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Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Posted by greenguy1 z7 Maryland (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 22, 09 at 7:51

I have a miniature Cymbidium, acquired in bloom two years ago, which I miraculously (for me...) brought back into bloom last winter. However, I didn't really expect that it would be blooming and only became aware of the two spikes when they were developed enough to be clearly identified as flowering versus vegetative shoots.

This year, I've been checking like a madman, and yesterday found six pointy new somethings poking up. The largest is about an inch and a half long, the smallest about half that. Are there differences at this size between the appearance of flowering and vegetative shoots? Do both the new vegetative shoots and flowering shoots emerge at the same time? I think I didn't see new vegetative shoots last year until the spikes where quite mature, but can't recall exactly.

Thanks.

- Steve


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Steve, this is certainly the time of year when I would expect to see flower spikes rather than vegatative growth on my plants here in zone 8b.

From my experience spikes tend to have rounded rather than pointed ends and are soft rather than hard if they are squeezed. But do this very gently or you will damage any buds. It is much easier to distinguish them if you have both to look at at the same time.


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

OHhhh, my problem exactly... I am extremely new to Cyms, I have two mature plants (given as a gift to me a year ago), they were blooming and one was yellow and the other was dark pink. Right now I see small "spikes" but I am not sure if they are real flower spikes or new growth.. because I never saw any spikes when they are just forming... Maybe someone could post a picture? please? pretty please!!


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

terrysealey, Thank you.

I am trying to understand your growing conditions. You referenced "my plants here in zone 8b."

Are you referencing zones as defined by the US Dept of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map? Are you using another standard? Please, help me to understand. Who determines the "zone" as you described it?

One of the problems of the USDA zone definitions is that the lowest outdoor temps of the year are
a defining factor. Obviously, the majority of North American orchid growers don't subject their plants to those outdoor conditions, therefore the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone reference is not appropriate for growers of indoor plants.

More importantly, what is the latitude of your location? This determines the amount of sunlight that you receive. For example, I am located at the 39th parallel relative to the Equator.

Do you supplement your natural sunlight with artificial lighting? Then, it becomes important to understand supplemental lighting as well.

Complicated? YES! I'm learning....


Thanks,


--Stitz--


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'thingee'

"Right now I see small "spikes" but I am not sure if they are real flower spikes or new growth"

A friend of mine solved that problem. The all-encompassing word of "thingee" works until you know, spike or lead! :)


--Stitz--


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Steve ~ If you are still there, you might want to get a cup of coffee; this is a Saga.

A year and a half ago I brought home a Chinese Cymbidium (aka Asian Cym--the smallest size of Cym species), hoping to coax it to bloom in my conditions (indoor; no lights). It consisted of a group of six mature plants and a 4" new growth.

I read everything I could find on culture for this species (mine is a Cym. sinense) ~ confusing, because it varies from author to author. After a year and a half, I think I'm Finally on the road to figuring out what this Cym requires.

After coming to my house this Cym produced another little growth, apparently just under the medium surface when the plant was purchased. The original 4" growth stalled, as did the new growth. For almost a year nothing happened except the appearance of another thin, pointy growth which also stalled and appeared to dry. NOTHING.

As the one year mark approached I went back and read all of the culture information I could find and realized that I was under watering my Cym and cooking its roots. Arghh! It was a wonder the poor thing had not, long since, perished.

I moved the pot to the cool floor below the lip of an ENE floor to ceiling window--so that the leaves received sun, but the black pot was shielded by the wall below the window sill. I also began to manage the amount of direct summer sun it received through the slats of adjusted blinds. I thought it must be my imagination when the plant cluster appeared to respond, immediately--blanched leaves perked up and began to green.

After a week I began to increase the dampness allowed before watering. The response continued and the original stalled growth (now about 6") began to open. The other little growths--hopelessly stunted--also tried valiantly to grow. When weather moderated and nights began to cool, I carefully watched/adjusted the water and sun.

One morning I noticed that there seemed to be a new "pointy thing" (I like your term) emerging from the outer leaves of one of the mature plants. Again I thought I might be seeing things. All three of the other growths had appeared beside, but outside of, the leaves and sheaths of other plants in the group. As the days passed, this growth steadily grew. It is now 1 1/2 inches long.

My Cym sinense is called Pow Shan Paw which I was told has some red in its blooms. Its bright green leaves are variegated with claw variegation--thin, cream, leaf edge strips that run anywhere from mid-leaf to tip, or full length. This marking is evident to greater or lesser degree on all of the formerly stunted growths. The interesting thing about the newest growth--the one that came from within the plant--is that it has no evident variegation and is, in fact, dull green with an overall red-purplish cast. It is quite pointy, like the other pointy things, but I'm hoping that this red-purple difference, coupled with the source of the growth, means that it might, maybe, perhaps (I hope I hope I hope) be the start of a floral spike!

Stay tuned...

Sweetcicely


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Stitz, my apologies for the late reply. I live in the SW of the UK approx 51 degrees N. My zone 8b is as per the US zones.

My cyms all live outside, but protected from rain, as long as there is no danger of frost. Here that means roughly from April to October. They do not mind temps almost down to freezing unless they have flower spikes. They need a good cooling period in the Fall to get spikes forming. I give them very good light but not too much direct sun in the summer.

The rest of the time they are in an unheated greenhouse unless they are in flower when they are in the house. I do not give them any extra light the way I grow them but you may have to if you had them inside all the time.


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

terry,
I am envious of your conditions. I live at latitude 39N. My USDA zone is borderline 7/6.

Good Luck!

--Stitz--


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

This is a photo of a cym spike, for your reference.

Hope you find yours similar looking.

Xuan


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Thank you, Xuan; that's a very good picture. I hope moonygnome is still around to see it. The new "thingee" on my Cym is more narrow, so it may be just a new vegetative growth.

Stitz, is that thingee with a hard or soft 'g'? :)

Sweetcicely


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Thingee is prounced by saying the word thing, then adding a long e on the end.

It is thingee season for many of my 'chids except my lone cymbidium but it should appear any day.

Brooke


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

You've got me very excited, Haxuan. My six pointy things look just like your photo. How would a vegetative shoot look different at that size from what you show?

Thanks, everybody, for sharing your experience. I've tried more times than I care to remember with Cymbidiums before, and just never been successful. I'm sure it's in part (current success) due to the fact that the one I have now is a mini, and most references seem to indicate that they will bloom with less cool than is required by the standards. Getting enough cool is always a problem in our hot Mid-Atlantic summers which sometimes extend well into fall.

- Steve


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Yes, yes, I am here! Haxuan, my Cym has three spikes right now, and they look just like your picture! I am sooooo happy. One spike (the oldest one) is about 4 inches now, and the others are smaller. Thank you so much! I cannot wait.


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Yay! Yay! Yay!

And don't forget to post pictures. Please! :)

Sc


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Greenguy: this is a photo of the vegetative growth of my cym.

I hope it helps.

Xuan


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Helps greatly. I am quite positive now that I have a bunch of flower spikes on the way. You're my hero!

- Steve


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Another one

Here's another new growth photo.

Xuan


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Xuan, you THE BEST!! Yes, I had new growth just like you posted, had them during the summer time. The ones I have right now look like flowers! YAY!! And yes, Sweetcicely, I will try to post my pics!

Quicky question : the night Temps here might drop soon to about 40F ( +3- +4C), but 55-65F daytime (about +15C).. Should I bring my Cyms inside for the night? We dont have freezing temps yet..

MG


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Steve, moonygnome: It was my pleasure to share photos... :-o).

Please post photos of your cyms when they bloom.

Xuan


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

I have found that leaf growth shoots feel fat at the bottom, soil level, and flower spikes feel small at the base, but fatter a little higher up.


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

They were indeed 6 bloom spikes, three of them now with pretty advanced buds - one of them mostly hiding behind the leaf in the center of the image, one back left and one you can't miss on the right. The three others are fat and lumpy but with nothing emerging from the bracts yet. It's a pale yellow green that turns gold as it ages. I'll post more when some of the flowers open.

- Steve

Cymbidium in Bud


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

Congrats, Steve. Those buds look... delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Xuan


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

I was gone for ten days over the holidays. When I left, the first bud was yet to open. I came back to this! Three spikes blooming, three to go.

- Steve

Photobucket


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RE: Cymbidium Spike Versus New Growth

  • Posted by lisabc NM Z5 HeatZn5 (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 7, 12 at 2:17

WOW! Gorgeous, Steve!


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