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Growing Cymbidium Suave page2

cym suave  Our (Noe and Rob) own experiences with Cym suave over some fifteen years has seen us grow (or attempt to grow) this species in a variety of mixes and containers. Mixes have ranged from traditional cymbidium mixes made up of pine bark with various other materials added such as canunda shell, marble chips, rice hulls or coir in combinations, to similar mixes with proportions of eucalypt chips, or rotting eucalypt added and rotting eucalypt alone. Certainly the use of rotting eucalypt alone, or in fairly high proportions within a mix has provided the best results under our climatic and cultural conditions.

 Although our plants of Cym suave grow in the same orchid houses as our other cymbidiums and are watered at the same rate and frequency, they receive less fertilizer and what they do receive is always a balanced type, rather than a high nitrogen type as commonly used for cymbidiums for at least part of the year. We do not add slow release type fertilizers to the mix for Cym suave and only fertilize at about one quarter strength or weaker. Tests on rotting eucalypt heart wood in our pots of vigorously growing plants of Cym suave have given pH results of around 4.5 and we try to keep the pH at that level as the plants seem to be happy with it.

 We wouldn’t be surprised if the pH factor isn’t more important than the actual medium and perhaps someone reading this article who has done tests with Cym suave will be able to share their experiences with us all. To date we haven’t done any tests along these lines, mainly because we don’t want to kill any plants. Cym suave can be very difficult to re establish once the plants begin to go backwards, especially if they loose their root systems.

David Allen describes his experiences growing Cym suave as follows:-
I decided to grow a couple of plants of Cym suave about five years ago and have found the plants to be quite hardy, they grow, flower and thrive under the conditions I have provided for them.

After a little research I found that the natural habitat of Cym suave covers a wide region from southern NSW (almost to the Victorian border) to Cairns in northern Queensland. While this species can be found growing on a number of hosts, it seems to establish and grow best when its roots can penetrate rotting heartwood in live eucalypt trees, where it will form large clumps.

Cymbidium suave produces a large number of roots which will travel long distances into the rotting wood. In order to reproduce this sort of environment under culture I have planted my Cym suave in old hollow eucalypt logs. I use a potting mix of 50% composted pine bark and 50% rotten eucalypt heartwood, to every litre of this mix I add one cup of charcoal.

cym suave in hollow logs

The plants are grown in my main growing shade house, under 50% shade cloth, along with the rest of my cymbidium collection they are placed in the brightest area of the house. I was told by an experienced Cym suave grower that these plants like a lower pH than other cymbidiums, somewhere in the 4.5 to 5 range. To achieve this level I water the plants once a week (in the growing season, but not in winter) with a solution of water and lemon juice at the rate 10ml. of lemon juice per litre of water. The plants are fertilized with crushed Dynamic Lifter pellets at the rate of one table spoon per plant at the beginning of spring and summer.
Rob & Noe Smith

cym in log cym in a log
David Allen
The plants seem to be very hardy once established, but I make sure they get some protection against extreme weather conditions, such as frost in winter and hot northerly winds in summer. Given these conditions and culture the plants reward with excellent floral displays in late spring. I’m not quite sure what I will do once they out grow their existing logs, probably go forest hunting for some larger logs and pot them on, if that’s the right word?
cym in a log cym in a log

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