How to Care for a Cymbidium Orchid


Cymbidium orchids are beautiful perennials native to tropical southeastern Asia and Australia. These showy orchids are desirable for their large flowers and strong fragrance. In fact, cybidiums are often used as cut flowers, according to information published by Texas A&M University. There is also a miniature form of cymbidium that is desirable for its tolerance to high temperatures, making it a great choice for home gardeners who want to cultivate orchids outdoors. Outdoors or in, the basic care requirements of both standard and miniature cymbidiums remain the same.

Step 1

Plant your cymbidium in a soil-less medium, such as peat moss or bark (fir bark is best). This loose, semi-terrestrial mixture will retain just enough moisture for the orchid to thrive without being overly soggy, according to information published by Garden Centers of Colorado.

Step 2

Place your cymbidium orchid in a location where it will be exposed to bright but indirect sunlight, such as a window with light that is filtered through a curtain, or a place that has morning sun followed by afternoon shade.

Step 3

Keep the planting medium moist at all times during the growing season (spring through summer). Reduce watering in the winter so that the medium is just barely moist.

Step 4

Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season with a high-nitrogen fertilizer (30-10-10) to promote strong growth. Switch to a high phosphorous fertilizer in late summer (10-20-30), which will encourage flower spike development, according to Garden Centers of Colorado. Only fertilize once a month in the winter. Apply the fertilizer according to the directions on the label as per the size of your orchid.

Step 5

Rest your potted cymbidium orchid on a tray filled with pebbles that are barely covered with a layer of water. As the water evaporates, it will add necessary humidity to the air around the orchid.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering tool
  • Peat moss or fir bark
  • High-nitrogen fertilizer (30-10-10)
  • High-phosphorous fertilizer (10-20-30)
  • Shallow tray
  • Pebbles


  • Garden Centers of Colordado: Cymbidium Orchid Care
  • Texas A&M University: Cybidium Orchids

Who Can Help

  • Beautiful Orchids: Cymbidium Care Instructions
Keywords: Cymbidium orchid care, growing Cymbidium orchids, care of orchids

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.