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Do you want an orchid with a long-living bloom? You have found it. The Cymbidium is one of those plants.
The Cymbidium is sure to become an eye-catcher in the home. You will get exotic colors added to any living space with this flower. But before you head out and buy one, it helps to know how to care for your Cymbidium orchids. Guess what? We are here to help. So keep reading.
Cymbidium Orchid Plant Introduction
When it comes to Cymbidium orchid care, we can say that it’s easy. The plant is a resilient variety of orchids. They can tolerate cooler climates with a low humidity level but are still fussy to a point.
This plant is native to the Southeast Asia regions of India, Nepal, and Thailand. You can also find it in East Asia, such as China. The foliage is an evergreen perennial of the Orchidaceae family. Gardeners get the plant for its gorgeous flowerets and its flowers well even indoors. This plant will thrive outdoors too given the right amount of shade.
The best part is that it can bloom for up to six weeks, yeah! You will find bunches of blossoms on the flower spikes. So you have to provide a cane for support as it gets heavy. You’ll find them blooming in warm temperatures during the day and when cold at night.
Cymbidium Plant Care Guide
Now, are you ready to care for your new orchid plant? Let’s now dive into some of the plant care basics. Make sure to follow them as much as you can.
Cymbidium Orchid Care Soil Condition
Since Cymbidium is an epiphyte, it needs a special mix for potting. They won’t need soil but a surface to hold onto. It needs firm orchid bark, as seen below, to provide airflow for the roots.
You can add sphagnum or peat moss. Doing this helps hold back the water. To encourage good drainage, you can add perlite or vermiculite. Adding these amendments keeps air, water and provides good drainage.
If you have seedlings, it needs a tighter medium where mature orchids need space to grow. Do you live in warmer regions? Then the soil needs to hold back more water compared to cooler or humid areas.
Cymbidium Orchid Water Needs
Cymbidiums require frequent watering in spring and summer. But during the winter months, you can reduce your water schedule. However, never let the soil dry out. The only time you can do this is when you’re repotting your plant for propagation.
With orchids, you can wet them well but less frequently. Another important thing is to use rainwater or distilled water.
If the top inch is slightly damp, you can wet the foliage again. Give your foliage a good soak and let the excess liquid drain out.
Another method is to take your orchids to the sink. Use filtered water at the base of your flower. Doing this prevents moisture from getting on the leaves, and the soil gets wet. When you notice the liquid flowing out the holes at the bottom, take a wooden spoon and tap the sides of the pot. You will see more liquid flow out.
Place your outdoor plants back in their preferred spots and do this every few days during summer. In winter, once a week watering is enough.
Cymbidium Orchid Lighting Condition
Cymbidiums thrive in areas with bright indirect light. So, where possible, try to provide your orchids with the correct amount of sunlight. The perfect spot is a south-facing window with shade to shield the leaves. Placing your perennial in direct sun burns them, displaying brownish spots on the foliage.
If your perennial gets a mild sunburn, it can recover. But too much of it is already fatal to the plant. To encourage growth, you can place your orchid outside in summer. Just make sure that it’s placed somewhere shaded. Slowly transition from the plant indoors to outdoors
Your plants will tell you if they are happy or not with the lighting conditions. With the correct lighting, the leaves turn yellowish/green. It will turn yellow with too much light and dark green if not enough light is present.
If you’re struggling with having enough sunlight, you may use artificial light as a supplement. But remember, the Cymbidium orchid is not for homes that have low light conditions.
Cymbidium Orchid Temperature Necessity
Your orchid loves cooler temperatures. They are not sensitive to cold compared to the other varieties. During the day, your plants need warm temperatures and need to be cooler at night.
In summer, place your orchid with a day temperatures between 24°C to 29°C (75°F to 85°F ). Night temperatures need to be around 10°C to 16°C (50°F to 60°F). It helps the foliage to develop flower spikes.
Once you notice the buds, you can place your plants in a warmer spot. But remember, if the temperature gets very hot, the flowers do not last that long. So in your home, keep the airflow moving and protect it during the hot hours. For outside gardens, you can place your orchids under a tree.
Cymbidium Orchid Humidity Condition
This orchid needs high humidity levels to survive. Compared to other varieties, it thrives in 40% to 60% humidity levels.
You can place a humidifier near your orchid. It’s a reliable way to increase humidity at home.
Or, you can use a pebble tray filled with water. You can place the pot on the tray to provide the needed moisture. Never allow the water to touch the roots as it will cause root rot. Also, clean the pebbles once a month to remove bacteria. You can use a diluted bleach solution to clean the stones. After cleaning, rinse the pebbles well with fresh water to remove the chemicals.
Cymbidium Orchid Fertilizer Use
Your orchid is a feeder as the potting medium has no fertilizer in it. You can use a balanced one diluted to half. During summer, your orchid puts out new growth, and it is best to fertilize them once a week.
When fall arrives, you can switch to fertilizing every two weeks or once a month. Also, give your orchid a watering before fertilizing them.
Cymbidium Orchid Plant Propagation
Now, this is where you need loads of patience. The orchid has pseudobulbs forming at the base of the stem under the soil. The ones you find in the middle are dormant, while the others support the foliage.
For propagation, you can split those tubes and plant them into different containers. But only do this when the flowers have died in the late spring. Here’s how to it
- Start by removing your orchid from the pot.
- Remove the potting mix and untangle the roots.
- Once clearing the roots from the soil, take a sterilized knife to cut the tubers apart.
- Start dividing the pseudobulbs with foliage growing out of the tubers, grouping them in three or four.
- Take the inner tubers without growth and divide them into separate bulbs.
- Take separate containers and place a mix of one part perlite with four parts bark inside.
- Plant your divided tubers with growth into the potting soil.
- Mist your new foliage daily until the roots establish.
- For the next six weeks, wet your foliage a little at a time until the roots develop well.
You’re probably wondering what to do with the inner pseudobulbs. You can take them and place them in smaller containers until they grow a couple of inches larger. Keep them moist and in a shady place. You should notice new growth in three months or a couple of years. The back bulb grows into new plants. Once they grow, you can place them in bigger pots like you did with your outer tubers.
Cymbidium Orchid Growth Zone
If you live in the USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12, you can grow Cymbidium orchids year-round. But, remember to provide it with the right night temperatures and lighting conditions.
Potting Your Boat Orchid
The best advice is to wait for your orchid to fill the pot before transplanting them to a new abode. Your orchids can take up to two to three years to do this. When the blossoms fade and new growth starts, you can repot your foliage.
You can upgrade to a size bigger pot as it helps the root system to grow. Neither do you have to keep your orchid in transparent pots to expose the roots to light? Instead, we recommend using a clay pot as the water evaporates easier.
It’s also the best time to check for damaged roots to cut them away. But compared to other varieties, do not wet your orchid now. Instead, give it a few weeks for the root to recover before watering. Then, start with little water, gradually increasing while the roots fill out their new home.
When it comes to the Cymbidium, you can find different varieties available to place inside your home. Here are some of them.
Phalaenopsis is an excellent orchid for beginner gardeners to care for. It has thick leaves with sprays of blooms. The foliage looks great standing on a coffee table and is rewarding to have.
Goeringii, also known as the noble orchid, comes from East Asia. The evergreen is a small species cultivated for its gorgeous, fragrant flowers. In Japan, you find them growing to use in tea flavorings.
Ensifolium or the four-season orchid is another oriental orchid with elegant and fragrant flowers. You find the growth in the Phillippines through to Japan. You see them with varied blooms throughout the year. The interesting thing is the name ensifolium, meaning sword and leaf, in Latin.
Sinense or Chinese Cymbidium is a terrestrial orchid. You find them growing in Northern Vietnam and Southern China. The flowers grow in clusters providing an inflorescence show. The blooms of these orchids are yellow, burgundy, or green.
Finlaysonianum is also known as Finlayson’s. These orchids are sympodial epiphyte (terrestrial herbaceous) found in Asia. The foliage features leathery leaves with a lobed lip yet curved column bulb. The colors of the blooms range from white, red, and yellow.
Orchids Diseases & Pests
When you have a Cymbidium, there are some things you need to keep an eye on.
When they get too much light, the leaves turn yellow. But if it has sunburn, the damage is not reversible since the plant tissues were already damaged. You will need to cut the leaves off.
Root rot happens when you overwater your Cymbidiums or leave them standing in water. When this occurs, recuperating can be difficult. You can try saving them by un-potting them and checking for healthy tubers. Then, cut the unaffected tubers away with a sterilized knife and follow our propagation tips to help.
While the cluster can resist insects, it becomes plagued with mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. It helps to take a cotton ball dipped in alcohol to wipe them off. For aphids, you can spray your foliage down using diluted dishwashing detergent with rainwater.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regular watering and using a fertilizer help trigger the flowering of the foliage. During summer, water it more than once a week. During winter, you only need to wet your foliage once a week or when you notice the soil is damp.
Growing Cymbidiums are a queen for growing indoors in winter. They are simple to grow, rewarding you well once matured with blooms year after year.
When it comes to Cymbidiums, you need not prune often. The best time to prune them is after flowering. Then, you can cut the stems down to the base to make sure it blooms the next year.