How to Care for your Cymbidium Orchid

A 3 minute read by Peter Worsp

Cymbidium Orchids are easily grown under a wide range of conditions anywhere in New Zealand. You can set plants outdoors to rest in summer. The sun will ripen the plants and encourage them to flower later in the year.

Potting mix:

Cymbidiums must be grown in a free draining material that will retain moisture and not rot down quickly. An excellent Cymbidium mix on the market is the Daltons Premium Orchid Mix.


Cymbidiums need feeding 12 months of the year. In spring and early summer, they need high nitrogen feeds to give fast growth then during summer and winter they need a lower nitrogen level with high potash to assist in ripening to form flower spikes.


A plant can not be over watered by giving too much water at one time however they are over watered by giving water too often. Most orchid growers do not give their plants enough water at watering time which is the reason why so many plants have the leafless bulbs in the centre of the plant. This is because the roots have dried out through lack of water and then the leaves have fallen off.

As a guide, plants growing Daltons Premium Orchid Mix in 15-20cm pots would be watered once a week in summer and once a fortnight in winter. For Cymbidium to be healthy and vigorous it must have air and this can only be achieved if there is a lull between watering which will allow the potting mix to dry out. Feel the top soil and if the first 2cm or so is dry then consider watering,

Never water the plants when potting mix on top of the pot is still damp, wait till it looks quite dry but damp. Always water thoroughly till the water is pouring out the drainage holes. This may require dunking the pot in a tub or filling it up two or three times with water so it is thoroughly soaked.


Repot plant every 3-4years.

Gardeners note: Cymbidiums need cool nights in summer to indicate flower spikes.


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