Guest Author - Haidy Ear-Dupuy
Cybidium Orchids are larger than most Orchids and they are not as commonly found in stores as the Phalaenopsis. Originated from the mountains of Asia and Australia, these orchids are semi-terrestrial. They can be grown in semi loamy soil or bark orchid mix. The tall plants with their long stalks flowers can contain up to 20-35 blooms at once. Because of their attractive, large, and long-lasting blooms, they are often chosen as wedding flowers. The colors come in all shades ranging from white to yellow, pink to greenish.
Considered to be a cool growing orchids, the Cybidium can withstand temperature as low as in the 50s degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the cool temperature at night is what eventually forces the plant to produce flower stalks. If your plant is used to growing in temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit day and night, the drop in temperature at night to below the usual temperature will create the change that the plant needs to produce blooms. In the Mid-Atlantic States, you can grow your Cybidium outside from Spring to Fall and just bring them inside for the winter months.
Watering and Fertilizing
This large orchid needs to stay moist but not soggy. Keep the pot on a bed of gravel so that it is not sitting in water when you water. If you are watering your orchids once a week, Cybidium can be watered twice a week or more if sitting outside in a hot and dry environment. You can feed the orchid at the same time as watering, every 10-12 days with higher nitrogen fertilizer during the active growing season and as you get closer to the blooming season-cooler months, switch fertilizer to one that boost blooms, with no or low nitrogen content. Continue to do so as the plant produces buds and go through its blooming phase.
After the flowers faded, you can divide the Cybidium if they have outgrown the pot. To do so, you can break up the pseudo bulbs cluster, keeping around three bulbs per plant. Usually, every two to three years, the plant need to be repotted, you can also take the time to evaluate whether or not you will need to divide them, depending on the size of your plant. As the pseudo bulbs get old, they may loose the leaf completely. If your plant has many of these leafless pseudo bulbs you can choose to keep them all or discard some that is not attached to any potential new bulbs to make the plant looks better. With proper nurturing, your divided plants will rapidly grow to fill out its new pots before you know it.