Cymbidium is part of the Orchidaceae family and is thought to be the oldest cultivated orchid. They have a semi-terrestrial growth habit, producing 3-5 pseudobulbs wrapped by long, grasslike leaves. They grow bigger each year, producing more flower spikes. This is a cascading type of Cymbidium so blooms are smaller than the standard type and they have a pendant blooming habit; they look best displayed in a hanging pot. Flower displays can be very dense, sometimes growing to cover the pot.
Genus name is derived from the Latin word cymba which means ‘cup’, ‘bowl’ or ‘boat’; this is in reference to the hollow recess in the labellum of the flower.
Light: Plenty of indirect light all year round, 2500-3000 ft. candles. Leaves should be a medium to golden green in colour, not dark green. An east or west facing position is recommended. If leaves begin yellowing, move to a shadier spot.
Watering: Keep moist, watering in the morning is thought to prevent the loss of new growth.
Potting mix: Ideally pot in a chunky mix made up of pine bark, sphagnum moss and some horticultural charcoal. Repotting is usually done in the spring after flowering, roughly every two years or when the potting medium decomposes. Repot into plant pots where there is just enough room for the following year's growth.
Temperature: Daytime temperature between 10-20˚C with summer temperatures up to 30˚C. Night temp 10-12˚C. It is recommended that you move Cymbidium outside when the risk of frost has passed and night time temperatures don’t fall below 10˚C. Keep them out for as long as possible, up until just before the first frost (end of May until mid September). Position in morning sun with light shade for the rest of the day. It is the lower temperatures in late summer and early autumn encourage the plant to produce flower spikes. When your plant is in bud, keep the temperature as constant as possible.
Fertilising: Feed every other watering when you observe active growth, flushing the mix occasionally to prevent build up of salts.
Humidity: 50-75% with good air circulation.
Blooming information: The creamy-white flowers are often produced in winter, typically lasting 4-8 weeks. When the flowers are spent, cut down the flowered stem to the base.
Some sources say Cymbidium is non-toxic, others cite that they contain quinone so use your own judgement regarding placement.