Cymbidium Orchid Care

Cymbidium Orchid - Tricia Allen Electra Green
Cymbidium – Tricia Allen Electra Green

Perhaps the most popular orchids for sale Cymbidium Orchids are also one of the easiest to grow.

The color range available in hybrid cymbidiums is huge including pure white, pinks, yellow and even green cymbidium orchids (pictured right. Widely used in Wedding Bouquets Cymbidium Orchids are also long lasting as cut flowers.

The varieties that we mainly see are actually Cymbidium x hybrida, such as Cymbidium Orchid Tricia Allen-Electric Green. They are colorful hybrids rather than the species themselves. Bred for flower color and form as well as hardiness. They are by far the most popular orchids to be grown in the USA and in cooler climates around the world.

They vary form miniature forms to plants with large flower spikes. As cut flowers they are long lasting and as a hardy perennial they are a wonder addition to the garden.

Cymbidium orchid Care

White Flowering Cymbidium Orchid
White Flowering Cymbidium Orchid

The best position to grow cymbidiums is in filtered light with protection from wind and frost. A south facing covered patio or position in the garden is ideal. You will need to over winter these orchids indoors in colder climates, and luckily they take well to growing indoors.

In winter good light is required, cold but not freezing night temperatures will promote flower spikes. On the modern hybrids flower spikes are large and heavy, many gardeners us bamboo supports to prevent damage.

Light requirements – Cymbidium orchids like lots of light, however foliage will burn in too much direct sunlight.

Growing medium – Cymbidiums require good drainage, so an open free draining orchid mix, pine bark is often used, and prefer a medium ph

Temperature – Like all orchids Cymbidiums like a cooler temperature at night to perform best.80F or 26C is ideal with cooler night temperatures and winter temperatures as well

Humidity – 50% humidity is required for optimum growth.
Use a formulated orchid fertilizer one a month. A slow release specialist orchid fertilizer is ideal.

Watering – Water often enough to let the potting mix or sub strata dry completely between watering. Every 2 weeks is a guide depending on temperature. Try to not water flower spikes once they develop.

Care Summary

  • Renowned for being easy care and hardiness, cymbidiums are fairly easy to repot.
  • Grow Cymbidium Orchids in a protected spot in the garden, under a tree or pergola.
  • They are best grown in containers where a free draining potting mix can be used, however they can be grown outdoors in the ground with a little soil preparation.
  • Lots of good strong filtered light.
  • Water only when dry.
  • Fertilise lightly, but frequently and make sure you use a good orchid potting mix.

Where are Cymbidium Orchids from?

A varied group, Cymbidium Orchids are mainly from the higher altitudes of countries through South East Asia and the East Coast of Australia.

They are a sub tropical group, however as many come from the cooler foothills and mountains they are easy to grow

Although a number of species are grown by collectors it is the cymbidium hybrids with wonderful flower colors, including green, that we mainly see for sale.

They are in general, a cool growing type of orchid and prefer a shaded position. However some species do require warmth. Cymbidium Orchids grow on small trees and shrubs and are often found on coffee trees.

However the modern cultivars are easy care and cope well in a range on conditions, they even seem to thrive on neglect given good drainage and protection from very hot sun.

The very popular white flowering cymbidiums, pictured right are often used in corsages. Some are almost pure white others with markings on the lip. Remember that all flower forms are not the same, the species will have very different looking flowers to the hybrids.

In terms of popularity cymbidiums are widely grown in Hawaii where they are also use for cut flowers. Popular in Florida, Georgia and California where they are grown outdoors year round. And increasingly popular as indoor plants in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington and Massachusetts.

Cymbidium Orchid Species

And of course we have the species, with a different flowering cycle, these include :

  • C. bicolor
  • C. canaliculatum
  • C. eburneun
  • C. enisfoliun
  • C. insigne
  • C. erythrostylum
  • C. hookerianum
  • C. sinense
  • C. sauve.