Most Cymbidium orchids in Southern California are likely in full bloom right now. Once they have finished blooming, you will need to decide if your treasures should be repotted this year.
Repot your Cymbidium if:
1) There is no room left in the pot for new growth.
2) You want to divide your plant to make it smaller or give away divisions.
3) You haven’t repotted in over 4-5 years.
Once you’ve found a new pot, you will need to select the proper potting media. Cymbidium orchids are not epiphytes (i.e. they do not live in trees); instead they have a semi-terrestrial growth habit meaning they live in loose leaf litter, but not soil as we typically think of soil.
Therefore we do not use just bark for repotting Cymbidium orchids, because bark would dry out too quickly in the summer and does not mimic the native habitat for Cymbidiums. Orchid “mixes” work better for our Cymbidiums typically being a mixture of fine bark and compost.
However, many Cymbidium growers, including commercial growers are switching to this:
Coconut fiber, Coir, or coconut chips is the shredded fiber of the husk of the coconut. Coconut fiber has many trade names; this one is called GrowIt. It makes a longer lasting well draining potting media that holds moisture while still providing roots easy access to air.
This is not to be confused with “Coir Pith” which is finely shredded coconut fiber, and should not be used for repotting Cymbidiums.
Simply cut open the brick and put it in a large wash tub or wheel barrow (with no holes). Then add lots of water to allow the coconut chips to hydrate, which takes 20-30 minutes. It’s so much less cleaner repotting with coconut chips over orchid mix!