Cymbidium Orchids – Orchid Facts
The vigorous Cymbidium orchid must be the foremost supplier of cut flowers among all orchids. Mainly originating in Thailand, thousands of flowering sprays are sold in flower markets all over the world, sought after for their extremely longlasting flowers and vast colour range.
Cymbidium is thought to be represented by up to 50 or 60 species. They can be found in the most varied living conditions, from tropical rainforests right across the range of climatic zones to relatively dry regions. Cymbidium belongs among the, but some of them inhabit rocky terrain or even trees.
Its name is derived from the Greek word kymbos which means boat or punt and this probably refers to the lip which curls up like the prow of a boat. Another characteristic of Cymbidium orchids are their thick, fleshy roots and their long, tough, strap-like leaves which usually grow out of oval pseudo-bulbs. The single flowers look as if they are made of wax and are very enduring. Cymbydium hybrids can be purchased in the gardening trade.
Very popular are the standard types which grow very tall. They belong among the cold greenhouse plants and are splendid specimens for conservatories. The early-flowering types are more suited to indoors, particularly the miniature Cymbidia. These orchids had warmth-loving ancestors and will tolerate heated rooms. They grow to a maximum of 1m (3 ft) and flower from autumn onwards.
tropical Asia, Australia.
temperate to warm, some cool.
varies depending on the species and hybrids.
Colour of flowers:
creamy white, yellow, pink, green, red, orange, brown, violet.
airy all year round, very bright and sunny. Standard types and older miniature Cymbidia in a very bright but not too sunny position outside from early summer to mid-autumn.
during the summer, warm during the daytime; from mid- to late summer distinctly cooler at night. During the winter 20°C/68°F during the day; a little lower during the night — 10°C/50°F is sufficient for large hybrids at night; miniature Cymbidia should be kept no cooler than 15°C/59°F.
from early spring to mid-autumn, plenty of water, but less in late autumn and winter. Make sure that humidity levels are high and mist frequently, even in winter.
from early to mid-spring until the autumn, every four weeks.
every two years during the spring. For spring- and winter-flowering types, after flowering is over.
from division of bulbs (See Propagating Orchids), preferably when repotting.
spider mites if the air is not humid enough. Yellow-spotted, light-coloured leaves indicate a viral disease. As a preventive measure, isolate the plant and consult an expert.
Although Cymbidia are robust plants, they can be quite moody when it comes to the formation of new flowers. The prerequisites for flowering, in my experience, are lots of light and the correct temperature fluctuations during the run-up to flowering. For hybrids and those varieties that flower from early autumn to midwinter, this should be done in late spring to early summer; in those that flower from late winter to late spring, it should be done in the period from late summer to mid-autumn. During these important periods, the plants require plenty of warmth during the daytime and plenty of fresh cool air during the night.
Spring-flowering: C. devonianum, C. lowianum
Summer-flowering: C. aloifolium
Autumn-flowering: C. giganteum
Winter-flowering: C. eburneum
Cybidium standard types (hybrids)
Spring-flowering: “Jungfrau Münz”, “Trade Winds”, “Clan Steward”
Autumn-flowering: “Baltic Dream”, “Drama Shooting Star”, “Magpie”
Winter-flowering: “Advent Charm”, “Kurun Magie”
Winter/spring-flowering: “Agnes Norton Show-off”, “Dag Oleste”, “Excalibur”, “Mary Pinchess Del Rey”, “Miniatures Delight” (hanging plant), “Minneken Pink Tower”, “Lemforde Surprise” (scented)