Cymbidium Orchids


Cymbidium orchids tend to have tall spikes loaded with flowers! This orchid has much smaller pseudobulbs that are topped with long thin leaves. These leaves gently drape to form an attractive foliage plant. Cymbidiums have a fantastic range of colors including; white, green, yellowish-green, cream, yellow, brown, pink, red, and orange. Their blooms can last for up to ten weeks!

These orchids are easy to grown indoors but need MORE light (they need to be in a bright window in your home) and MORE water then the popular, Phalaenopsis. Phalaenopsis orchids have big thick leaves that store water whereas Cymbidiums have long thin leaves that store less water and will need more “man-made” help. If you notice wrinkled pseudobulbs this generally indicates a lack of water. Because of this I highly suggest putting them humidity trays because of their lack of water storage and I would also mist them. Learn here how to make your own humidity trays.


Like other orchids their blooms are triggered, naturally, by a combination of falling temperatures and reduced water. Their natural bloom season is during the winter. Cymbidium flowers grow in sprays, with spikes arising from new pseudobulbs every season


Also similar to most other orchids, Cymbidiums prefer to be repotted shortly after blooming as the new growth is beginning to emerge. They enjoy a rich, loose, organic potting mixture and can be easily divided during repotting in the spring.

One difference between Cymbidium orchids and other types is that they can survive lower temperatures then most orchids.

Cymbidium Basics:

  • Water: water thoroughly then allow to dry out briefly between waterings.
  • Light: these orchids like bright light. You can place them near a bright window
  • Temperature: these types of orchids like a minimum temp of 40 degrees and maximum of 95
  • Growth Habit: these orchids grow new pseudobulbs every year. Ususally in the fall bloom spikes emerge from new pseudobulbs at the base. The older pseudobulbs will not bloom again but they continue to support the plant until they shrivel up and die.
  • Look for: New pseudobulbs in the Spring and Summer, Spikes in the Fall, Blooms in the Winter

Hope that Helps,


Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at with pictures of your orchid. 

24 Comments on “Cymbidium Orchids

  1. I recieved a cymbidium seedling in the mail. When I opened it it was dry. The roots were white and flat. My first. I went ahead and repotted it. And soaked it for 10 to 15 min. Was i right in doing what i did.

  2. Hi I just sent you a question about the potting soil for Cymbidium orchids and forgot to click the Notify Me button.

    Thanks for the great site! I’m just getting started and it’s been very helpful.

  3. HI –

    Can these orchids be planted in the moss or do they require the loose, organic potting mixture? Is it ok if the potting mixture has food in it for regular flowering plants?


  4. Please tell me what colour cymbidium roots should be. I expected to see green roots, but they are like a beige colour, the plant looks root bound, so I was thinking of dividing it. Thank you

    • Hi,

      Yes they tend to be a white / beige color. I was surprised too when I first saw them. They are also a lot smaller and more like wire then let’s say a Phalaenopsis orchid roots.


  5. Hi Hannah, thank you for this blog. I also bought my very first cymbidium last year (June, which is winter here in Sydney) and it has been outside over the summer months. I have been wondering whether to repot it prior to the summer (yes, i’ve just read that I should have done that last year 🙂 ) and today gently took it out of it’s pot. The roots look wrinkled and brown and grey and the soil is moist – but we have just had a good rainfall. Quite a few of the roots do have little white ends with green tips on them – which know is a good sign. However, the mass of them are brown – interestingly the roots with little white tips are all located on the same side of the root mass. There are less roots on the other side and no white or little green tips. The leaves are greenish/yellow which I now understand to be because it’s been getting too much direct sunlight.

    Do you have any recommendations for what might be the best thing to do to get this plant healthy again? We’ve just finished summer and are now in the early days of Autumn.

    Thank you

    Lara T

    • Hi Lara,

      Is it potted in a pot with a drainage hole?
      Is it only getting water from rain? How often is it wet?
      How direct is the sunlight?


      • Hi Hannah,

        Yes, it is a small (6 inch diameter) plastic pot with holes where the side meets the bottom. However it is currently out of that pot and sitting in a slightly larger one (not yet repotted)

        It gets water from the rain and from me.. but I’m not sure I quite know when to water it.

        My outdoor area is all bright sunlight. There is no area that doesn’t receive bright sunlight for at least a few hours each day.

        However, inside, because of the way the building is designed with a large overhang, there is not much sunlight at all.

        I’m feeling a bit hopeless – I’d love to keep it, but only if I can give it what it needs to thrive.

        Much appreciating your response,


      • Hi,

        Orchids can’t handle direct bright sunlight all day and they need to be either watered with rain and not watered by a person or vice versa. You don’t want to over water an orchid because it causes root rot. If you orchid is outside and growing then it would be fine with just rain water. If you plan on moving it inside near a window that gets some light then you only want to water it when it’s super dry.





  6. Hi, I have a new cymbidium and the leaves have started to turn yellow and the tips are brown. I hope I haven’t burned it with too much fertilizer. How much do they need to be fed? I’m new to these type of orchids. Any help will be appreciated! Thanks for your blog, it’s great!

  7. I have a Cymbidium Orchid and it was very large and extremely root bound. after it flowered, i transplanted it in two seperate pots. it has never reflowered and it has been about 2 years. the plant is healthy and I get new leaf growth all the time. will this plant ever reflower again?

    • Terese,

      I am so sorry this happened to you. It is very common though. I have had orchids that I saved and repotted and waited over two years for them to bloom. I still have one from early 2011 that has not bloomed yet.

      There a many reasons an orchid will not bloom – I have a post on this…

      Most likely your orchid is getting use to its new environment and will shoot off a spike when ready. Unless it looks likes its suffering – it is just storing up its energy to eventually spike.

      Patience and loving care is all you can do right now. It will be so worth it when it finally a blooms!


  8. Hi All
    Is there anyone out there who have tried putting different colored Cymbidium bulbs all in the sane pot? I have this idea were i want to put different colored plant together in the one pot so when they flower i would get few different colored flower in the one pot. I’m not sure if this is achievable or not? Could anyone please give me some advise?
    Many Thanks

    • Danny,

      Hi. So the only one answering questions is me:) this is not a group chat…it’s a personal blog. I know of some group orchid chat rooms that are quite popular.

      I don’t see why you couldn’t do this…people often plant Phalaneopsis together when giving them as a gift. You would probably have to have a large pot though because Cymbidiums grow pretty big pretty fast.

      Let me know how it goes 🙂


  9. Thank you so much. Just bought my first orchid and one stalk started to wrinkle, thanks to your advice I needed to water it more when I was told to only water once a month. When I repot it, and the stalk is still wrinkled, should I still keep it or not? Also a couple of the stalks leaves at the tip is brown and crunchy, what could that mean? Thanks again for this post, so helpful

    • Jessica,

      Glad I could help. I would wait and see what it looks like after you water it properly. The stalks on Denrobiums tend to look crunchy when not watered. If one or two of them die back then you can address this then.


  10. This was great advice for me. I’ve been growing a few orchids for years and, fortunately for me, my orchids seem to thrive on neglect. But I’ve had some questions, and I think this blog answered all of them. I especially didn’t know what to do about the new leaves up high on the stalk. And I wondered why I had those pretty wrinkles mid-leaf on what I now know is a cymbidium. (You can see why I needed to read your advice!) Thanks!!

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