Flowers are 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) across, with 3 colored sepals, 2 colored petals and a 3rd petal modified into a lip that is frilled or fringed and colored differently. Stems are 16-24 inches (41-61 cm) long bearing 8-20 flowers arranged in a spike. The most famous color is white. This color is often used at weddings and funerals. Next to white the flower is also available in yellow, orange, green, pink, red and brown. Most varieties have little to no fragrance.
Species: Cymbidium spp.
Origin: Native to Asia and Malaysia
Symbolizes: The Cymbidium Orchid is a symbol of morality, virtue, beauty, refinement, and love. In China and some other countries, Cymbidium symbolizes friendship and is popular at weddings.
Also Known As: Boat Orchids
Care, Handling & Design
Temperature: Safe to store at 55-65 F (13-18 C).
Humidity: 75-85 %
Water: Medium water quality. Avoid softened water.
Vase Life: 3-6 weeks if protected from ethylene damage.
What to Look for When Purchasing
Cymbidium should be purchased when at least two flowers per spike are open, or fully open if the bloom is purchased individually. Look for perky flowers that are free of discoloration, spotting and brown tips. Check the flowers for any damage when you receive them. The flowers are supplied in tubes of water. You can store them in these tubes. However, check the water level regularly and top off if low.
Vase life shorter than in vases.
Used for cut flower arrangements. Blooms can be used for corsage work. Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to comfortably read a newspaper but more light (up to filtered full sunlight) help cut Cymbidiums last their longest. Because of its exotic and luxurious appearance, and the long vase life, Cymbidium is an attractive cut flower. Nice to combine with other novelty flowers like Celosia, Calla Lily, Rose, and Amaryllis. Or go for a tropical look with different colors of Cymbidium in a bouquet. When displaying long stems of cymbidium orchids, it’s important to support them in a tall, slender vase. If not, they will have trouble getting water to the flowers, shortening vase life.
Cymbidium are ethylene sensitive. To protect flowers from ethylene damage, use an anti-ethylene product to treat flowers as soon as possible after harvest.
Pest & Disease Information
Botrytis (small circular pinkish or brown spots), and Anthracnose (small round black spots on petals) flower blight can occur on petals. Good sanitation and humidity management helps to control.
Chilling injury or ethylene damage appears as translucent or dried patches on petals and sepals or darkening of the lip and column. Flower abscission (drop) due to ethylene damage. Mechanical damage due to improper packaging.
For optimal care of Orchid (Cymbidium), please reference the chart of products below. Make sure to select your region to see which products are available.