Cymbidium Orchid

Cymbidium Orchid

  • Scientific name: Cymbidium Orchid
  • Common name:  Cymbidum
  • Origin:  Africa, tropical Asia and Australia
  • Type of orchid : epiphytic or terrestrial
  • Flowering:  Autumn-winter. The flowers last several weeks
  • Location:  Lots of lighting, without direct sun. It can be even outside
  • Irrigation:  Frequently, the substrate should not be allowed to dry
  • Humidity:  Average 40% -50%
  • Level of difficulty:  Low

2- Table basic needs:

TemperatureIn summer between 23 and 30ºC. In autumn so that they begin to form the floral sticks the ideal temperature is between 10 and 15ºC.Therefore, cool nights is a good ally to stimulate flowering. Although they can withstand light frosts it is not advisable to subject them to this risk.
HumidityThey are not very demanding in this regard but it is necessary to ensure at least a minimum humidity of 50%.As the temperature increases we must also increase the humidity. If the temperatures are over 28ºC. it is convenient to increase humidity to 70-80%.
LightIt needs a lot of light. It tolerates some direct sun outside the central hours of higher radiation.If the temperature is very high (> 28ºC.) Avoid direct sun.
fertilizerFertilizers must be applied during the vegetative cycle, respecting the resting cycles. In spring and summer until the beginning of autumn, add liquid fertilizer for orchids every 2 irrigations.It is also convenient to make sprays with foliar fertilizer during the growing and flowering season. Do not wet the flowers.
SubstrateAs with all orchids, we need a substrate with good drainage and that does not produce puddling or compaction. The base is usually made of pine bark or spruce and moss.You can also add peat, coconut fiber, polyurethane foam or expanded polystyrene (white cork), to increase the conditions of aeration and drainage.
OthersThe plant can be reproduced by dividing the bushes and separating several pseudobulbs from the mother plant. Cut the damaged roots and plant in pot (14-16 cms.) With new substrate.

The flowers usually combine yellow, red, white:

If there is an orchid suitable for beginners in the cultivation of orchids, it is undoubtedly the Cymbidium: it is able to resist soft and brief frosts, without the orchid suffering any damage.
This variety of orchids is characterized by having very durable flowers (up to two months), which look like wax, and which are sometimes perfumed. 
They are very appreciated in flower shop as a cut flower, for its spectacular flowering. Several flowers appear from a floral stick, to which they are joined by very short branches (petioles). 
But not only are we going to find them as a cut flower, we can also enjoy different specimens for sale, such as Cymbidium insigne, Cymbidium eburneum or the Cymbidium devonianum, to each one more beautiful and beautiful.

cymbidium orchid


  • 1 Characteristics of the Cymbidium
  • 2 How is Cymbidium cared for?
    • 2.1 Location
      • 2.1.1 When does it bloom?
    • 2.2 When and how should it be watered? Humidity
    • 2.3 Temperature and ventilation
    • 2.4 Subscriber
    • 2.5 Substrate and transplant
    • 2.6 Pests and diseases

Characteristics of the Cymbidium

In nature Cymbidium can be epiphytes or terrestrial, although those that are usually sold as an indoor plant are epiphytes. 
Its long, thin leaves emerge from rounded pseudobulbs, which grow horizontally.


Cymbidiums comprise a broad family of orchids that are highly prized for their shape, color, duration and, in some cases, fragrance.

First , cymbidium orchid plants can be defined in an average size that is over 60 centimeters in total length, although there may even be cases where these species reach 90 centimeters. As for the flowers of these species can be said that cymbidium orchids have small flowers of about 5 to 13 centimeters in diameter, everything depends on the case of the species.

On the other hand, within the important aspects of cymbidium orchids it is also known that usually these plants usually bloom in the winter season. In addition, it is also known that during the flowering season of this plant there are at least about 20 flowers. One of the aspects that stands out about this genus is that between the species you can observe different types of colors, that is, unlike other wild orchid genera, the color does not mean a related characteristic. For this reason you can see red cymbidium orchids,  white, green, yellow, orange and pink.

In the same way, taking into account the previously mentioned aspects, it should be noted that in terms of flowering, it is known that in the case of this kind it usually lasts about 10 weeks. One of the main differences that this genus has in relation to the different orchid genera is that in this case these plants usually develop more leaves, and in larger dimensions. All these aspects are part of the varieties of cymbidium orchids.

According to various studies, as an ideal environment for the development of these plants, temperate climates were identified, where humidity predominates. The species of this genus obtain great relevance in Asia where it is proceeded to carry out the cultivation of cymbidium orchids to meet the demand of the trade.
It is an evergreen and epiphytic plant, although in its natural habitat it can also be terrestrial. Its development is sympodial, that is, the plant develops from a series of pseudobulbs that grow expanding horizontally and forming a new outbreak every year from a short rhizome. From the pseudobulbs two types of stems are born: those that give rise to a new pseudobulb and those that form a floral rod.

Each year the pseudobulb develops a new outbreak. These buds give rise to two types of stems, those that will offer us a floral rod, and from which a new pseudobulb will develop. 
The origin of Cymbidium orchids is in Africa, tropical Asia and Australia. The Cymbidium for sale, are often the result of numerous crosses, thanks to which many hybrids have been achieved with a large palette of colors in their flowers. 
The Cymbidium orchidscan be divided into two large groups, the so-called normal and that can reach a considerable diameter and height (up to 1 meter in diameter) and considered miniatures, which are usually orchids created from hybrids. 
As a curiosity, the name of Cymbidium can be due to two different meanings. According to some, it derives from the Greek word Kumbos, which means hole or cavity, referring to the base of the lip of the flower. But for others, it derives from the Greek Kimbe, meaning ship, because of the shape of the flower’s lip.

Cymbidium is said to be the most cultivated orchid due to its easy cultivation and the large number of hybrids that have been created. In fact, they were the first orchids sold as an indoor plant. 

There are two large groups of Cymbidiums: the so-called normals that can reach a diameter greater than one meter given their vitality (if they have favorable conditions) and those of miniature obtained from certain hybrids. The latter are more resistant, compact and not so demanding regarding light or flowering conditions.

The flowers of these orchids are the longest of the whole family and their coloration can combine the colors: green, yellow, red, pink, brown and white. Its flowering is very peculiar because if they are not cut from the plant, the flower sticks can last 10 or more weeks. If they cut their life is also much longer than any other type of flower. 
Another curious aspect of its flowering is that, unlike what happens with most orchids, it can occur in the middle of winter. In fact, its flowering period covers from September to January and occurs only once a year. 
The Cymbidium can live around 3 to 7 years at home if it has the right conditions.

How is Cymbidium taken care of?

Although the Cymbidium is a relatively simple orchid to take care of, we always have to know in what way we have to carry out such care , to have a healthy orchid that does not stop blooming every year.

It is generally known that the species that make up this genus of orchids are also cultivated, although they usually carry specifications that are different from the other types of orchids known, so it can be said that what concerns the care of cymbidium orchids is light. considers as the main factor that gives vitality to this plant, being the first aspect that must be taken into account in a cautious way when proceeding to care for and cultivate these species of orchids.


The Cymbidium is grown as an indoor orchid, but during part of the year we can have it in the garden. 
At home we should look for a very bright place, but that does not receive direct sunlight so that its leaves are not damaged. In winter they may need extra lighting. 
From the first half of May, it can be placed outdoors in a bright place, but not sunny, always after the flowering is over. When September arrives, before the first frosts we must go inside. 
These changes inside-outside, are very beneficial for the plant , which needs to have periods of rest with different temperatures.

When does it bloom?

The orchid has a vegetative process, by which in the spring and summer the new buds (pseudobulbs) are formed. 
It is from the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, when the floral rods appear. The flowers will open during the autumn-winter. 
That is why it is so interesting that the plant can go through these changes in temperature, especially different between day and night, so that it can flourish.

Light And Illumination

However, more specifically in terms of light care is taken as reference that these plants need sunlight at least most of the time, but in these cases should be completely avoided that light acquire it in a way direct, since excess heat could burn the flowers and leaves of these delicate orchids. So usually when assessing the vitality of these species in terms of the amount of light is taken as reference that when this plant is healthy its leaves are in an intense green color, because of being in yellowish or black tones is a sign that the plant has been burned by the excess of sunlight.

The Cymbidium need a lot of light, including direct sun in winter so we should look for a suitable location.They are not so demanding regarding the level of environmental humidity. Normally with 50% humidity they can live relatively well as long as the temperature is not high. In this case proceed to sprays on the leaves. 

When and how should it be watered? Humidity

The Cymbidium need very frequent watering , especially in the flowering season, that the substrate should not stay dry at any time. 
More than taking into account a calendar, the ideal is to look at the humidity of the substrate, as it will dry more or less, depending on the outside temperature. 
What we must ensure is that there is no standing water after irrigation, they can not stand it. 
As for water quality, it is preferable that it does not contain salts. We should discard the tap water and use filtered or rain water. 
They are not very demanding in terms of environmental humidity, 50% is fine, but that is the normal humidity in a home.
When it is very hot during the summer, it can be sprayed with water to increase the humidity.

Irrigations must be abundant during periods of higher heat (spring-summer), ensuring that the substrate is never completely dry but, at the same time, avoid puddles.
The subscriber will also apply in the periods of growth and flowering. Apply only specific fertilizers for orchids that are normally less concentrated.

More information orchid care:

Temperature and ventilation

The ideal temperature for these plants in summer is above 25ºC, being able to tolerate up to 30ºC. Remember that at higher temperatures, the plant needs more humidity and ventilation. Nor will it tolerate direct sun if the temperature is high (28ºC or more). 
In the autumn, to stimulate the appearance of the floral sticks, it is appropriate that there is a temperature difference of about 10ºC. Between day and night. Thus, the night temperature can vary between 10 and 15ºC. and the daytime between 20 to 25º. During flowering, a temperature as constant as possible around 20ºC is recommended.

once the appearance of the light is taken into account, everything that involves the temperature should not be left aside, since this is considered another factor that maintains vitality in the case of the cymbidium orchids, then for these species the ideal temperature is given by an average between 19 ° C and up to 29 ° C in the case of the day, since for the night they need to vary a little the temperatures and be between 10 ° C to 17 ° C. Basically you have to keep in mind that these plants should not be exposed to high or low temperatures, they need a balance in them
If we have adequate conditions of temperature and humidity, the Cymbidium can be temporarily located outside. They usually appreciate a well ventilated situation but we should avoid frost or extreme temperatures. 

The adequate temperatures for its growth are between 10ºC and 15ºC in the autumn, and between 23ºC and 30ºC in the summer. 
For the plant to flower, it needs night temperatures of around 10ºC, for this reason it is interesting that the plant remains outdoors until September, even October in temperate climates. 
Then, when the flower buds appear, the night temperature should not exceed 12ºC.


Throughout the year, the fertilizer must be abundant and on a regular basis , the only thing to modify is the ratio of Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium that we are going to provide, so that we stimulate its growth or flowering. 
In the growing season, a 30:10:10 fertilizer should be used , with a higher proportion of nitrogen, but when the flowering period arrives, the nitrogen (more appropriate for the plant to grow) is reduced and the phosphorus is increased, for a greater flowering, 10:30:20. 
During the interim periods, it is best that the elements are provided 20:20:20. 
The amount of fertilizer and diluted that is applied, will depend on the frequency and a little of the substrate of the pot.

Generally, in terms of fertilizer, the best suggestion is to consider the fertilizers that are marketed in order to meet the main nutritional needs of these orchid species, following the instructions regarding fertilizer can meet the requirements in terms of nutrition of these plants. In the same way, regarding the substrate it is necessary to consider that drainage must be guaranteed, since the stagnation of the water is harmful to the health of the orchids. On the other hand, what involves the transplantation of cymbidium orchids is used as a reference only when it is really necessary due to space issues.
As a rule, we should never exceed 1gr per liter of water. The fertilization will be performed every week or every two weeks.

Substrate and transplant

The Cymbidium should be transplanted every three or four years to change the substrate, which usually deteriorates, or sooner if we observe that the orchid is very compressed in the current pot. 

They do not like much manipulation, so we must choose a good pot so it does not need to change in those three years. 
The chosen season should be after flowering, at the beginning of spring. 
As they tend to compress a lot, before proceeding with the transplant it is a good idea to water the roots well. 
In this process we will eliminate the damaged roots, as well as the pseudobulbs that are dry. 
We can take advantage of the change, to divide the pseudobulbs and obtain new orchidsthat will be equal to its parent.
We will use a sharp blade that we will have disinfected. It is also recommended that we handle it with clean hands or gloves. 
The chosen substrate will be typical of orchids. The usual thing in the nursery is that they sell us a substrate based on pine bark. 
Once we have it in the new pot, we will wait for the cuts to heal, not watering for a few days, avoiding direct sunlight and safe from sudden changes in temperature. 
After a week or so, we will resume the risks and the subscriber.

Plagues and diseases

Indoor orchids may suffer from attacks of pests, but it is usually more rare, because they are not usually in contact with other specimens. 
However, when the Cymbidium reaches the garden, it will be exposed to a good number of bichillos. 
Among the most common will be that it can be attacked by the red spider, scale insects or thrips. 
In rare cases it can be attacked by a virus. If it were the case, there are no effective remedies, we can only take care and wait for recovery. 
As I assured you at the beginning of this tutorial, the Cymbidium is an orchid relatively easy to care for, at least more simple than other varieties of orchidsmore known. Without a doubt, it is an orchid for those who want to go into the orchid culture for the first time.

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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