Cymbidium is a genus in the orchid family that is popular for its fleshy flowers that bloom in profusion over thin strap-like foliage. Cymbidiums are epiphytic orchids that have one or more pseudobulbs to store moisture and nutrients that their roots capture form the ambient environment. Though tropical, cymbidiums can thrive outdoors in much cooler temperatures than most orchids can tolerate. They naturally flower in the spring each year and the blooms persist for up to 8 weeks at a stretch.
Grow your cymbidiums in a location where they receive bright indirect light for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours per day. Direct sunlight is fine in the morning and afternoon hours but midday shade protection is necessary. Whether growing your orchids indoors or outdoors, provide ambient temperatures in the range of 58 to 70-degrees Fahrenheit for optimal performance.
Water your cymbidiums once per week so that the medium is moist when reaching an inch or two down. Allow the top inch of medium to dry out slightly between waterings but do not let the medium dry out entirely, as it can be difficult to fully rehydrate once this occurs.
Feed your cymbidium orchids twice per month with a diluted solution of water soluble orchid fertilizer for the first half of the year until July and once per month thereafter. Dilute the fertilizer with water according to the label directions and always err on the side of less fertilizer as excess can lead to root burn and damage.
Trigger the bloom cycle by During the summer months cymbidiums need cool nights to initiate flowers. One way to help is to add ice to the soil. Do this every night in August after the sun sets. In the fall, keep plants outside until after the first frost. By doing this you will be rewarded with beautiful flowers.
Re-pot with fresh orchid medium into a slightly larger pot only once every 3 to 5 years after bloom. Cymbidiums do not like to be disturbed and are perfectly content when slightly root bound so more frequently is not better. Be sure to re-pot when the pseudobulbs begin to touch the side of the pot as this is a sign that there is little planting medium remaining to sustain the plant. Water in the new planting medium lightly.