The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show was held a week or so ago. I was too busy preparing for a conference at work, so I didn't go. But I did manage to squeeze in a quick visit to my favorite orchid grower in Carpinteria—Gallup & Stribling. They hold an open house/sale the same weekend as the Orchid Show. It's a great opportunity to get some really beautiful orchids at fantastic prices. The photo above is one of the cymbidiums that I got at the sale. The petals are so delicately colored with pale green and pink tones. When the light hits it from behind it really has a translucent glow.
Right now I have it in the house enjoying the flowering period. Once it's done, I'll put it outside. Despite their delicate tropical appearance, cymbidiums do well outdoors here in Santa Barbara. They need cool nights and are tolerant down to freezing. They like a somewhat shady location with a little dappled sunlight. Like other orchids, they like moisture, but they cannot stand poor drainage or over watering.
I put this yellow cymbidium in a pot on my front porch where it lights up a shady spot. After it's done blooming, I'll move it into a spot that gets a little more light. And I'm going to try to remember to give them a little orchid food once in a while, It does seem to help them re-bloom.
I know some people have a knack for getting orchids to bloom, but the only luck I've had is with outdoor orchids. I have not had one Phalaenopsis I have ever bought re-bloom. I have resigned myself to considering them cut flowers. They last a long time, so I have to be happy with that. As for my two new cymbidiums, I plan on getting them to re-bloom next year, so stay tuned.