They bear pretty flowers in a range of colours, over a long period of time, and are guaranteed to bring a touch of the exotic to any interior. They’re also the oldest orchids in cultivation and there are around 50 species and thousands of cultivars to choose from.
Take a look at our handy cymbidium Grow Guide, below
Where to plant cymbidiums
Cymbidiums, like most orchids, don’t like direct sunlight. A good spot is near a west or north-facing window, but never on top of a radiator where they’ll dry out.
How to plant cymbidiums
Caring for cymbidiums
Water once every week, with rainwater if possible, or boiled and cooled water. Don’t let plants dry out, but equally don’t let them sit in water. Feed every few weeks with an orchid feed through the growing season.
Cymbidiums prefer cooler growing conditions between 10-14°C in winter and under 30°C in summer. They also need lower temperatures to trigger flowering, so in the summer, keep them in a cool conservatory, or a sheltered spot outdoors, and away from direct sunlight, until early autumn.
Watch our video where Monty Don gets advice from an RHS expert on repotting a cymbidium orchid.
If the plants look like they’ve outgrown their pot, you can divide them, using a sterile knife to cut the rhizome. Divisions should have three bulbs each. Plant these up into pots filled with damp orchid compost. Don’t water for at least three weeks, using a spray just to stop the plant from completely drying out.
When roots start to form you can resume normal watering.
Growing cymbidiums: problem-solving
As houseplants, cymbidium orchids are relatively trouble-free, as long as they’re kept in the right location and the watering regime is adhered to.
Cymbidiums to grow
- Cymbidium ‘Peggy Sue’ – with three spikes carrying bright pink flowers, this makes a spectacular show. You may need to support the bloom-laden spikes with canes
- Cymbidium erythraeum – an elegant species variety, with long strappy foliage and very striking pale green and white flowers with red spots