This unusual group of orchids offers fascinating, waxy flowers that are fragrant when the temperatures are warm. Almost always deciduous, the pseudobulbous plants have strict growing and resting periods. Most flower before entering a dormant period when they drop their leaves.
Light- Cycnodes levels are comparable to Cattleyas at about 2500-4000 foot candles. However, the plants are widely adaptable and do well with light levels as low as 1500 fc and as high as 5000 fc. For optimal growth I suggest a Southern exposure or a location where a the plants will receive plenty of bright, filtered light
Temperatures- These orchids are native to hot tropical areas and grow during rainy summer months. During this growing period, day temperatures of 80 to 100 degrees F and night temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees F are beneficial. After growths mature, temperatures should be reduced to 55 degrees F at night, with day temperatures of 70 to 85 degrees F
Humidity- should be 40 to 60 percent. This can be provided in the home by placing the plants on humidity trays. Always have good air circualtion, this helps to prevent fungus and bacteria. In the greenhouse, the humidity is best increased by use of a humidifier. Evaporative cooling increases humidity while cooling the air.
WATER- is critical for producing large pseudobulbs and strong flowerings. Since these plants only grow for a short period, a great quantity of water must be stored by the plant. Water heavily as new leaves are forming. After the pseudobulb is mature, gradually reduce watering frequency. The leaves will yellow and start to fall. At this time watering should be stopped completely until new growth begins again. Water during this dormant period only if the plant shrivels severely; overwatering may cause the pseudobulbs to rot and die.
FERTILIZING is very important for producing strong pseudobulbs. Use a high-nitrogen formulation (30-10-10) while plants are in active growth, slowly tapering off as pseudobulbs form. Bloom booster formulation (10-30-20) should be used in the fall except for plants that normally bloom in the spring.
Potting- should be timed to coincide with the initiation of new growth, usually in the spring. New roots will be produced quickly at that time, and plants will experience minimal setback. These plants have vigorous root systems and require a rich, moist potting medium during the growing season. Fine-grade media are common for smaller pots; medium-grade media are used only in larger pots. Sphagnum moss is used successfully for plants in many areas, as it provides tremendous water- and fertilizer-holding capacities. Some plants can be grown on slabs of tree fern or other material, which makes it easier to keep them dry during dormancy; however, it is harder to keep them moist while growing.