I remember someone who said to me that she hated to grow cymbidium orchids because they needed to be repotted and divided after the plants had been filling all the room in the pot. She said if the plant would be happy to stay in its pot forever, she did not mind. Ha….I said to her just buy the plastic ones! Like most plants that grow in containers, Cymbidium orchids need some attention to be happy. If the pot is too full, there will be no room for the orchid to grow flowers and new shoots. Cymbidium orchid like to stay in a pot that is just large enough and will not do too good in one that is much too large as it will not flower. Also too much medium (orchid chips/barks) in a pot that is too large will cause roots to rot.
Some of Cymbidum orchids are large and it will be a hard work to take it out the pot and to divide them. Plastic pots are better than ceramic or clay pots because it is easier to loosen the roots off the pots. Plastic pots are pliable and can be pressed, knocked and pushed to make plants come out easily.
I have done all the repottings and divisions that were needed last November and December. Most of the Cymbidium orchids that were divided, each made three new plants. I keep all my Cymbidium orchids in the back yard, but one, which I put near the front door. This was why I forgot about it. So this morning, I decided to split the plant into two or three and then would repot them with fresh orchid mix. I know it was a bit late, but I would do it anyway.
I took it out of the pot and cleaned the root ball and it seemed it was going to make only two. I removed some of the old back-bulbs that were crowded in the middle and kept one for each division. One of the removed old bulb had some leaves and roots, so I decided the replant it. On the end, the orchid managed to make three pots, two large ones and one small one. As now it is Summer here, the orchid will need fertilizer that is high in potassium (sulphate of potash) to encourage flower spikes to grow. I mixed the sulphate of potash with blood and bone ( 1 part of sulphate of potash and 6 parts of blood and bone) and sprinkle it on the top of the medium. Fingers cross….just hope they will really flower!
By the way, it was the yellow Cymbidium. The one that has green flowers when they just open and that will gradually become yellow:)…. OMG, it was a hard work to repot and divide Cymbidium orchids. You just have to be quite strong and little bit mean and rough!
Note: One time I mixed the orchid medium with blood & bone and dolomite lime, and the newly repotted Cymbidium were quickly burnt and died. To be safe, it’s better to add suitable fertilizer a week after repotting by sprinkle it on the top of media or by using soluble orchid fertilizer. I like to apply soluble fertilizer weakly-weekly (by using half strength soluble fertilizer once a week). Right after repotting the newly planted Cymbidium can be watered by soluble seaweed extract half strength to reduce shock.