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Conservatory Greenhouse

Cymbidium ensifolium

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.

Other common names
Fukien orchid
Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Yellow Green Red Green
Autumn Yellow Green Red Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1C
Botanical details
Family
Orchidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

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

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

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

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
Pruning

No pruning required. Cut down flowered stems to base.

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, glasshouse red spider mite, scale insects and mealybugs

Diseases

Generally disease-free. Sterilising cutting tools may prevent virus diseases, such as Cymbidium Mosaic Virus (CMV).

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