Cymbidium: Houseplant of the Month for October

Stunning flowers amidst tall green stalks: meet Cymbidium, the orchid that in no way resembles an orchid.


Gracious and… big!

The stem is concealed in a forest of soft green leaves. The flower stems quickly almost become top-heavy with flowers. Cymbidium flowers for weeks like a torch with red, purple, pink, orange, yellow, green or bicoloured flowers that sometimes have a light pleasant fragrance. This orchid available from mini and normal pot sizes through to an outsize version that makes a gorgeous indoor shrub. Sometimes you even see it as a hanging plant, with some of the green leaves hanging beside the pot. What makes Cymbidium particularly desirable is that it’s a seasonal product that’s only available in the autumn and winter.


5 reasons for picking Cymbidium

  • The foliage means that Cymbidium offers you a lot of plant.
  • The orchid flowers profusely for a long time, and just keeps on looking beautiful.
  • It’s a houseplant with total wow factor.
  • Easy to live with – can fill a difficult spot.
  • Cymbidium helps keep the air indoors clean.


At home in the Himalayas

Cymbidium looks tropical, but is actually a cool character. The orchid is accustomed to surviving on the southern slopes of the Himalayas. Even on that rocky nutrient-poor soil, in cold nights and in bright light it’s able to produce its mysterious, elegant flowers. So it’s a true survivor.



“You can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food, and cars, but once you’re hooked on orchids, you’re finished. You never get off orchids… never.”

From: ‘Orchid Fever’


Cymbidium trivia

  • Cymbidium is known as the ‘king of the orchids’, thanks to the philosopher Confucius who described it as such.
  • Every flower has a hollow arched lip that resembles a boat. ‘Kymbos’ is the Greek word for boat, from which the name Cymbidium derives.
  • Cymbidium is a special gift for friends in China; the flower symbolises a valued and respected friendship.



As a houseplant Cymbidium – with its lovely balance between the rich greenery at the bottom and the opulent flowers at the top – fits perfectly with the 2019 style trend which is all about equilibrium. Greenery and colour act as a counterbalance in a home environment that contains more and more technological gadgets. The styling can be powerful: large specimens in robust cachepots as a green statement in the interior.


How to keep them looking beautiful!

  • Cymbidium prefers to be in a spot with indirect light.
  • Unlike many other orchids, Cymbidium has a real root ball. Immerse it once a fortnight, leave to stand for half an hour, and allow to drain.
  • You can add plant food to the immersion water.
  • If you have a very large Cymbidium you can give it a splash of water once a week, but not so much that the roots are permanently waterlogged.
  • Once Cymbidium has finished flowering cut out the flower stem. Put the plant away in a light and cool spot and it’s quite likely that it will produce another stem.

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Published on: 1 October 2019