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Orchids/My hanging cymbidium rot

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Question
Dear all,
I hope you could help me. I have a white hanging cymbidium since March and it was OK. I checked it today, few days after I watered and noticed that the soil was wet and the bottom of the leaves was black, as if rotting!Is there a way to save my plant? Was it too much water?It lives indoors as I have a flat without balcony and maybe it gets too hot while I'm out working.
Any help will be appreciated...

Answer
Marieta, thank you for your questions.  Your cymbidium needs to be repotted.  Use a special commercial grade of orchid potting mix.  The best kind consists of fir bark, perlite. and other ingredients.  Be sure to screen out the dust and fine particles and soak it before use. Be sure to use a pot that is well drained. Do not use the same potting mix you use for house plants. Cymbidiums need to be tightly potted so that there is just enough room for the root mass.  Orchids thrive on a potting mix that lets air move through it to the roots and water can drain rapidly out of the pot.  When the potting mix stays wet, root rot sets in and can destroy the plant if not caught in time.

Cymbidiums are beautiful when in flower but require special conditions to grow when out of flower.  Most cymbidiums require high light and will not do well under the low light of an indoors environment, so provide as much light as possible including supplemental lighting.
In addition to high light, cymbidiums prefer cooler temperatures.  In the fall, they need temperatures about 10 degrees above freezing to set buds for the next flowering.

You may have the start of rotting, so repot as soon as possible. Remove any roots that have collapsed before repotting and any pseudobulbs that have mushy spots.  Spring is the time to start new growth which comes from the base of old pseudobulbs.  If you have new growth, be careful not to damage it during repotting. When the new growth coms, water the plant thoroughly.  Every other watering add a balanced fertilizer (eg 20/20/20) to the water as growing cymbidiums are heavy feeders.

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Wayne King

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Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.

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