Apartment plants

Cimbidio - Cymbidium


Genus of forty species of epiphytic and terrestrial orchids, originating in central and southern Asia and Australia; there are many hybrids on the market, with showy-colored flowers. They produce numerous flattened pseudobulbs, bound together by short fleshy rhizomes; each year the plants produce new pseudobulbs, each of which bears a dozen long stiff, ribbon-shaped leaves, slightly arched, of a bright green color, which can reach 90-100 cm in length. In spring at the base of the pseudobulbs develops a long erect, fleshy stem, which brings up to 15-20 large fleshy flowers, white, yellow or pink. Numerous hybrids exist on the market, even with small or very large flowers. The flower is generally light in color, pastel, and has a conspicuously mottled lip; they remain in bloom for weeks, which is why they are among the most widespread orchids as cut flowers.


The most common Cymbidiums on the market are of Asian origin, and come from the mountainous areas of central Asia; therefore they love not too hot places, with summer temperatures below 30 ° C, and cool winters; they do not fear short frosts, although in general they are grown in apartments or in cold greenhouses during the winter.
To encourage flowering it is advisable to cultivate the plants outdoors in a cool place until the first winter cold arrives, then bring the cymbidium plant home or place it in a place sheltered from frost. Remember to cultivate in a location that is not too sunny, but well bright and ventilated.
The ideal temperature for the cultivation of cymbidium orchids is around 18 ° C.
It is good, when they are grown at home, to arrange the cymbidium plants in well-ventilated areas with a good degree of humidity.
It is essential to guarantee these orchids a high degree of brightness, so that in low-light environments, especially in winter, artificial lighting must be used to ensure the right degree of light to the orchids.


The Cymbidium orchids, in nature, grow both as terricolous plants and as epitife varieties, ie they have aerial roots and grow leaning against other plants that support them.
The cymbids grown at home are all epitife; for this reason they are grown in a light, neutral or alkaline compost, formed by 1 part of garden soil, 2 parts of osmunda and 1 part of sphagnum, with the addition of small pieces of bark, polystyrene or other incoherent material.
These orchids should be repotted approximately every 3 years and the operation carried out after flowering, therefore the period can be variable, even if, due to the health of the plant, it would be advisable to avoid the operation during the vegetative period.
In the event that your orchid had not produced flowers, the best time for repotting is spring.
To proceed with this procedure it is advisable to wet the roots, so that they are less fragile and you do not run the risk of breaking them.
All the old substrate that degrades over time must be eliminated to provide the plant with fertile and solid support.
It is essential to check that the substrate offers an excellent degree of drainage because water stagnations are very dangerous.


In the summer period it is watered frequently, avoiding that the surface of the substratum dries up between one watering and another. In winter the watering must be less frequent. During the summer, or even in winter, in the case of house-grown specimens, we frequently vaporize the foliage, to cool it and to provide an abundant environmental humidity.
It is important to check that the substrate maintains the right degree of humidity but that it is not soaked because the roots and the plant itself would be affected quickly.
These orchids, compared to other varieties, do not require a very high humidity rate, the right degree is around 50%.


After flowering it is possible to divide the tufts of pseudobulbs, repoting them individually; remember that the Cymbidium seem to flower more easily if grown in small containers, which allow the substrate to dry more quickly and not to retain too much water for too long.
The new heads must have a certain number of pseudobulbs, at least 3 or 4 in order to have more possibilities for development.

Cimbidio - Cymbidium: Parasites and Diseases

The leaves and stems can be infested with scale insects, which make the plants sticky and sooty, slowing down their growth. To eliminate the problem if it is not widespread, it is possible to intervene manually, removing the scale insects with the help of a cotton swab with alcohol. These orchids can also be affected by aphids which must be contrasted with the use of special anti-parasite products available on the market to be used with moderation and attention.
If subjected to sudden changes in temperature, humidity or lighting, they can easily lose the buds and flowers. In the event of excess moisture, root rot may occur, while poor lighting can cause lack of flowering and deterioration of the plant.