Cymbidium is a genus of terrestrial orchid plants that includes the hardiest of orchids for growing outdoors in subtropical and temperate climates. The flowers tend to be larger than many other species with thicker, almost waxy, flower petals. These orchids are commonly seen in corsages, bouquets and cut flower arrangements. Part of their charm is the number of flowers on each stem and the extremely long vase life when cut, estimated at up to 30 days. Cymbidiums bloom once a year on various schedules, and the flowers are simple to harvest.
things you’ll need:
- Sharp utility scissors
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Cotton balls or clean cloth
- Wipe down the blades of your cutting tool with isopropyl alcohol using a cotton ball or a clean cloth before harvesting your cymbidium orchid flowers and in between harvesting multiple flowers or flower spikes. This prevents transfer of pathogens to and among plant tissues.
- Harvest your individual cymbidium orchid flowers after they have opened. Sever the flower at the base of the short stem connecting to the larger multiflower spike.
- Cut off the entire flower spike after at least two of the flowers on the spike have fully opened, as cutting the spike before this may cause the flowers to fail to open. Sever the flower spike down at the base of the stem between the leaves and at least 1/4 inch above the swollen pseudo-bulb structure.
Tips & Warnings
Place the cut blooms into a flower preservative solution and water to preserve their longevity. When used in vase arrangements, change the water frequently, adding fresh preservative to prolong the vase life and keep bacteria in check.