Cymbidium - Need help

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by Velosh, Aug 19, 2017.

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  1. Velosh

    Velosh New Member

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    This is a Cymbidium that I took from a friend. It was over watered and most of it rotted off. I managed to save a small portion but it's not doing well. It would produce a new plant and soon after it would start turning brown. At first I thought that I was over watering it because the new growth would die off. I watered it less frequently and changed the medium to hydrotons. It produced another plant but the same results would happen. It would start growing and it would eventually turn brown. Now I'm guessing that there might be some disease. I recently checked on the roots and they are super white. They do seem healthy. Very firm and not mushy.

    Any ideas?
     

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  2. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    What kind of growing medium are you using? Fine bark chips are recommended; I've even seen mention of adding some soil. The medium at the top of the pot in the photos looks much too coarse. I've had Cymbidiums growing in the same pots for over 20 years without changing the medium; and they still produce flowers after being set outside for the summer.
     
  3. Velosh

    Velosh New Member

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    Hi Vitog,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    The medium that I have right now is called hydrotons. It's basicaly like clay balls. They are good at retaining just enough water and because they have a lot of surface area, water evaporates quickly.

    The original media that the plant had was sand and some pebbles and some soil as well if I remember correctly. My uncle kept watering it because he said that the water keeps going through (I think it was designed that way) and the media wasn't retaining any water. I think it is the reason why the orchid rotted. I took it from him and changed the media and cut off all the rotten parts. I retained some of the original media but I added orchid wood chips to create more aeration in the media. The plant would then produce a new shoot and it would turn brown and die in a few weeks. At this point I thought that the media is retaining too much moisture and causing the orchid to die off so I changed it again to all wood chips and some sphagnum moss for moisture. Again, same result. I would get a new growth and it would die in a few weeks. Being desperate, I changed the media to all hydrotons and some sphagnum moss. I would only water sparingly making sure that it doesn't get too wet. The new growth still turned brown as you can see in the picture but it survived. It hasn't died off yet and it has been a few months now so I'm guessing it's a bit happier in the new media. The last time I checked, there is a new growth near the roots. I'm curious to see if it too will turn brown. At this point I'm guessing that moisture might not be the problem but maybe it's a viral or another pathogen that's causing it to turn brown.

    How often do you water your cymbidium?

    Any thoughts or opinion would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Do you grow this outside, or in a greenhouse? I know nothing about Cymbidiums, but the first site I checked out said flat out that they don't do well indoors, then went on to make some suggestions.
    Plant Care for Cymbidium Orchids
     
  5. Velosh

    Velosh New Member

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    Hi Wcutler,

    Thanks for the link. It has good information. I keep it indoors. My uncle kept it in a solarium thought that got lots of sun. Maybe this time it is the temperature and sun and not so much about the watering. Anyways, I immediately placed it outside. I will gradually move it to a place that has more sun just so that it won't be a shock to the plant. Thanks for the information. We'll see what happens.
     
  6. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    Velosh, I think that Cymbidiums probably like a medium that holds water better than clay balls do. Since I haven't re-potted my plants in such a long time, the bark chips have probably rotted and turned into mushy compost, which presumably holds water pretty well. I only water when I think of it, possibly about once a week at best; and yet they are doing pretty well, despite being terribly root bound. In the summer, they are watered at least once a week as part of lawn watering. During hot weather they get some additional water.

    My Cymbidiums are moved outdoors and indoors pretty much as described in the link that Wendy provided.
     
  7. Velosh

    Velosh New Member

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    Thank for the input Vitog.

    Thanks everyone for the information. I'll try and revive the plant
     

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