Thanks for sharing M.Just a summary of all the messages I read about Asian/Oriental Cymbidiums. Here is a culture tips for Cymbidium goeringii. The same applies for Cymbidium sinense and Cymbidium ensifolium, the only exception is that the winter temperature must maintain above 10C (50F).
First: You want to grow them outside in a shaded sheltered spot as long as possible, I grow them outside from mid-May until Halloween (Oct 31st). I live in Toronto Canada. From mid-May until Halloween, all Cymbidium goeringii receive only morning sun from sunrise to no later than 11:30am.
By mid May, the temperature is more stable in the day and night, and has no dry wind like in early spring. In Toronto, the summer temperature can reach 30C (85F) and they love it.
The flower buds for Cymbidium goeringii is induced in the middle of the summer, you should be able to see the flower buds poking out from the surface of the pot anywhere from beginning of September to the end of October.
The flower buds become dormant until Winter Solstice.
From Winter Solstice, my growing conditions are the following:
temperature is between 6C (42F) to 11C (51F). You can go down as low as 0C(32F). The temperature must be below 14C (57F); otherwise, the plant will go out of dormancy and the nutrient is diverted to growing leaves instead of concentrating its energy for flower development. This is one reason why the flower buds blast.
Watering: Keep it dry, I barely water it in the winter.
You should start seeing the flower buds to develop in mid January. The flower buds will become bigger and rounder.
The flowers should start to bloom from mid-end of February to beginning of April (depending on the varieties).
Wow. So much to think about. SO MUCH. Several have tried to help but I feel I have missed critical info and/or potting materials have been unavailable. And I guess they still are, because I cannot shop in/from Japan. If you ever had a notion to order extra, I would gladly pay if it’s within my reach. Is there any website to look at your Japanese vendor’s plants...? Even seeing named varieties is a thrill, even if it’s all in Japanese. The closest I ever was able to come to the kanran of my dreams was through Wenqing Perner, a variety she called “Makesu.” That’s the one I lost. I am sure I have not even seen the best of Japanese beauties. I love everything about the way they grow and am also into their Neofinetia culture (though somewhat ironically, the best plants to which I have access to are from a wonderful Korean dealer).Linus_Cello and BrucherT: Yes, Kanuma and Akadama are used for bonsai but are also used for Cymbidium **there are different qualities**, only get the best quality for Cymbidium goeringii. I get my Asian Cymbidium potting mix directly from Japan, they are not available in North America, I go to the source directly to purchase them. This potting mix is the Japanese standard to grow any Asian Cymbidiums including C. ensifolium, C. sinense, C. kanran, C. goeringii, and C. faberi. This is exactly the mix you see in all the Japanese website and Japanese books. The potting mix is composed of 3 different kinds of pumice: 1. hard Kanuma, (硬質鹿沼土), 2. baked/fire treated Akadama (焼き赤玉土), and Satsuma (薩摩土). I buy them as a premixed bag, in a premixed ratio. Each pumice has different properties, when you mix them in a certain ratio, they will have a perfect pH, perfect balance of moisture/wetness, and perfect aeration for the roots. Once all my Cymbidium goeringii are potted in this mix, all of them grow like any other orchids, and all the ones that have flowers last fall, all bloomed this spring. In this potting mix, I doubled the size of a Chinese Cymbidium goeringii in 3 years, also 3 of the Japanese Cymbidium goeringii came half dead (almost all the leaves fell) due to the delay in customs last year. I was able to rescue all of them (they are very healthy now) in 1 growing season and I bloomed one of the 3 plants this year.
As a little summer project a few years ago, I tested various potting media for Cymbidium goeringii that are readily available in North America including USA/Canada including Sphagnum moss, homemade bark mix (bark, charcoal, perlite), and Coconut bark/husk and they all failed miserably, these potting media don't have the right properties for Cymbidium goeringii.
To grow them successfully, you can disregard ALL instructions that is in English about Cymbidium culture, they are all wrong. I wrote a manual to grow Cymbidium goeringii. Here is a brief summary:
Water: only use clean water, RO water, rain water, or you buy distilled water from grocery store. When using the potting mix described above, when the surface of the potting is dry, I water so it varies depending on the month of the year.
Another very important point: Always keep the roots cool, do not ever let the sun shines on the pots, you will roast the roots and kill the plants. Here are my growing conditions which are adjusted according to the 4 seasons:
Spring: March-Mid May (basement underlight)
Temp: average around 15C (59F). Keep it cool
Summer: Mid-May to beginning/mid Sept
I grow them outside below my shady perrenials. So the temperature and humidty is outside temp. I live in Toronto Canada so Chicago has a very similar summer climate. Morning sun only, from sunrise to around 11:30am. Flower is induced in the middle of the summer. The flower bud induction has nothing to do with the cool fall winter.
Fall: mid Sept-Halloween:
I grow them outside below my east facing porch. This location receives direct sun from sunrise to around 11am. This time, it is okay to give direct sun for a few hours because it is cooler. The direct sun will make the pseudobulbs strong.
Winter (part 1): Nov 1- winter solstice
In the basement.
Temp average around 15C (59F)
Winter (Part 2): Winter solstice-end of Feb
In the basement, underlight.
Temperature range is between 6C (42F)-11C(51F). The temperature can never go above 14C (57F), otherwise, the plant will go out of dormancy into vegetative growth (growing leaves), so instead of concentrating the nutrient to the flower bud, it goes to the leaves. As a results, the buds blast.
All these conditions have been tested and tried for a few years now and works every year.
To purchase these Asian Cymbidiums, I purchase from my Japanese Cymbidium vendors directly. I can get it every year if I want to. He doesn't ship and does not speak a word of English. He sells mainly Cymbidium goeringii but he also has loads of Cymbidium kanran.
May I ask where you found C.Kanran and C. quiebiense in the US? Thanks!This thread drops from the sky like a miracle. I have been trying to learn these plants and acquiring them is very difficult. Your cultural directions are easily adaptable to me here in Chicago! The plant I actually desire most is a red C. kanran “Makesu,” which I did acquire and which died on me despite my best efforts and kind counsel from the very reputable vendor (she said I did nothing wrong and offered to replace it; I declined because I KNOW I did something wrong, I just need to figure out what), it browned off and died.
The one thing I don’t see in your cultural advice is anything about mix or potting or feeding. I have struggled to figure that out and would love advice.
I currently grow the following Jensoa Cymbidiums in South windows in a Chicago apartment:
1 C. ensifolium, in a 14-inch tree pot; mix is small bark, some sphagnum, charcoal (Hausermann’s seedling mix), osmunda chunks, lots of pumice, limestone, some akadama, some red lava rock. It has grown for me for 2.5 years and bloomed late last spring. It seems robust. I potted it at the same time as my C. kanran and they grew next to each other; kanran died last summer, ensifolium looks pretty good here.
2 C. quiebiense, 1.5 years with me. These arrived with the kanran; one of these thrived, the other went down down down...until I treated it with a two rounds of Safari and then started watering with Innocur (thanks FirstRays!) and it stabilized, our on a new growth. The other, which I picture below, seems be thriving, has matured two growths and its biggest issue seems to be stubborn scale. The quiebiense are potted mostly in rock with a bit of Hausermann’s seedling mix. “Rock” = pumice, limestone chips, red lava, akadama...
Lastly pictured is the little C. goeringii I picked up at Hausermann’s open house 7 weeks ago. No label but I recognized it and made a deal. Was the only one in the place and was very bad-looking at the time but leaves and growths sprouted for new I am delighted. I don’t even care for variegated plants particularly, am more into natural “wild”-type species, but this is the first one I’ve ever actually beheld for sale and I grabbed it. It seems to be potted in bark that needs replacing but I was hoping for more info from someone before I did that...biggest question is what is “Kanuma,” exactly? Asian growers add it to their rocky mixes sometimes up to 50% and I just can’t figure out what it is, if there’s a U.S. equivalent product?
In any case, THANK YOU for the gift of cultural info above. My Jensoas will go outdoors soon, gawd help them and us.
P.S. the photos posted exactly backwards. Hopefully you will just recognize the species; I give up.
Excellent question and the answer is, I didn’t! The plants came from Wenqing Perner of Heng Duan Biotech nursery, in China. Please write to Wenqing at firstname.lastname@example.org for her incredible list; tell her Bruch Reed sent you!May I ask where you found C.Kanran and C. quiebiense in the US? Thanks!
Will do. Thank you so much! Did you also get your kanran from her? Regarding the potting mix for Asian cymbidium, there’s no straight answer. The principle is that you want the potting mix to be moist but not wet for as long as possible. I’ve seen people had success with regular potting mix with perlite/pumice, LECA mixed with some coco coir, and believe it or not, partially broken down peanut shells mixed with regular compost in China. It really depends on your environment. However, I’d say Japanese substrates make it relatively easier and you can follow the recipes on the packages of either Kanuma 鹿沼土 or Kiryu 桐生砂. Usually it’s a mix of the above plus hyuga 日向土. When these substrates are moist, they have a darker color and they can hold moisture very well without being wet. This gives you a very good clue of when to water as the color of the substrates approaching light but not completely. As long as you follow the principle, it doesn’t really matter what substrates you use.
Does your Japanese vendor have Kanran or Shunran only? Can they provide CITES?Asian Cymbidium Mix: a mix of Hard Kanuma, baked Akadama, and Satsuma. bottom 10% 0f the pot, large grade of this Mix. majority of the pot 80% of the pot, medium grade of this mix, top 10%, small grade of this mix.
Fertilizer: rule for fertlizing is this, if you get a bareroot plant, DO NOT fertlize for for the first year, only start to fertlize from the 2nd year. My Japanese vendor told me that fertilizer is NOT NECESSARY to grow and bloom them (Which I believe because I was able to grow them well and bloom them in 1 season without any fertilizer). Now, the fertlizer I use for strong estalbish plants is slow release fertlizer for Asian Cymbidiums from Taiwan. For C. kanran, you follow the same protocols as C. goeringii. C. kanran starts budding in July into mid Sept and starts to bloom by Sept to November.
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