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Too often we concentrate on subjects such as fertilisers, which we will look at later, but ignore the issue of providing our cymbidiums with the correct amount of light. Without adequate light, plant growth can be restricted your plants may not flower, or will only flower poorly.

Too much light can lead to sun damage to the leaves which can in extreme cases lead to large areas of the tissue in the leaves dying. Generally around 50% shade is considered ideal for cymbidiums, though is some areas where summers are long, sunny and very hot 70 or even 80% shade may be required.

Another aspect of light is the duration your plants are receiving it. Plants which are in heavy shade for a significant part of the day will not do as well as those which receive filtered light for the majority of the time the sun is up.

Daylight hours of exposure are important and growing your cymbidiums where they receive hours of heavy shade from buildings, or dense tree cover should be avoided if possible. If you face these problems try and position your plants to minimise the effect of neighbouring buildings etcetera. Remember, if your plants have leaves of a nice mid green colour without any of the problems mentioned earlier you are doing alright in the terms of light level.

Another possible problem which can reduce light exposure for your plants is overcrowding, leading to your plants shading each other. Ideally cymbidiums should be grown far enough apart so that there leaves are not touching, but in the real world virtually no one achieves that! but remember, the more tightly you squeeze your plants the less successful your flowering may be and of course cramming plants closely together can lead to other problems such as disease transmission and lack of air circulation, which brings us to our next subject.

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