Cymbidium (group)
Common Name: orchid 
Type: Orchid
Family: Orchidaceae
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 1.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: All colors except blue and purple
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut


Cymbidiums are cool growing orchids requiring night temperatures in the low 60s F and days of 70 to 85° F. Night temperatures into the 30s F in fall initiate flower spikes; therefore, plants may remain outside in the fall until night temperatures drop to near freezing. Humidity should be at least 50%, and plants should be kept moist but not soggy year round. Water thoroughly with tepid water. Pot in a bark-based orchid medium with excellent drainage. Repot after flowering in the spring approximately every two to three years, or when the leading pseudobulb (stem) reaches the side of the pot. Feed weekly after watering with a balanced fertilizer diluted to quarter or half strength the recommended dilution. Cymbidiums like light shade in summer and full light in winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

The Cymbidium orchid genus is one of the most popular in culture today. Its history dates back to the time of Confucius in ancient China. Most are terrestrial (ground-growing on the forest floor), occurring in nature from sea level to about 10,000 feet. Some species are epiphytic plants, perching on tree branches and trunks. They are large plants with strap-like foliage and long sprays of large, showy flowers in abundance. There are also hybrid miniature types. Cymbidiums have large, round pseudobulbs (stems). Roots are thick, fleshy and abundant. Flowers last up to 10 weeks.

Genus name comes from the Greek word kymbe meaning a boat for the hollow recess in the lip.


Relatively trouble free, but check for aphids, spider mites, and viral diseases.


Cymbidium orchids are ideal for cool sunrooms with high light levels. They make good cut flowers. In areas that have no severe frosts and cool summers they may be grown as garden plants.