The Cymbidium is a beautiful plant which, under the right environmental conditions, can provide a great deal of pleasure. Several flower colours are available, and the flowering period can last for many weeks, even a couple of months. After flowering, the flower stems should be cut back. The long, reed-like leaves give the plant interest even when it is not in flower. Also, unlike many orchids the growth does not become too untidy. To succeed with the Cymbidium it is important to be careful with watering. Excessive moisture can easily damage or kill the plant so it should be watered sparingly and allowed to get on the dry side before re-watering. The condition ofthe compost is best judged by probing beneath the surface with a finger.

Plant type : Flowering orchid with erect, slightly loose habit
Season of interest : Spring, summer
Size : 30-45cm (12—18in)
Flower : 5-6.5cm (2-2|in) white, yellow, pink or red flowers, sometimes fragrant, borne several to a stem
Leaf : Reed-like, spreading loosely outwards, 30-60cm (12—24in), green
Temperature : 15-21°C (59—70°F)
Aspect/Light : Well-lit situation, slightly shaded from direct sunlight
Humidity : High
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer, allowing to dry a little before re-watering; keep on dry side in autumn and winter, watering just enough to prevent drying out
Feeding : Once every two to three weeks with flowering plant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Divide plant after flowering and plant in orchid compost at 20-21°C (68—70°F) in spring or summer
Potting : Orchid compost
Problems : Scale insect, mealy bug, root loss when over wet
Availability : Occasionally available in spring and summer
Uses indoors : Spectacular feature plant for special postion in lounge or dining room