How to Get Cymbidium Orchid to Flower

I have huge cymbidium orchid plants, but they never bloom. What can I do to help them produce flowers? Nancy in Oregon

Hi Nancy,

Here are some tips on how to get your cymbidium orchid to bloom.

Cymbidium Orchids like as much bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. as you can provide in order to bloom, but avoid placing them in the direct sun. Light green upright leaves indicate that your  plant is getting the proper amount of light. Dark green leaves mean your Cymbidium Orchid needs more light. Yellow leaves are an indication that they are getting too much light.

Fertilize weakly, weekly when an orchid plant is actively growing. Dilute your plant food to 1/3-1/4 the recommended strength. Do not feed an orchid plant when it is dormant or when the plant is in bloom. There are excellent orchid plant foods on the market. You can also use a well- balanced houseplant food at 1/3-1/4 the recommended strength.

Temperature is another important factor if you want indoor Cymbidium Orchids to bloom. Ideal temperatures for the blooms to set should be 65-70 degrees during the day and 10-15 degrees cooler at night. Temperature is especially important during the fall when orchard flowers are just starting to develop. Cymbidium plants can handle temperatures as low as 45 degrees F (7 C)., but don’t do well in temperatures above 80 degrees F. The higher the temperature the more important good air movement around the plant is.

High humidity is a necessity. If your home or office does not have at least 50% humidity, place your Orchid Plant on a wet pebble tray. Be sure it is sitting on the pebbles and never in the water. Do not mist an Orchid plant; it can cause fungal and bacterial plant diseases.

One of the nicest things about Cymbidium orchids is that they bloom in the winter when other indoor plant don’t. The flower spikes on Cymbidium orchids set during the fall and winter as the temperature starts to go down to 50 degrees at night. Once the flower spikes appear, don’t move your orchid  plant or keep the room too warm until the buds open. The blooms of a Cymbidium orchid last longer when temperatures stay between 60-70 degrees. Be sure to stake the flower spikes so the blooms are above the leaves of the plant. Do not fertilize Orchid plants while they are in bloom.