Growing Cymbidium backbulbs

A backbulb (pseudobulb) is the storage organ for Cymbidium orchids, they grow a new one each year. As the plant matures, the leaves drop from the bulb, and then the bulb acts as a storage unit for the plant.

While re-potting and dividing cymbidiums we remove the oldest backbulbs when suitable, these are then very easy to regrow.

Though the bulbs take some time to reach full maturity, 3 to 5 years, it is a very rewarding way to propagate, patience is the key, the bulb will do all the hard work.

  1. After separating from the parent plant, leave in a bright location and forget about it, in a few months you should have the beginnings of a growth. *DO NOTHING* There is no need to pot until you have roots showing.
  2. When there are both roots and a growth present, you can pot up into some orchid bark, or use McBeans cymbidium compost mix. Do not plant more than the bottom few centimetres, and use the tiniest pot possible, they like to be nice and snug.
  3. DO NOT WATER. The bulb will rot if you keep it wet, there is plenty of water within the bulb at this stage.
  4. Only when the bulb has been potted for a month or so, and the leaves are becoming longer do you need to introduce water – there should be enough root to soak up the water, or else it will sit in the pot and rot the bulb or fresh new growth.
  5. When you have lovely new leaves and roots, you can treat it like you would any other small cymbidium -remember to let it dry out between waterings.

Start off with everything you need in our Mystery Bulb Kit here! 

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