Even at a very young age I had a special connection to the plant world and its beauty. I have vivid memories of my grandmothers planting even the most impossible seedlings under the harsh heat of our beautiful Caribbean island. Little did I know that my future and true calling would be found in such beauty and charm as is the profession of working with live plants and flowers.
It is my pleasure to introduce to you our first article in this new section named ‘Nona’s Garden’.
I write this as a small tribute to our lovely grandmas who’ve had the patience to teach us the most delicate and essentials aspects of life. Thought my nonas haven’t been able to see many of the plants and flowers in this paradise and in most of our topics to come, I’m sure they’ would be thrilled to see the harvest of their efforts.
In Nona’s Garden we’ll talk about interior and blooming, decorative, edibles and even nurturers plants that embellish our surroundings.
The first on the list, a highly known member of the second largest family of flowering plants, (the orchidaceae)
Botanical name: Cymbidium spp.
Description: Cymbidium orchids are among the few terrestrial (grown in the ground) orchids. They are extremely desirable, and there are approximately 70 species of tropical and subtropical Cymbidiums and several thousands hand made hybrids.
Decorative life: Cymbidium orchid plants generally will bloom four to six weeks or more.
Availability: Cymbidiums bloom in cool seasons and are available from January to March and from September to December from Hollandsources; from January to June and October to December from domestic markets; and from May to October from New Zealandand Australia.
In-stores and consumer care:
Light: bright, diffused light is best for indoors. Full shade or filtered sunlight is best if the
plants are placed outdoors.
Water: Check plants daily, and keep soil evenly moist. Severe watering or drying will cause
the leaves to yellow, best to sprinkle a bit once or twice a week as required.
Fertilizer: use an orchid bloom fertilizer.
- Pests: Common pests associated with this flower are aphids, scales and spiders mites.
- Blooms: They need cool nights to initiate flowers.
Family: Cymbidiums are classified in the Orchidaceae family and are native to Asia and
Malaysia. Their natural habitats are the cool, bright, high-altitude areas of China, Japanand Southeast Asia, and south of the equator in similar climates areas of Australia and New Zealand.
Related species include cattleya, dendrobium, paphiopedilum and the phalaenopsis.
Meaning: Cymbidium is from the Greek “kymbe” for boat, referring to the hollow recess in
the flower’s lip.
History: Orchids have long been highly sought after, probably for the unusual beauty of
their design. Orchid hunters in the 19th century collected them by the ton and chopped
down as many as 4,000 trees at one time for the orchids growing on them.
Encycloflora. Encyclopedia of Floral Design. By Teleflora
In the Company of Flowers. By Ron Morgan