

phosphorus(P) stimulates and promotes growth of blooms and eventually blossoms

potassium(K) promotes root growth

 

 

While blooming, the plant remains dormant in terms of growth. Bloom fertilizers focus on promoting flowers without encouraging further activity. Once cymbidiums finish blooming, the orchid's energy shifts from flowers back to active new growth.  "Finish blooming" means the last bud has opened, and the blooms can last for a month.  It is during this month that the energy shifts from bloom phase to growth stage.

 

There are three main types of fertilizers used for orchids: balanced, high nitrogen and bloom booster. An example of a balanced fertilizer would be represented by the numbers, 20–20–20. High nitrogen fertilizers have long been recommended for use with orchids potted in fir bark or fir bark mixes. The reason for extra nitrogen is that the bacteria which cause the bark to decay use up much of the available nitrogen, thus depleting the orchid. This practice has recently come into question. Nonetheless, using a high nitrogen fertilizer, especially in spring at the beginning of the growing season, can promote strong vegetative growth under ideal growing conditions. An example of high nitrogen fertilizer would be 30–10–10. Bloom, or blossom booster formulas are high in phosphorus. Typically, high phosphorus fertilizers are applied every other week for 4–6 applications the season before expected bloom. For winter-spring blooming orchids bloom booster is usually applied in the fall. An example of a bloom booster would be 10–30–20. Fertilizers used on orchids should contain little or no urea. This is because soil organisms must first convert the nitrogen in urea to a form useable by plants, and since orchids do not grow in soil, this conversion does not occur efficiently. 

 

 

MONTH STAGE WATER FERTILIZE APPLY
         
JANUARY Blooming / Rest twice a month 10-30-20 or 0-10-10 once a month
         
FEBRUARY Blooming / Rest twice a month  30–10–10 once a month
         
MARCH Sporadic Flowering twice a month  30–10–10  once a month
         
APRIL Growing

once a week

30–10–10  twice a month
         
MAY Growing

once a week

30–10–10  twice a month
         
JUNE Growing

once a week

30–10–10  twice a month
         
JULY Sporadic Flowering

once a week

30–10–10  twice a month
         
AUGUST Sporadic Flowering

once a week

10-30-20 or 0-10-10  twice a month
         
SEPTEMBER Sporadic Flowering

once a week

10-30-20 or 0-10-10  twice a month
         
OCTOBER Blooming / Rest

once a week

10-30-20 or 0-10-10  twice a month
         
NOVEMBER Blooming / Rest twice a month  10-30-20 or 0-10-10 once a month
         
DECEMBER Blooming / Rest twice a month  10-30-20 or 0-10-10  once a month

 

January

We are well into the flowering season now. Outdoor growers should be cautious of freezing temperatures. Damage starts to occur below 30 F. Be diligent about tying the inflorescences for best arrangement of the flowers. Also watch closely for slugs and snails. If weather is quite wet, protect the plants from the rain and this will help to reduce the risk of botrytis spotting. 

low nitrogen fertilizers should be used (10-30-20 or 0-10-10)

In winter, fertilize once a month.

Cymbidiums flower during their resting period in late fall and winter

decrease watering

 

February

We are well into the flowering season now. Outdoor growers should be cautious of freezing temperatures. Damage starts to occur below 30 F. Be diligent about tying the inflorescences for best arrangement of the flowers. Also watch closely for slugs and snails. If weather is quite wet, protect the plants from the rain and this will help to reduce the risk of botrytis spotting. 

High-nitrogen fertilizers should be used (30–10–10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks. In winter, fertilize once a month.

Cymbidiums flower during their resting period in late fall and winter 

decrease watering

 

March

Plants should be putting on a spectacular show this time of year. Adjust all staking and twist-ties and be on the lookout for aphids, slugs and snails. Give adequate water because flowering strains the plants. As new growths appear later, increase the nitrogen level in the fertilizer. Should a plant look healthy but not be blooming, try increasing the light during the next growing season. The number-one reason for no flowers is lack of light. 

High-nitrogen fertilizers should be used (30-10-10)

In winter, fertilize once a month.

Feed cymbidiums every two weeks from March until September

Cymbidiums flower during their resting period in late fall and winter

decrease watering

 

April

Plants should be putting on a spectacular show this time of year. Adjust all staking and twist-ties and be on the lookout for aphids, slugs and snails. Give adequate water because flowering strains the plants. As new growths appear later, increase the nitrogen level in the fertilizer. Should a plant look healthy but not be blooming, try increasing the light during the next growing season. The number-one reason for no flowers is lack of light. 

High-nitrogen fertilizers should be used (30–10–10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks.

Cymbidiums flower during their resting period in late fall and winter

decrease watering

 

May

From spring to autumn cymbidiums should be grown in the maximum amount of light 

High-nitrogen fertilizers should be used (30–10–10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks.

From spring to autumn cymbidiums should be grown in the maximum amount of light

increase watering

Potting is usually done in the spring after flowering

 

June

High-nitrogen fertilizers should be used (30–10–10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks.

From spring to autumn cymbidiums should be grown in the maximum amount of light

increase watering

Potting is usually done in the spring after flowering,

 

July

Summer can be the most rewarding season for cymbidiums. Growths should be coming strong now. The leaves of the new growths are best when they are broad and fairly stiff. The color should be a light green to nearly yellow. Early flowering varieties should be showing flower spikes, so move the plants into a cooler area with lower light. For mid-season varieties, lower the dosage of nitrogen to assist in spike initiation. 

High-nitrogen fertilizers should be used (30–10–10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks.

From spring to autumn cymbidiums should be grown in the maximum amount of light

increase watering

Potting is usually done in the spring after flowering

 

August

Summer can be the most rewarding season for cymbidiums. Growths should be coming strong now. The leaves of the new growths are best when they are broad and fairly stiff. The color should be a light green to nearly yellow. Early flowering varieties should be showing flower spikes, so move the plants into a cooler area with lower light. For mid-season varieties, lower the dosage of nitrogen to assist in spike initiation. 

low nitrogen fertilizers should be used (10-30-20 or 0-10-10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks.

From spring to autumn cymbidiums should be grown in the maximum amount of light

increase watering 

 

September

This little-known and under-appreciated genus, which can have male or female flowers, is at its best in the autumn. Two of the spectacular varieties are Cycnoches loddigesii, with its large brown flowers resembling a prehistoric bird, and Cycnoches chlorochilon, the swan orchid. This last one has large, fragrant green flowers. The biggest problem, culturally, will be red spider mite infestations that require immediate attention. Plants are quite seasonal, requiring heavy watering in the growing season and then a drier dormant winter season. 

low nitrogen fertilizers should be used (10-30-20 or 0-10-10)

Fertilize at full strength every week to two weeks.

From spring to autumn cymbidiums should be grown in the maximum amount of light 

decrease watering

 

October

This little-known and under-appreciated genus, which can have male or female flowers, is at its best in the autumn. Two of the spectacular varieties are Cycnoches loddigesii, with its large brown flowers resembling a prehistoric bird, and Cycnoches chlorochilon, the swan orchid. This last one has large, fragrant green flowers. The biggest problem, culturally, will be red spider mite infestations that require immediate attention. Plants are quite seasonal, requiring heavy watering in the growing season and then a drier dormant winter season. 

low nitrogen fertilizers should be used (10-30-20 or 0-10-10)

In winter, fertilize once a month.

decrease watering

 

November

Finally we begin in earnest the main cymbidium season. Cymbidium ensifolium can give some early and fragrant hybrids, but it is now that the bulk of the crop will be flowering. The season lasts for about seven months, adding color to any collection. Miniature varieties will peak for the next three to four months. There are three important things to do: stake inflorescences ramrod straight for best presentation, watch for slugs and snails (especially just after a rain), and fertilize with a mild balanced formula regularly. 

low nitrogen fertilizers should be used (10-30-20 or 0-10-10)

In winter, fertilize once a month.

Cymbidiums flower during their resting period in late fall and winter

decrease watering

 

December

Finally we begin in earnest the main cymbidium season. Cymbidium ensifolium can give some early and fragrant hybrids, but it is now that the bulk of the crop will be flowering. The season lasts for about seven months, adding color to any collection. Miniature varieties will peak for the next three to four months. There are three important things to do: stake inflorescences ramrod straight for best presentation, watch for slugs and snails (especially just after a rain), and fertilize with a mild balanced formula regularly. 

low nitrogen fertilizers should be used (10-30-20 or 0-10-10)

In winter, fertilize once a month.

Cymbidiums flower during their resting period in late fall and winter 

decrease watering

 

Read 2033 times Last modified on Sunday, 20 December 2015 16:20
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