One of the most cherished orchids is the Cymbidium orchid with its distinct flower having nearly equally-sized sepals and petals and leathery, short, narrow leaves. The genus Cymbidium comprises about fifty species. Naturally, the Cymbidium orchid inhabits several regions of Asia including China, Japan, South East Asia, and the Himalayan region, and all the way to Australia. Historically, cultivation of Cymbidium orchid dates back to the time of Confucius in ancient China, some 2500 years ago. Cymbidium plant is one to two feet high with flowers blooming in colors of yellow, white, purple, and red. Factors Influencing Growth of Cymbidium Orchid To grow a rich bloom of healthy Cymbidium orchid in homes interiors, patios, and gardens, environmental factors suitable for the plant’s growth should be provided. Some of the important factors influencing Cymbidium plant growth are:
Temperature: Warm temperatures favor the growth of Cymbidium plant. Ambient temperature range for these orchids is 65 to 80 degrees in the day and above 45 to 65 degrees at night. In seasons other than summer, the maximum night temperature should be about 55 degrees.
Humidity and Watering: The Cymbidium orchid flourishes best in humidity values of 50 to 75 %. The plant should be kept evenly moist and not allowed to get soggy in which case it gives way to rotting. Watering once in a week is normally sufficient to the plant’s needs, except in dog days when watering twice a week is required. It is better to water the plant in the morning, preferably with rainwater.
Exposure to Air: Good ventilation is a condition for healthy growth of Cymbidium. Plants growing outside do well enough with natural currents but those placed inside will need a powerful fan to move about the air.
Exposure to Light: moderate to bright light will do for Cymbidium. For indoor-growing plants, 2500 to 3000 foot-candles is recommended. During the hot days of summer, 50 to 60 % shading ensures prevention of sunburn. Remember to provide adequate shading if growing the Cymbidium plant outside.
Fertilizer: Using a balanced orchid fertilizer through spring and summer bolsters the growth of Cymbidium plant. During autumn and winter, the concentration of fertilizer should be brought down to about half that of spring and summer.
Repotting: Recommended time for repotting the Cymbidium plant is every second year. Early spring or end of June is a suitable time for repotting. Recommended mix for the plant consists of peat and bark. The repotted plant is not to be watered for at least three weeks; instead, wetting the medium, leaves, and the bulb of the repotted plant with a hand-spray is more advisable.