Chien Lan orchid
A medium-sized, evergreen orchid species with egg-shaped pseudobulbs, enclosed with 2-4 leaf-bearing sheaths. The leaves are linear, up to 60cm long and 2cm wide. In summer and autumn, 20-35cm long upright or arching inflorescences emerge from the base of pseudobulbs, carrying up to thirteen flowers. The flowers are usually pale yellowish-green, dark red-spotted and fragrant. Each flower measures approximately 6cm.
Ultimate height0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height2–5 years
Ultimate spread0.5–1 metres
Colour & scent
|Summer||Yellow Green Red||Green|
|Autumn||Yellow Green Red||Green|
- Partial shade
East–facing or West–facing
- Native to the UK
- Clump forming
Cymbidium are epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial orchids with prominent spherical to ovoid pseudobulbs, long linear leaves and fleshy white roots. Several long lasting showy flowers with a distinctive 3-lobed lip are borne on erect or arching flower spikes from the bases of the pseudobulbs
- Name status
How to grow
Grow in an open, free-draining orchid compost with addition of perlite, sphagnum moss or coir. Requires day temperatures around 16°C and 10°C at night. Provide good light levels, but avoid direct sunlight. Water plants thoroughly when compost is almost dry, allow to drain and use orchid fertiliser regularly during growing season. Reduce watering in winter. Place outside in dappled shade during the summer months to aid flower initiation. See cymbidium cultivation for more detailed information.
Propagation by seed is only possible in a controlled laboratory environment. Mature plants may be divided in early or mid spring, when the plant overgrows its container. Each division should have at least 3 older pseudobulbs with a sufficient amount of stored energy and water, to support new growth and reduce stress after repotting.
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Conservatory and greenhouse
No pruning required. Cut down flowered stems to base.
Generally disease-free. Sterilising cutting tools may prevent virus diseases, such as Cymbidium Mosaic Virus (CMV).
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