Orchid care: Plant expert shares ‘ideal’ conditions for festive cymbidium orchids

Alan Titchmarsh shares tips for looking after moth orchids

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Cymbidium orchids are a highly decorative variety of orchid that can often be seen in homes at this time of year. The plant has beautiful flower spikes and is relatively easy to look after. These orchids are also known as “boat orchids” and are the oldest cultivated orchid with evidence that they were grown in China 2,500 years ago.

The plant looks particularly colourful at this time of year, making it an ideal Christmas bloom.

If you’re not a fan of bright red poinsettias or the Christmas cactus, this could be an option for you.

Cymbidiums have delicate, pretty flowers that last a long period of time.

However, they require particular environments to thrive.

Flower preservation experts Magenta Flowers have compiled a helpful guide on looking after seasonal blooms.

The experts have also shared tips on keeping seasonal flowers, like the cymbidium orchid, fresher for longer.

The plant expert said: “When in bloom, Cymbidium Orchid flowers can last six to eight weeks and are among the easiest to grow indoors.”

To keep flowers in bloom over Christmas they need plenty of light for around 14 to 16 hours a day before being plunged into complete darkness at night.

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They continued: “Place them in a spot with plenty of light for 14-16 hours a day.

“But give them darkness at night to allow the orchids to rest.

“Humid environments are ideal for orchids, so consider grouping plants together to maintain the humidity around them.

“Unlike other flowers and plants, orchids do not require much water but still need a little to thrive.

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“If you’re unsure when to water, look at the leaves, stem and petals.

“If they lose their vibrancy or look grey or yellow, give them a little water to keep them colourful and bright.”

In the summer months, these orchids need a distinct drop in temperature between the day and night.

They can be kept outdoors in the summer, however, they need to be kept away from direct sunlight or they could end up scorched.

Cymbidium orchids flower in October, November, December, January, March and April.

If you want to plant one, this needs to be done from May to September.

In the winter months, the plant needs to be watered sparingly.

In the growing season, ensure the plant is watered regularly and is given orchid-specific plant feed every three weeks.

Find out more from Magenta Flowers here

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