Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidium orchids are one of the few species that you can keep outside all year long. The majority of the ones you see in your local stores will have large beautiful blooms. These common orchids come in many different colors and will stand amongst tall narrow leaves. However, not all Cymbidium orchids have large blooms many of the species that specialty growers grow contain more of a petite flower.  Another name you may also hear them called is King of the Orchids or Boat orchids.


These orchids make great additions to any type of floral arrangement. Cymbidium orchids will stand out even when placed with other tropical flowers due to their blooms size. Many florist will use these large blooms for corsages.

Another great benefit this orchid has is some species may be fragrant!

This is a general overview on how to care for your Cymbidium orchids. There is a vast variety to pick from so before purchasing your orchid make sure to ask questions on that specific orchid. The needs of the orchid may fluctuate slightly.


Cymbidium orchids are one of the few orchids that will demand lots of light year round! During the summer months they actually prefer to be outside. Many mature Cymbidium orchids can handle direct sunlight in the morning or afternoon for several hours. Just be careful with the mid-day sun, that’s way too much sunlight. I have placed mine within some plants that provide shade with the occasional sunlight that will peak through their branches. It gives the area such a tropical feel. A covered porch is also a great place to display them. Once they begin to bloom a shadier place is ideal. This will help to preserve the blooms longer for you to enjoy!

You can tell if your orchid is not receiving enough light from its weak growths and no blooms. Watching your leaves can help you determine how your orchid is doing:

Light green with a hint of yellow = Good!

Dark green = Not enough light

Yellow to bleached white = Way too much light

If you cannot give these orchids the proper light they may not be ideal for you.


Cymbidium orchids do best when there is a 10-15 degree difference between day and night temperatures. Once the temperatures begin to hit freezing you will need to protect them by bringing them in. Do not bring them in before that! 

The cooler weather benefits the orchids by setting the blooms spikes. This is a crucial part for these orchids! The cooler weather also helps preserve the blooms once they begin to open.

When the spikes are set and growing, the orchid will prefer to be in a cool area with the highs no higher than 75 degrees. If your bud begin to turn yellow and fall off you will know that the temperatures where to hot.



Proper watering is a must for Cymbidium orchids however their water amount depends on their growing season. During their active growth you may need to water often where as their dormant seasons you may be able to go longer with the water cycle. Another important watering tip is to make sure you allow the water to thoroughly wet the mix and drain through the holes on the bottom of the pot.

Cymbidium orchids inside the home: Watering should be done once a week. Make sure to let the orchid mix dry just beneath the surface between each watering cycle. The amount of water your orchid may take depends on the pot, type of mix and how much light your orchid is receiving.


Cymbidium orchids outside the home: When these orchids are outside keep a close eye on them. You may need to water twice a week instead of once due to the sun drying out the medium faster. However, if it rains for several days or if there is a good rain shower there is no need to water your orchid. Keep the weather in mind on the watering cycle.



Fertilizer acts as an assistant in the orchids flowering and growth process. It delivers to the orchid different chemical elements to help the orchid thrive. Just by adding fertilizer does not promise longer or an abundance of orchid blooms. Orchids will not bloom before their time, so be patient!

Most use a fertilizer of 20-20-20 every 2-3 weeks throughout the entire year. Make sure you do not over fertilize the orchid. Over fertilizing will cause permanent root damage to the orchid. If you choose to have closer cycles of fertilizing, you are going to need to dilute the liquid. The bottle should have instructions on completing this. 


Repotting your Cymbidium orchids normally takes place every 2-3 years. These orchids like to be crowded within the pot.

Here are a couple signs to look for to know if it is time to repot your orchid:

1)    Shoots are hanging over the pot

2)    The material has deteriorated 

You should always repot your orchids after they have bloomed.

How to repot your orchid

1) Decide whether you want to divide your orchid and create new ones or just transplant the whole plant.

                  TIP: Purchasing a pot, you want to make sure you don’t purchase a pot that is too large for your orchid. You want to make sure you get a pot that is about an inch or 2 larger than the current pot.

2) Remove your current Cymbidium orchid from its pot and begin to remove the medium carefully.  At this time, I also begin to remove the dead roots to make room for the new ones.

TIP: Make sure use a clean blade to complete the removal stage. This will prevent from spreading any diseases.

3) Soak your medium before placing it into the new pot.

4) Place the moistened medium in the pot and make a cone shape.

5) Place the orchid within the cone shaped opening.

6) While holding the orchid in place add more medium around the orchid. Do not pack the medium within the pot. You want air to be able to move through the medium.

7) Stake your orchid in place and add a clip to secure the orchid stem to the stake. This is a very important step as your orchid will be experiencing stress with the transplant. The stake will hold the orchid in place.


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