The Cambrias

1- Introduction

The oddest thing about this genre called Cambria is that it does not exist naturally in any point on earth. In fact it is an artificially plant created from hybrids primarily, but also Miltonia Odontoglossum, Oncidium and other less known.

The result of all this is plants with a variety of extraordinary beauty flowers that have the characteristics of the parent plants that was crossed. Since hybrids came from many different orchids is difficult to determine the exact needs of each plant, despite sharing the same name (Cambria). In this space we will try to give some general advises.

The Cambrias are the most marketed after phalaenopsis.

This photo shows a Cambria plant, you can see one of his best-known species. You can view more details by hovering over the picture.

2- Origin

We have already mentioned that these plants have been created through artificial crosses and their origin are not in a particular habitat. However, Odontoglossum plant, used in many of the hybrids, originates in the high forests of Central and South America, so many of these plants will need environmental conditions of high humidity and ventilation.

The first plant was created by the Belgian Charles Vuylsteka around 1930 under the name Vuylstekeara Cambria that would be a generic name for all that followed. This first plant born from a hybridisation of an Odontoglossum.

3- Plant

They are epiphytic plants that develop pseudobulbs at the base of different thickness or width and from which long leaves are developed.

Floral rods emerging from the base and are erected pseudobulbos (according hybrid) in straight or branched form.

The flowers may have different shapes and sizes (round, star-shaped, etc.). The colors are also very varied and include those having a marbled or combination of spot colors with predominantly red, yellow, brown, pink and white.

As in most orchid flowers, flowers of Cambria can keep among the plant in good condition for long periods of time (several weeks).

The roots of this plant are more delicate and fragile than most other orchids roots so you have to take special care with the management of the plant.

4- Basic care

Basic care focus on several key aspects:

1 - Light.
Always avoid direct sunlight. These plants prefer a shady situation but with enough indirect light.

We can tell if the plant receives an adequate level of light by observing the color of the leaves. Leaves of a strong or bright green are symptoms of low light. If the color becomes red may be due to too much light or direct sunlight at some point. Optimal light conditions provide an intermediate green. Also comment that excessive light often causes a delay in flowering.

2 - Temperature and Humidity

Generally these plants require a characteristic of what is called "cold gases", ie temperatures of 8-10 º C overnight low in winter and a maximum of 24-28 ° C in summer conditions. Hardly endure excessively warm temperatures (above 30 °). Anyway there are hybrids that are much more tolerant and to some extent have become accustomed to extreme situations.

They also need good air exchange conditions avoiding drafts.

The humidity should be maintained above 40% consistently around the plant. For this purpose and under conditions we proceed to use regular humidifiers or sprays. Best done in the morning or early afternoon to allow the plant leaves to dry before night. Otherwise we could favor the occurrence of diseases (fungi, bacteria, etc..). The higher the temperatura, you must increase the value of the humidity.

3 - Watering

The Cambrias support badly an inadequate irrigation. If the leaves are not watered by certain frequency they can wrinkle. We can do it by means of dip of a container with soft water for 10 minutes. In summer with a frequency of once every 5 to 7 days and in Winter from 7 to 10 days. Later, to stop to drain well the container and avoid dippings in the substrate.

The frequency of watering it depends on the time of year,cycle of the plant, soil type and the container. The general rule is to prevent the roots are completely dry at some point to prevent the deterioration of the plant (leaves or pseudobulbs wrinkled) but you have to leave a space of time between waterings. In summer, irrigation should be more frequent and hotter we also provide superior humidity.

It is essential not to use tap water. Current water, usually with high hardness and mineral content are not suitable for these plants. You have to use bottled water or water treated with appropriate filters (reverse osmosis).

It is also important the risks incurred by vaporizers on the aerial roots and leaves, preventing dippings. Such risks should be more abundant in the hot season (summer) because there is more water loss.

4 - Nutrients

Use only special fertilizers for orchids and follow the product instructions. In general, we need to fertilize more regularly in pre-bloom (usually in late winter or early spring in our Mediterranean climate) periods. We recommend also using foliar fertilizers mixed in water vaporization as both aerial roots and leaves can assimilate and contribute to the good general condition of the plant.

5 - Other issues to consider

Especially Cambria, as happens with most orchids, they do not support very loaded places (low oxygen or snuff smoke or other pollutants). They do not tolerate direct airflow although some renovation of the environment (ventilation of stay).

6 - Transplantation: Changes of substrate

We recommend changes only where the plant has an infestation of bacteria or fungi in the roots or in cases in which the plant has really grown and the roots need more space.

These changes must occur in the dormant period of the plant. Never during flowering. We use special preparations of substrate for orchids and readily available at any garden center. Avoid fertilizer in the post-transplant period and excess irrigation. Maintain temperature without much change and away from excessive light. The plant will need a few days to recover from small scars left on the roots and other parts. Be alert to possible infestations and extreme hygiene measures.

7 - Diseases and Pests

We recommend visiting our page: Checking for diseases which are the leading causes of illness in our phalaenopsis and how to control them.

Pictures of different orchid Cambria:

5- Table of basic needs:

Conditions: Information: Observation:
Temperature The ideal temperature is a minimum of 9-10 º C. night in winter to 24-28 ° C. daytime in summer. If the temperature increases (+28-30 º) we increase the level of moisture for the plant tolerates better. We will need a slight temperature difference between day and night to promote flowering (at least 7 or 8 degrees).
Humidity The optimum humidity is 60 to 70% by adjusting the temperature. More heat needed more moisture is required. In winter or dormant period we can lower the humidity level (50%).
Light They need shaded environments avoiding direct sunlight. In the rest period place it in a shady place avoiding the dark.
Fertilizer Add fertilizer for orchids in the water we use for irrigation in the growing season (spring-summer). In winter (dormant period) distancing fertilizers.
Substrate We can install them in small containers with a special substrate for orchids. It has to have high capacity to filter water (peat, pine bark, etc..). Transplanting only because of disease or when the plant roots really can not continue to grow.
Others They need good ventilation but avoid direct airflow over the plant. They are not an especially delicate plant if we are able to provide the conditions needed. Avoid contaminated with organic gases or smoke of any kind places.

See other species of orchids:


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