Cymbidiums like moderate to bright light (2500 to 3500 foot-candles). This may be in the form of good morning sun or bright, "dappled" afternoon shade. During their growing season, these orchids prefer daytime temperatures of 65 to 82 degrees and nighttime temperatures of 50 to 65 degrees. In our climate, many people choose to grow these plants outside. During the spring and summer and in the fall until danger of frost, an ideal location would be just inside the "drip-line" of a good shade tree.
During their growing season, Cymbidiums should be kept evenly moist. (Not soggy wet.) If growing outdoors check often to make sure they do not stay dry for too long. In colder weather, they should be allowed to get slightly dryer. Never allow water to collect around the bulbs, and never allow the plants to stand in water.
Cymbidiums should be fed just after every third watering. (Remember, these orchids like to be watered often so this amounts to as often as every two weeks during the warmer months and as little as once a month during the winter.) Use a high nitrogen fertilizer such as Grow-More 30-10-10 from March until May, a balanced fertilizer such as Grow-More 20-10-20 from June until September, and a blossom booster such as Grow-More 10-30-20 from October until February. Heavy watering once every month is necessary to leach accumulated fertilizer salts from the potting medium. (The best way to accomplish this is to water thoroughly on your normal watering day and then come back and water the plant again after an hour or so. This will allow time for the salts to dissolve and wash away.)
Cymbidiums should be repotted every 2 to 3 years in the spring when new growths are visible and at least 3-4 inches tall. Flower spikes may have to be removed in order to repot before summer. (The cut flowers may be enjoyed for weeks after their removal, if kept in water.) Our pre-packaged seedling mix is an excellent medium for most Cymbidiums. However, on larger or specimen sized plants you may need to add drainage material at the bottom of the pot. (Remember the larger the pot the more moisture is retained in the medium between watering) This can be done by adding Styrofoam packing peanuts or larger chunks of Douglas fir bark at the bottom of the pot.
Note: This guide is only applicable to cymbidiums. For other varieties, please click on one of these links: