Cymbidium orchids are native to the Himalayan region where they thrive in cool nighttime temperatures (40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit), warm daytime temperatures (75 to 85 F) and constant moisture in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Cymbidium orchids' bright and long-lasting flowers are used for cut flowers and corsages. They grow best outdoors in bright light but not hot sun. In northern climates, cymbidium orchids should be left outside until nighttime temperatures begin to dip below 45 F in the fall. Bringing them inside to a warm, bright room encourages the plant to bloom. In the south, where wintertime temperatures stay above 28 F, cymbidium orchids can remain outside year-round.
How to Care for Cymbidium Orchids
Plant cymbidium orchids in pots with a commercial orchid mixture. Cymbidium orchid plants can develop large roots or bulbs, so use larger pots. A 6-inch-diameter flower pot with drainage holes is a good size to start with. Although it is possible to make your own orchid mix, the commercial mixtures have everything you need to get started. If planting in the ground, orchids will do well if planted in well-drained soil with the roots surrounded by a commercial orchid mix.
Locate an area of the garden that receives bright light but not hard direct sun for planting your cymbidium orchids or placing the ones you have planted in pots. When the grassy leaves of the cymbidium orchid are upright and light green, they are located in the correct amount of light. Yellowing leaves means conditions are too bright and dark green stunted leaves is an indication there is not enough light. Choose a location that you are happy with because cymbidium orchid plants become stressed if relocated once they are accustomed to light levels in one area.
Water orchid plants daily if needed. They will die if sitting in water but the roots need to be kept moist at all times. Commercial orchid potting mixtures are designed to dry out quickly. If plants are in pots, soak the pot thoroughly and let drain. After bringing orchids indoors for winter, decrease the amount of water.
Fertilize with a commercial orchid fertilizer. Use the fertilizer full strength and fertilize on a regular schedule by following the instructions on the fertilizer container label. You will use less fertilizer after the plants are relocated to a protected area during the winter.