A Cymbidium Orchid plant, or Boat orchid, is among the most attractive, popular, and long lasting orchid plants available throughout the world. The name Cymbidium comes from the greek word Kumbos which means cavity and refers to the shape of the base of the lip of the flower. Cymbidium orchids have been cultivated for thousands of years in Eastern Asia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Borneo, northern Australia, and the Himalayas but only became popular in Europe during the Victorian Age. Today, because of the many hybrid Cymbidium orchid plants, they grow throughout the world. These plants have long, thin, grass – like leaves. Sturdy stems or spikes emerge from the leaves of the plant and each spike produces 15-30 beautiful waxy- looking orchid flowers. There are over 52 varieties of Cymbidiums, each with a different color and pattern to their flowers. Cymbidium blooms, which often last for months, come in yellow, red, pink, orange, light green, yellowish green, white, cream, and even brown. The only flower colors missing are blue and black. These plants have the added advantage of being able to bloom during the winter when other orchids cannot. Although Cymbidium orchid plants require a little extra care (as do Phaleonopsis Orchid plants) and prefer a special soil, their beautiful flowers make it all worthwhile.
The best way to get an orchid plant to bloom is to make sure the plant is getting the right amount of water and light. Are the leaves a bright medium green, not dark green and not yellow green? This shows the orchid plant is getting enough bright light. Are the roots firm and whitish green, indicating that the plant is being watered properly? Is there good air circulation? Is the temperature between 65°-75F°(18.3-21.1°C) during the day and 15° cooler at night? If you think you’re caring for your orchid plant correctly, you may just have to be patient. It might be the wrong time of the year for it to bloom or your type of orchid plant may have to mature before it can produce more blooms.
The spots on the leaves of your indoor orchid plant could be a number of things. If you can scrape the bumps off, then it is probably a plant disease called scale. If the spots are surrounded by a yellow halo, it is a sign of a plant fungal infection. Another sign of a plant fungal infection is yellow spots with black edges. Because orchid plants require high humidity, they are prone to fungal and viral diseases. If infected with a plant disease, treat your plant with a commercial Fungicide or the Bordeaux Mixture (a combination of water, hydrated lime, and copper sulfate). Provide good air circulation around all orchid plants to prevent infections.
There are several reasons why leaves turn yellow on an orchid plant, the most common is that the leaves are old and are naturally dying. Some other causes of yellow leaves on orchid plants are: the plant needs more nitrogen; the temperature is too cold; the orchid is getting too much bright light; the roots have died from over- watering.
Brown and black streaks on the leaves of an orchid plant usually indicate a virus infection. I’d recommend immediately isolating the sick plant from your other plants before the virus spreads. Identifying which disease is affecting your plant is important so you can determine the proper treatment. If it is a fungal disease, it can be treated with any plant Fungicide sold at a local garden store; but viral diseases are very difficult to treat. Cut off all of the diseased areas and hope for the best.