- Author: Karen Metz
I love looking out my sliding glass door to the Cymbidium orchids blooming on my patio. I look forward to bloom time each year. The bloom spikes are amazing, each blossom perfect, intricate, and exotic. I love that the flowers are so long lived whether you leave them on the plant or bring them inside.
It took me a while to find the right place for them. At first, I had them in full sun and they fried during our hot summers. Nest I tried placing them under my Podocarpus gracilus (Fernpine trees) but they got too much shade there, ending up with rich dark green foliage, but no flowers. Finally after we got our lathed patio cover, I put them there and they seem to be doing much better. n They would probably do even better if I would remember to fertilize them on a more regular basis. The books say every 10 -14 days; mine are lucky if they get any once a month.
I'm just impressed that I can leave them outside during the winter. I do cover them with a sheet when frosts are predicted. I also have learned to inspect them frequently for snails and slugs that love to munch on the blossoms. Of course our reactions to plants are often colored by our past experiences. Being a Master Gardener often allows us to talk to gardeners that have come from other places. One couple from Michigan looked ecstatic when they found out they could grow orchids outside, while another gardener from the San Diego area was very disappointed that she would only be able to grow one kind of orchid outside.