Articles About Orchids
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Articles About Orchids
   Are you ready for Spring? If you live in an area where the winter is cold and wet like here in Utah, I am sure you are looking forward to this special time of the year as much as I am.

   As the cold dark winter days finally start to disappear, everyone is thinking about the return of warm weather and bright sunshine. It is early March and while I am writing this article, I pause to look out my window. It is snowing and blowing and the last thing it looks like is Spring. I glance over at my calendar and sure enough, Spring is only two weeks away!

   Spring, to many people, is visions of Crocus peeking their heads out of the last vestiges of snow or the scent of fragrant Daffodils and Hyacinths filling the air as they burst open in a riot of colorful blooms. Birds fill the air with their chirps and songs as they too celebrate the changing of the seasons. Life returns to the land when Mother Earth throws back the blanket of snow after a long sleep. Animals that have been asleep all winter hear the call and begin to stir from their dens.

   The first sign of spring in my greenhouse is my turtles waking up and following me around my greenhouse asking to be fed. "What about the orchids?" you may ask. Oh yes!
   Many of my orchids are showing a very definite sign of spring. The flower spikes of my Phalaenopsis and the Paphiopedilums are loaded with buds ready to open in a display of beautiful blooms. There is one group of orchids in particular that are very special in the springtime. They are the pretty Cymbidiums. Many of you may have seen these pretty orchids even though you perhaps did not know what kind you were looking at. You can find Cymbidium blossoms made into pretty corsages and packed in little plastic boxes ready for sale in all the stores around Easter and Mother's Day.
   Cymbidium blooms are an excellent cut flower because they can last up to six weeks. They are the among the most popular cut flowers in the world. If kept on the plant, the blooms will last up to twelve weeks. There can be as many as 30 blooms or more on a single spike and are usually 2 to 5 inches in diameter. The blooms come in many different colors and shades: white, yellow, orange, red, purple, and even green!

   Cymbidiums make wonderful patio plants during the summer. In areas where the temperatures do not get below freezing, they can be grown outside year round. In late spring I place mine on my patio and enjoy them until late fall when I return them to my greenhouse for the winter. The standard size Cymbidiums can become very large and are usually not suitable for most people's homes unless they have a lot of room to spare. Smaller miniature verities of Cymbidiums are available and are perfect for your home as long as you have a bright sunny window where they can be kept.
   Cymbidiums are not difficult to grow if you provide the requirements that they need. They love lots of bright sunshine and plenty of water while they are growing. You may, however, want to place them in a shaded area while they are in bloom because the sun will fade the pretty blossoms.
    In the Fall they need a temperature of around 50 to 55 oF (10 - 12 oC) during the night to initiate the flower spikes. They like daytime temperatures as high as 85 oF (30 oC). Miniature Cymbidiums prefer temperatures about 10 oF (2 oC) warmer than the standard Cymbidiums.

   You should fertilize them until they are through blooming. When new growth appears, fertilize with a bloom-booster fertilizer. Cymbidiums do very well in a medium of fine orchid bark with a little humus or course peat mixed in it.