Light: High to very high
Cymbidium orchids require high amounts of light in order to develop properly and bloom. In many temperate climates full sun can be well tolerated, while in hot zones the orchid must be protected from the noon sun and must be partially shaded to prevent leaf burns. The leaves should have a bright green color, dark green leaves indicate too little light. Good ventilation is essential for its development.
Temperature: 45º F (7º C) to 90º F (32º C)
In the summer time, Cymbidium orchids can tolerate high temperatures, as long as high ventilation and good hydration is provided and night temperatures are cool. In order to initiate flower spikes, a drop in temperature to about 50º F (10º C) is required. You can leave your orchid outside, but bring it back when temperatures threaten to go lower than 45º F (7º C). Winters need to be cool and bright for the orchid to bloom at its full potential.
Water: as the medium approaches dryness
In spring and summer, when the Cymbidium orchid is in vegetative growth, water abundantly and don’t let the media go bone dry for long periods of time. As the growths mature, in autumn, reduce watering and in winter time keep the media barely moist.
Cymbidium orchids can tolerate dryer environments if they are kept adequately hydrated. If grown outside in temperate climates, the relative humidity should suffice. If they are grown in areas where the humidity is very low year round, misting or growing in a greenhouse is a good option. In winter time, humidity should be around 40%-60% and good ventilation should be provided.
Cymbidium orchids are heavy feeders. Use a high nitrogen fertilizer in spring ans summer to enhance vegetative growth. In early autumn switch to a high phosphorus fertilizer to help the orchid initiate flower spikes. Fertilize at full strength every 2 weeks when in vegetative growth and reduce fertilizer to once a month in the winter time.
Cymbidium orchids are terrestrial, so the potting medium should be water retentive. Fine grade bark mixed with perlite and peat moss is usually a good media in most climates. These orchids do not produce aerial roots, so cover all the roots with the media. Repotting should be done every 2 to 3 years, usually in the spring time after flowers are done. At this point, the orchid can be divided if desired.
Flowers are long lasting and sometimes fragrant. The flower spikes need to be staked if the particular Cymbidium is not a pendant bloomer, as the flowers can get too heavy for the fragile spike.