Every time I write an article, or feature an orchid on my blog I get comments from people who think that growing orchids is hard, that you need a temperature-controlled greenhouse, or a tropical island to grow these exotic beauties.
The truth is it’s easy to grow orchids, well, at least some orchids. The two I think are the easiest are cymbidiums and phalaenopsis.
Both these types of orchids require surprisingly little care.
We would put our corsages into the refrigerator after we were done wearing them so they would keep longer. We never did anything with them; we just kept them in the fridge and looked at them through their clear plastic boxes between mayo and the peanut butter.
I think the last corsage I saw was on the mother of the bride at the last wedding I attended.
Corsages are usually made with cymbidium orchids. So I couldn’t believe it when my mom started growing orchids—and they actually survived. Not only that but they thrived. And she grew them outside.
I don’t live in the tropics. I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California and I grow my cymbidiums outside. When they bloom some time in April, the blooms last five to seven weeks.
I buy cymbidiums and keep them inside until their blooms fade.
When their blooms fade I put them outside with my other cymbidiums.
It’s cymbidium season right now
I keep some of my cymbidiums under a large redwood tree and some on my porch. I buy them when they are in bloom, some I received as gifts. I keep them in my house until the blooms fade then I move them outside and wait until the next April because they bloom like clockwork during that month.
Their flower spikes start in February and open in April. I keep them in the same containers until they split open and my friends notice. “Hey Chigiy, did you ever think of transplanting those orchids?” The truth is it makes me nervous to transplant cymbidiums. I hear a voice inside my head saying “If it ain't broke, don’t fix it.” After all they bloom like crazy. I had 48 spikes on one plant two years ago.
As it turns out orchids love to be pot bound. They actually grow better this way.