Cambria Orchid

cambria orchid


  • 1 The origin of Cambria orchids
  • 2 Care of the Cambria orchid at home
    • 2.1 Lighting and temperature
    • 2.2 Irrigation and humidity
    • 2.3 The substrate and the changes of pot
    • 2.4 When do I have to fertilize them?
  • 3 When do the Cambria flower?

Cambria Orchid: Facts At A Glance

  • Scientific name: Cambria Orchid
  • Common name:  Cambria
  • Origin:Intergeneric hybrids of different orchids, does not exist in nature
  • Orchid type: Epiphyte.
  • Flowering: Spring or early autumn, subject to variations according to environmental conditions.
  • Location:  Suitable for indoors or outdoors. Very flexible. Requires good lighting, without direct sun exposure.
  • Watering:  Regular irrigation as for other orchids. Weekly in summer and less frequently in winter.
  • Humidity:  High 60% -70%
  • Level of difficulty:  Low, one of the easiest orchids to maintain and to care.
cambria orchid

Chart With Attributes Of The Cambria Orchid

Terms: Data: Observations:
Temperature The ideal temperature is a minimum of 48° F (9-10ºC) in the night in winter. At 74°F to 83°F (24-28 ºC) at daytime in summer. If the temperature increases from 74°F to 83°F (+ 28-30º C) we will have to increase humidity l vel so that the plant will tolerate it better.
We will need a clear temperature difference between day and night to favor flowering (at least 7 or 8 degrees).
Humidity The optimum humidity is 60 to 70%, adjusting it to the temperature.
More heat, greater humidity needed.
In winter or rest period we can lower the humidity level (50%).
Light It needs shaded environments avoiding direct exposure to sunlight. During the resting period, place it in a shady place avoiding darkness.
Fertilization Add fertilizers for orchids in the water that we use for irrigation in the vegetative period (spring-summer). In winter (rest period) fertilize seldom
Substrate We can install them in small containers with a special substrate for orchids that has high permeability. Basically, a high capacity to filter the water(peat, pine bark, the gritty mix, etc.). Transplant only because of root disease or when the plant can not really continue to grow and a larger container is required.
Others It needs good ventilation but you have to avoid direct airstream currents. It is not a particularly delicate plant. Avoid places contaminated with smoke or organic gases of any kind.

Cambria orchids

The Cambria are very popular orchids , because they are easy to maintain and have a good flowering. However, unlike other genera such as Phalaenopsis , Dendrobium or Vanda , they are not orchids that are present in nature. 

Its origin is the crossing of different types of orchids, with the aim of creating a variety of orchids that were commercially attractive, and that were also easy to take care of at home.

The result of all this are plants with flowers of an extraordinary variety and beauty and that possess the characteristics of the mother plants that were crossed.

Therefore, the most interesting feature about this genre called Cambria is that they do not exist naturally at any point on our planet.

In fact it is a plant artificially created from hybrids mainly Odontoglossum but also Miltonia, Oncidium and other less known.

Despite the fact that these plants have been created through artificial crosses and their origin is not found in a specific natural habitat, there are some environmental requirements. The Odontoglossum plants used in many of the hybridizations are native to the high jungles of Central and Southern America, so many of these plants will need environmental conditions of high humidity and ventilation.

These are epiphytic plants that develop pseudobulbs at their base of different thickness or width and from which elongated leaves develop.

The floral rods arise from the base of the pseudobulbs and are erected (according to hybrid) in simple or branched form.

Flowers can have different shapes and sizes (rounded, star-shaped, etc.). The colors are also very varied and those with a mottled or combination of colored spots in which predominantly red, yellow, brown, pink and white also stand out.

As in most orchid flowers, the flowers of a Cambria are present under optimal conditions for long periods of time (several weeks).

The roots of this plant are more delicate and fragile than most of the roots of other orchids so you have to be especially careful with the management of the plant.

Since hybrids of this genus are many and of different orchids it is difficult to determine exactly the needs of each of them despite sharing the same name (Cambria).

In this space we will try to give some general advice.

The Cambrias are after the phalaenopsis the orchids more commercialized and sold in their different varieties.

Cambria Orchid Care At Home

As we are dealing with a hybrid orchid, which has no reflection in nature, to understand what its natural habitat would be, most gardeners recommend looking at the Odontoglossum, one of the orchids that are genetically part of the Cambria. 
The Odontoglossum are native to Central America and South America, where it grows in forests with high humidity and very warm climate. 
Like most orchids, the Cambria is epiphyte. Its leaves and floral sticks appear from pseudobulbs elongated, vertical and quite large. 
The flowering of the Cambria stands in perfect conditions for several weeks, and we can find flowers of many shades, although the predominant color is red. 
These are the basic requirements to take care of the Cambria:

Exposure To Sunlight

cambria orchids

Always avoid exposure to direct sunlight. These plants prefer shade but with sufficient indirect light. 

We can know if the plant receives an adequate level of light by observing the color of the leaves. Leaves of a strong or intense green color are a symptom of low light. If the color turns reddish it can be due to an excess of light or direct exposure to the sun at some time. The optimal light conditions provide the leaves an intermediate green hue. Also I have to mention that an excess of light usually causes a delay in flowering.

Therefore, we can conclude that the Cambria orchid requires good lighting, but cannot withstand an extended exposure to direct sunlight. 

A suitable place would be near a window, and receiving light sifted through a blind or a cover. 

When they are in the company of other indoor plants, we can use the larger plants that withstand sunlight better, to place the Cambria orchid flowers in their shade. 

We will be able to discover if the Cambria orchid is receiving the correct illumination, observing the coloration of its leaves. 

A dark green color is a sign that it receives little light, however, if we observe reddish leaves, it receives too much light. The ideal color has to be a medium green hue. 

Excessive light delays the flowering and may shorten the flowering lifecycle.


In general these plants require specific conditions of what is called “cold greenhouse”, that is, temperatures of 45 to 50°F (8 to 10ºC) minimum during the night in winter and a maximum of 75 to 83 °F (24 to 28ºC) in summer.

Eventually, they could withstand higher temperatures, provided there is a good environmental humidity, and a correct air circulation. We will discuss humidity below.

They hardly endure excessively warm temperatures (over 86º F, what are 30°C). In any case there are hybrids that are much more tolerant and to a certain extent have become accustomed to more extreme situations. However the hybrids found in the United States are not generally that resilient.


The humidity must be maintained above 40%. For this purpose and according to our environmental conditions we should proceed to utilize humidifiers or regular water sprays. 

Better to perform it in the morning or in the early afternoon to allow the leaves of the plant to dry before nightfall. Otherwise, we could favor the appearance of diseases (fungi, bacteria, etc.). At higher temperatures we must increase the value of the environmental humidity for the flower.

They do not withstand very high temperatures, these hybrids are modeled for temperate regions of the United States and prefer rather cool environments.

Related to the air citculation, keep in mind also that especially the Cambria, as with most orchids, cannot stand being in places very loaded (little oxygen or smoke of snuff or other pollutants). Neither do they tolerate direct air currents, although they do tolerate a certain renewal of the environment (aeration of the room).


The Cambria orchid badly resists an inadequate irrigation. If they are not watered with a certain frequency the leaves may wrinkle. 

We can do it by immersing the pot in a container with soft water and at room temperature for a time of 10 minutes. In summer with a frequency of once every 5 to 7 days and in winter of 7 to 10 days. Then let the pot drain well and avoid puddles on the substrate. You should have a pot with a drainage hole.

The frequency of the irrigation depends on the time of year, plant cycle and type of substrate and container. The general rule is to avoid that the roots remain completely dry at some time to prevent the deterioration of the plant (leaves or pseudobulbs wrinkled). Nevertheless, you have to leave a space of time between irrigations. In summer, the watering must be more frequent and at a higher temperature we must also provide a higher humidity.

It is essential not to use tap water for the irrigation of the Cambria orchid. The tap waters, come normally with great hardness and mineral content that is not suitable for these plants. Use mineral water or treated water with appropriate filters (reverse osmosis).

Also important are the irrigations carried out using sprays on aerial roots and leaves, avoiding ponding. This type of irrigation should be more abundant in the hot season (summer) since there is greater water loss.

Unlike most orchids, Cambria orchid prefers a slightly moist substrate constantly. 

Irrigation has to do with the time of year, being a good rule to water every five to seven days in summer, and seven to ten days in winter.  It also needs to have a humid microclimate (40% humidity), so it is advisable to spray the leaves regularly, up to twice a day when it is very hot, to prevent the leaves from wrinkling. 

A trick that works well is to place a saucer with water and some pebbles under the pot, so that we manage to generate that humid environment that is so grateful. We must take care that the roots are not in direct contact with the water.

Irrigation should be done with soft water, avoiding irrigation with tap water, due to its hardness and salt content. We can use bottled water, or filtered water. 

Both watering and spraying should be done in the morning, to avoid the appearance of fungi.

The Substrate For The Cambria Orchid

The soil that we should use is the usual substrate that I recommend for orchids. A light and resistant substrate that drains well, but that at the same time conserves some humidity and part of the nutrients, that we contribute by means of fertilizers.

Ideally, buy fertilizers prepared from pine bark, or similar. The gritty mix that I usually recommend is also suitable.

Repotting and Transplant Of The Cambria Orchid

The pot changes will be done every two years, either because it has grown too much and needs a new pot, or because the substrate does not drain properly.

In these cases, it is always good to remove the roots that we see are rot or in poor condition,healing the important cuts with cinnamon powder.

Likewise, and during the days following the transplant, we will place it in a place where it keeps the usual temperature conditions, but slightly further from the light.

 For a couple of days, it is a good idea to avoid watering the transplanted flower, to let small wounds heal. 

The repotting must be done when the orchid has finished its flowering.

So as a conclusion for the definition of the requirements to practice a trabsplant or a repotting of the Cambria orchid, we advise changes only in those cases where we have had an infestation of bacteria or fungi in the roots or in those cases in which the plant has grown and the roots really need more space for their deployment.

These changes must occur during the plant’s rest period. Never during flowering, just as we explained briefly above. 

We will use special substrate preparations for orchids and easily acquired in any garden center, including the gritty mix. Avoid fertilization in the post-transplant period and irrigation. Keep the temperature without many changes and away from excessive light. The plant will need a few days to recover from the small scars caused by roots and other parts. The Cambria orchid is a very resilient hybrid so it will recover from the impact of the repotting soon.

Nutrients And Fertilizers

With the Cambria orchid, a hybrid of other orchid types, we can recommend a special fertilizer for orchids or the gritty mix.

In general, we will need to fertilize more frequently in the periods before flowering. We also recommend using foliar mixed fertilizers in the water of vaporization since both the aerial roots and the leaves can assimilate them and will contribute to the good general state of the plant.

The fertilizer must be regularly utilized. They can be fertilized every three weeks, with a fertilizer 20:20:20, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium in equal proportions. This industry standard is suitable for most of the growing materials and the Cambria orchid is no exception to this evaluation. Keep moistened the substrate, to avoid the concentration of salts. 

Cambria orchid flowers react very well to foliar fertilization as I briefly referred above. Using suitable fertilizers and also spraying them gently, will contribute to the good general condition of the Cambria orchid.

Diseases And Pests In The Cambria Orchid

Regarding the diseases and pests that may affect the Cambria orchid, there is nothing different of what I thoroughly explained about the Cambria genera, so please visit our related article here to discover it.

Flowering Of The Cambria Orchid

The Cambria orchid bloom in spring or autumn, depending on environmental conditions, although in the Mediterranean area it is expected to be in the spring. Some gardeners may retrieve two blooms a year. Just note that the hybrids are different in Southern Europe than what we enjoy here in the United States.

From each floral stem usually appear between three and seven flowers, which may last several weeks. 

Once the flowering is over, the orchid will develop new pseudobulbs, which can give rise to new floral rods.

Pruning Of The Cambria Orchid After Flowering

Once the flowering finishes, the floral stick should be pruned at the height of the pseudobulb, since it will not flower again in that same one. 


The first specimens of Cambria orchid appear in 1911 and we owe it to the horticulturist Mr. Charles Vuylsteke, who successfully crosses the orchids Odontoglossum crispum, Miltonia and Cochlioda noetzliana.

This first precedent of Cambria orchids was called Vuylstekeara, in honor of Mr. Charles Vuylsteke. 

Later, this primordial hybrid was crossed with the orchid Odontoglossum Clonius, and was named as Vuylstekeara Cambria Plush. An orchid that appears in 1922, created for a private collection of orchids. 

This orchid was awarded in the sixties with the FCC / RHS award, a first class certificate, a highly coveted award that is rarely obtained among orchid growers.

That prize originated an authentic madness, so much for the fans that wanted to have a Vuylstekear Cambria Plush orchid in their house, as for the gardeners, looking for a new specimen with similar characteristics, that was easy to care for and flourished in a spectacular way. That is the origin of Cambria orchids.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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