Cymbidium Boat Orchid Care: Tips for a Successful Plant

The Cymbidium boat orchid is one of the most popular types of orchids in the world. It’s also one of the easiest to care for! We’ve compiled this list of tips and tricks that will keep your plant thriving year-round. From watering techniques to light exposure, we cover it all here on our blog. If you want to learn more about caring for your Cymbidium boat orchid, read on!



Species: The species of the boat orchid is not known to science.

Common Names: Cymbidium Boat Orchid, Shipwrecked Lady’s Slipper, Magnificent Brocade Flower

Origin: Its origins are unknown but it has a native habitat in Northern Thailand and Southern China. This is only a guess as there is no documentation to back this up.

Plant type: Cymbidium boat orchid is an epiphyte and therefore must have the ability to grow on other objects such as trees without being dependent on soil for nutrients. The plant has also been known to be parasitic in nature, so it’s possible that it may be a parasitic plant as well.

Water Requirements

The Cymbidium boat orchid is a plant that does not like to be watered often, but it’s important to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out. They enjoy being in humid environments and need more water during their flowering time – usually starting around September-October.

Light Requirements

As with any indoor plant, you should keep your Cymbidium boat orchid in a well-lit area of the room. That being said, it needs to be away from any direct sunlight as these types of plants are dependent on humidity and will dry out easily if exposed to bright light for too long.

Temperature Requirements

The Cymbidium boat orchid is a plant that likes to be in temperatures between 45-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity Requirements

It should have high levels of humidity, around 75% for the best results. The ideal environment would be warm and humid with indirect sunlight at all times during its growing period – usually starting from September-October.

Soil/Potting Mix

It can grow in a variety of soils, but it’s important to remember that since the plant is an epiphyte and has parasitic tendencies, it does not need soil. It should be planted on bark or moss instead.

Fertilizer Requirements

It should only be fertilized if the plant is in its flowering period from September-October. This will ensure that it puts all of its energy into blooming and does not put any excess weight on the leaves, which can lead to a weed-like appearance throughout your Cymbidium boat orchid.

Repotting Your Cymbidium Boat Orchid

The first step to caring for your plant is knowing when and how often you need to repot it. This process helps the orchid grow taller, but can also help maintain a healthy root system because all of the roots are pulled out from any growing medium in which they may have become entangled.

When to Repot Your Cymbidium Boat Orchid

Unfortunately, there’s no set rule on how often you should repot your orchid. A good time to consider a new pot is when it starts looking crowded and the plant has stopped blooming for an extended period of time. You can also tell when this happens if watering the plant doesn’t provide the desired effect.

What to Repot Your Cymbidium Boat Orchid In?

Potting mix is key for your orchid, but it doesn’t have to be expensive potting soil from a gardening store; you can use regular topsoil as well! The most important thing is that it stays moist.


The Cymbidium boat orchid will start to bloom in September-October, which is a short period only lasting around three weeks. The blooms are large and showy with six petals coming out from the center of it all.

Flowering Time Period: (September-October)

Duration of Bloom: Around Three Weeks

Pruning Your Cymbidium Boat Orchid

Pruning is a great way to keep your plant looking nice and neat. What you need are some sharp scissors or pruning shears and the willingness to pluck out any dead leaves, flowers, fronds (or anything else that’s withered).

Why You Should Prune Your Cymbidium Boat Orchid

This is a great way to maintain your plant’s health and appearance. It can also help create space for new growth as well, so there are plenty of benefits!

How to Prune Your Cymbidium Boat Orchid

For this particular type of orchid, you should only prune at the end of their flowering period, in October.


Propagation is one of the most popular ways to grow a Cymbidium boat orchid. This process involves taking cuttings from your plant and rooting them in water for about three weeks before planting them into soil pots with bark, moss, perlite, or any other potting mix you have available.

Common Problems

The most common problems with Cymbidium boat orchids are overwatering them and not providing enough light. These plants require a lot of water, so make sure you’re giving it an adequate amount each week (but don’t drown it!). We recommend giving your plant at least a gallon of water a week, especially if the air is dry.

Each Cymbidium boat orchid also needs at least 12 hours of light exposure each day to thrive and bloom. It’s important that your plant has access to sunlight during this time period – you can use artificial lights as well! Make sure you place them near a window or outside so they get the proper amount of light.

Cymbidium Varieties

Cymbidium kanran

The Cymbidium kanran, also known as the Cymbidium boat orchid, is an epiphytic plant that typically grows in humid environments. They have large flowers with six petals coming out from the center and are common throughout Southeast Asia.

Cymbidium aloifolium

Cymbidium aloifolium, also known as the moth orchid because of the moths that are attracted to its flowers, is a variety often found in tropical forests. There have been reports of this plant being cultivated for over 3000 years and it has yet to be listed on the endangered species list.

Cymbidium dayanum

The Cymbidium dayanum, or the waterlily orchid, is a rare variety that can only be found in Taiwan. Unlike other types of cymbidiums this particular type has no pseudobulbs and needs to stay submerged at all times. When they are grown underwater their leaves will grow upwards into upright positions so they can take in oxygen as well.

Cymbidium lowianum

The Cymbidium lowianum, also known as the tiger orchid because of its orange and white striped flowers, is a type that can be found in Japan. They are epiphytic plants with large leaves and bright colors – they often grow to be about 80 cm long!

Cymbidium ensifolium

A Cymbidium ensifolium, also known as the emperor orchid because of its imperial flowers with a very long full column and two spreading lateral petals, can be found in China. They are epiphytic plants that grow well near water sources – they need to stay moist at all times!

Additional Tips:

– Cymbidium boat orchids are not very picky when it comes to soil, but you should use a well-draining potting mix. The plant needs good drainage because they’re epiphytic plants that grow on other objects for support.

– Cymbidium boat orchids need to be misted often as they are sensitive to dry soils and will wither if the soil does not get enough water. The plant can also benefit from a humid environment, so you should consider investing in a room humidifier if needed.

– You’ll want your Cymbidium boat orchid to be in a well-lit area of the room. They do not like direct sunlight and will dry out if exposed for too long so try to avoid any windows that get sun all day or put your plant near a bright lamp instead.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I care for a Cymbidium boat orchid?

A: You’ll want to make sure your plant has enough water each week (but not too much!) and 12 hours of light exposure every day. It’s also important that you place it in an area with good lighting, so keep that in mind when choosing where to put your plant.

Q: How do I know if my Cymbidium boat orchid is healthy?

A: If you’ve been providing it with the proper amount of light, water, and care then your plant should be relatively healthy. If not there are a few things that can cause this – for instance overwatering or a lack of sunlight.

Q: I’ve just repotted my Cymbidium boat orchid, how long will it take for new roots to grow?

A: It may take about three weeks before you see any significant growth so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away! You can also use a rooting hormone to speed up this process and guarantee healthy root development.

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