The Cymbidium orchid can reach around two feet in height and has beautiful thin, long leaves. The Cymbidium orchid flowers are pink, yellow, white, or green and bloom from mid-autumn to mid-spring.
These flowers give the Cymbidium orchid colors that decorate your places splendidly, especially when mixed with other vivid orchids like the Vanda coerulea, Ascocentrum ampullaceam, and Rhynchostylis gigantea. Go through this simple guide to learn more about the Cymbidium orchid’s parenting requirements.
What Is Cymbidium Orchid?
The Cymbidium orchid is an evergreen plant that is native to Australia and Asia. These orchids are flowering plants that will always bloom and thrive no matter the season. In early springtime, they will produce as many as 10 to 12 flowers.
Cymbidium Orchid Care
The Cymbidium orchid is so attentive to its environment and responds to the balance of available care requirements. When growing Cymbidium varieties, it is important to keep an eye on the plant’s performance, detect any problems earlier, and make necessary care requirement adjustments in time.
– Water Requirements
During the growing season, ensure sufficient water provision to your orchids. You should apply water to the Cymbidium orchid plant in the morning so that by evening, the growth medium will have had enough time to drain excess moisture.
Make sure the medium is slightly dry between waterings and this usually means once or twice a week in cooler temperatures. During spring, summer, and fall, water uptake increases due to a high rate of plant development and transpiration so your orchid may need daily watering.
You should use pure water because it is free from chlorine and other salts. These substances cause the Cymbidium orchid leaves to develop black tips and die.
We recommend that you undertake a regular potting mix flush to wash out excess salts accumulated from fertilizers and hard water. The Cymbidium orchid enters dormancy in winter so consider reducing the watering frequency.
Do not let the potting medium dry out completely but keep it relatively damp, leaving no room for sogginess at the same time. If the roots of your lovely orchids stay in a soggy medium for a long time, they start to rot, affecting the entire plant’s performance.
– Light Requirements
Exposure to dappled sunlight, especially during the growing season, is vital for the proper development of your Cymbidium orchid. Avoid direct sunlight that can be harsh for the orchid’s leaves, otherwise, they will burn.
You may expose your plants to a few hours of morning and late afternoon light, which would unlikely cause any harm. In addition, placing the plants close to an east-facing or southeast window is a good alternative.
With the best lighting conditions, your Cymbidium orchid’s leaves should be apple green. When under lower light exposure, the leaves will become dark green and the blooms are short-lived.
When growing this orchid outdoors, use shaded places that allow bright light to penetrate. Although winter has low sunlight and temperatures, you can alternatively make use of artificial grow lights to make the environment habitable for your plant.
The roots of the cymbidium orchid do not enjoy sunlight exposure like other plants, therefore do not use plastic containers for potting.
– Soil Requirements
The Cymbidium orchid plant is in the same group as the Dendrobium Phalaenopsis orchid, Phragmipedium, Tolumnia orchid, and many others whose natural habitat has loamy humus that allows their thin roots to easily penetrate through the soil.
This soil type is easy to replicate when grown in homes. Keep in mind that you must make a well-draining medium that consists of loose and rich organic matter. Also, the medium should support aeration.
We recommend using perlite, fir bark, peat moss, or any other loose and light organic materials you can get. Alternatively, you should acquire a commercial paphiopedilum orchid mix from trusted supplies. Maintain a pH between 5.5 to 6.5 for enhanced orchid performance.
When the potting mix breaks down, the pH falls between 4.0 and 4.5 and when continuously used for two to three years, the plant may die on you. Compacted growing mediums restrict water movement, aeration, and root development. This leads to the sogginess of the Cymbidium orchid soil mix, weak-looking orchids, and sickly roots.
– Temperature Requirements
The Cymbidium orchid is more tolerant to cooler conditions compared to several popular thermophilic orchids like the Dyakia Hendersoniana. Note that, temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit will provoke the larger cymbidium plants to bloom but, you should move the plant to a warmer place as soon as they start flowering.
Also note that when exposed to higher temperatures for a long time, the blooms will not last long. However, other orchid varieties like the Angraecum didieri need moderate temperatures that are neither too cold nor hot to bloom.
Cymbidiums can tolerate freezing conditions however, frost will destroy them. If the temperatures drop to 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the night, your cymbidiums will not be harmed although the 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit range is ideal.
Due to their resilient nature, cymbidiums also withstand heat without wilting, especially in summer as their habitats, for example, Asia has considerable seasonal variation. During summer, your orchid does well in day temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Humidity Requirements
When grown outdoors, Cymbidium orchid plants tolerate a wide range of humidity levels, excluding those in highly dry climates. For indoor growing, maintain a humidity of around 40 to 60 percent.
When you discover that the humidity level is below 40 percent, you should place the plant’s pot on a pebble tray that contains water. Please note that the base of the pot should not get in contact with the water to avoid problems like root rot.
You can also utilize a humidifier as it can keep the humidity high around your plants, without constantly supervising them. When using the pebble tray method, you should consider cleaning the pebbles after a few months, using a diluted bleach solution. This helps to eliminate possible bacteria growth. Remember to rinse the pebbles well before placing them back in the tray.
Although some growers mist their orchids using spray bottles, we do not recommend this method as it is a high-maintenance strategy. Misting also promotes diseases but if you decide to mist, no droplets should be left on the leaves as bacteria thrives in such conditions. You can use a paper towel to wipe and water droplets on the surface of your plant.
– Fertilizing Requirements
We advise feeding your orchids twice a month using a slow-release or weak fertilizer. At the beginning of the growing season, you should scatter or apply some slow-release fertilizers pellets to the growing medium.
The cymbidium orchid will slowly make use of the gentle fertilizers to enhance its growth and flowering. Harsh fertilizers can burn the orchid’s roots and foliage in no time, possibly leading to the loss of the entire plant.
Strictly follow the package instructions to avoid over-fertilizing your lovely orchids. When using a well-balanced fertilizer, feed once a week during summer as orchids put out new growth. We also advise you to avoid using fertilizers that have a high nitrogen content as they provoke rapid foliage development, thereby suppressing blooming.
Winter fertilizing is not ideal but you can make a single application a month to avoid burning your beautiful orchids. Remember, they enter a period of dormancy during this season. Additionally, do not apply fertilizers to your Cymbidium orchids if the soil is too dry because doing this will destroy the roots.
– Pruning Requirements
Cymbidium orchid plants will do well with pruning maintenance. However, you should consider using sterilized tools and washing your hands with an alcohol-based detergent before you undertake this process.
We encourage pruning to be done during spring and summer when new growth is enhanced. It is important to cut off diseased parts of your orchids and dispose of them properly to curb recurrences.
These plants bloom once a year so when the Cymbidium orchid blooms fall, their spikes need to be cut off. Your cymbidium will also benefit when you cut off damaged leaves, flowers, and roots as this revamps its vibrancy. Bear in mind that the roots need sufficient airflow, and removing dead roots will create more space for aeration.
Successful propagation is done during the growing season when plant development is high. To start this process, you need some bacteria-free gardening tools, a well-draining orchid medium, and an orchid pot with enough holes to drain excess water.
Just like several other orchids, for instance, the Ariedes Houlletiana and Brassia orchid, Cymbidiums can be best propagated through their tubers called pseudobulbs. Bear in mind that, pseudobulbs that are outside support the orchid’s foliage whereas those in the center are not for development as they are dormant.
– Pseudobulb Propagation
First, choose a healthy plant and gently remove it from its pot to avoid damaging the roots. Clean off the growing medium from the plant and separate the pseudobulbs using a sharp knife.
Pseudobulbs with foliage groups of three or four growing from them should be divided first. Also, you should divide inner backbulbs that do not have any growth into independent or individual bulbs.
Get containers that are a few inches slightly larger than the bulbs and plant the inner pseudobulbs. As for those parts with growth on them, they must be potted in separate containers with a medium consisting of one part of perlite and four parts bark chip.
You should mist the little foliage daily until new roots are established. Water lightly and new growth will start appearing and between three months to a few years the backbulb will grow into a plant.
Now, water the young plants lightly until you notice the orchid getting taller and more new growth appearing. If the new plant grows a second pseudobulb, you should now move it into a slightly bigger pot. Do not be disappointed if the new cymbidiums fail to bloom in their first year as it takes a few years for their root systems to be well developed for flowering.
When kept well, Cymbidium orchids tend to be pest and disease-resistant. Despite them being quite tough, Cymbidiums face several problems including pests and diseases that emanate from wet or soggy conditions.
Overexposure to certain growing conditions may hurt the well-being of your plants. In some circumstances, these problems can be reversed when detected earlier but unfortunately, severe cases usually lead to the death of the plant.
Mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are the most common pests that are seen on Cymbidiums. Once bugs infest your plants, you should dip a paper towel in isopropyl alcohol and wipe them off. We advise that you cover the growing medium with plastic paper so that the bugs will not fall into the medium and cause future problems.
It is wise to isolate an infected plant and treat it away from the healthy ones. Pests like aphids are soft-bodied and can be eliminated by spraying the affected parts using a solution of a diluted natural detergent.
Cymbidium orchids are easy-care plants, just like slipper orchids and cattleya orchids but, diseases should not be given any room as they can destroy the plants. Most diseases emanate from an imbalance in care requirements.
Once the cymbidium orchid’s roots are submerged in a soggy medium for a long time, they begin to rot. It is hard to recuperate your orchids once the roots start rotting so, ensure the potting medium is well-draining and the pot has qualities that enhance the release of excess moisture.
Once you see your plant wilting and looking ill despite the presence of moisture, remove the plant from its pot and check for any healthy pseudobulbs. If any, separate them from the affected ones using a sterilized knife and repot them.
Cymbidium orchids enjoy as much bright light as possible but direct exposure to the sun’s rays burns the leaves and flowers. The leaves also begin to turn yellow, a development that takes away the beauty of the orchid. Sunburn cannot be healed but you can only prune off the damaged leaves. Also, if they do not get enough light, the leaves of your orchid will turn dark green.
The Cymbidium orchid is an elegant flowering orchid that brightens up your rooms with less effort. Let us go through some of the points that we covered in this detailed guide.
- The Cymbidium orchid loves lots of sunlight but avoids direct rays as they burn its beautiful leaves and flowers.
- This gorgeous plant’s blooms are provoked by cooler temperatures, but we recommend moving them to warmer places soon after the leaves start appearing.
- You can propagate this orchid using pseudobulbs and it is wise to use a sterilized knife to avoid passing bacteria to the plant.
- Look out for mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites that destroy your orchids by feeding on the plant tissues.
With species like the Cymbidium ensifolium’s sweet fragrance and beautiful blooms, you should be encouraged to get your own Cymbidium orchid from trusted suppliers. Enjoy the lengthy presence of colorful blooms!