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Dividing and Repotting Cymbidium Orchids

potbound Orchid

Dividing and Repotting Cymbidum Orchids

dividing and repotting cymbidium orchidsThe preferred time for dividing and repotting Cymbidium orchids is after the plant has finished blooming and has had a couple of weeks to recover.

Now, there’s a difference between dividing (splitting the plant) or repotting (putting the plant in a larger container).

When dividing cymbidium orchids, it’s fairly common for the new plants not to flower the following season.  So don’t be disappointed.  But, of course you get a free orchid plant.

Repotting or potting up the original plant will not disturb the bulbs and therefore far more likely to flower the next season.

Typically, a one year old bulb will not flower, but any bulb 2-3 years old should produce beautiful flower blooms.

Dividing and Repotting Cymbidium Orchids the Right Way

  • Remove plant from its container
  • Remove any weeds
  • Shake out all the soil and crocks/rocks from the plant
  • Cut off any dead roots from the plant
  • Wash the old dirt off the plant with a hose is easiest
  • Choose a larger container and add some rocks to the bottom  (this aids drainage)
  • Fill the container nearly to the top with new orchid potting mix (leave at least 6 inches from the top)
  • Place the orchid plant on top of soil in the centre of the container
  • Cover the roots with potting mix making sure to fill any air pockets with soil
  • Do not cover the entire “bulbs” of the plant with soil (they will easily rot)
  • Water well
  • Leave the container in a place sheltered from the wind and away from direct hot sun
  • This allows the plant’s roots to set

Next, wait patiently for your cymbidium to send up new shoots and hopefully  ”spikes” of beautiful blooms.

Need more information, some dividing and repotting Cymbidium Orchids tips may be of  help.   Or if you prefer visual, a quick video on repotting Cymbidiums 


Best Time for Repotting Cymbidium Orchids

Dead Cymbidium Roots

Best Time for Repotting Cymbidium Orchids in Australia

The best time for repotting Cymbidium Orchids in Australia is 4-6 weeks after the blooms have finished.     This gives the plant time to recover after flowering.

Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidium Orchids

Now, this obviously varies if you cut the blooms from the plant, or leave the blooms on the plant until they have died back:  A little background information for beginners:

  • The first flower to open on an orchid stem will be the closest to the plant (ie at the bottom)
  • Once the first flower has opened you can cut the whole stem from the plant and the rest of the flowers will open
  • Cut the stem as long as possible
  • The stems will last for many weeks – every 2-3 days change the water and cut off 1cm of the stem
  • Do not leave flowers  in gas or electric heated rooms (they will not last very long)
  • The longer you leave the flower stems on the plant puts extra stress on the plant for the following year


Cymbidium orchids have normally finished flowering in Australia by July/August (winter).  I prefer September/October as the best time for repotting Cymbidium orchids.

Best Time for Repotting Cymbidium Orchids is after flowering, and when your Orchid plant has completely filled the pot with bulbs.  In the image below you can see that the roots (white)  have started to run around the top of the plant as there was nowhere else for them to grow.  It’s definitely time for a repot and upsizing for this plant.

best time for Repotting Cymbidium Orchids

Repotting Orchids

When I refer to repotting, I don’t mean dividing the plant.  I mean giving the plant some fresh orchid mix soil, cutting off any old, dead roots and putting it into a larger pot with room to grow.  When up sizing the pot, I usually allow about 4-5 inches from the rim of the pot to the edge of the plant.  This should provide enough growing room for the next 2-3 years.

You will be able to identify the dead roots to remove very easily.  They will appear quite brown, flat and with a feel like paper.

Dead Cymbidium Roots

The new roots will look white, fleshy and firm, often with a little greenish/yellow tip to them.

When repotting a Cymbidium Orchid, I also like to remove the old soil.  You will be amazed at how little soil is actually left in the pot.

Don’t forget to put plenty of  “crocks” (stones, pebbles, rocks, old broken terracotta pieces) in the bottom of the pot.  This allows plenty of drainage and air for the plant.  Cymbidium Orchids can rot away very easily if the soil is too wet.

By Repotting Cymbidium Orchids rather than dividing, will give you a magnificent display of 3-4 stems (or more), per pot.

Once repotted, water the plant well and set it aside in a semi-shaded area outside.  Under a tree is perfect – it allows dappled light to reach the plant.   Don’t fertilise at this stage.

At the beginning of November, start to feed your orchid plant with a liquid fertilizer (Seasol, Fish Emulsion, Aquasol)  or you can use specific Orchid food every 2 weeks.  Continue to feed through to the first 2 weeks in March.

Within 4-6 weeks after you stop feeding your plants, you should begin to notice spikes appearing.   Snails love young, new orchid shoots so take action early and don’t let them spoil your plants.

I hope I have given you enough information on the basics for the best time for repotting Cymbidium Orchids.  From here, you can go forth and multiply your Orchid collection, and that’s another post I will have to do for you.

Thanks for reading.  Enjoy.


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How do I legally swap orchids in Queensland Australia. I have thirty of the same colour &would like to swap ?

Question by vicki R: How do I legally swap orchids in Queensland Australia. I have thirty of the same colour &would like to swap ?
they are probably the most common Cymbidium of cream with purple spotted throat. I don’t know where to try next. Thanks.
Best answer:
Answer by reynwater
You should be able to trade them for plants with people in your area. Search for plant swap/trade sites. Sorry I couldn’t find any in my brief search. Good luck.
Add your own answer in the comments!

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Cymbidium Orchids eBay auctions you should keep an eye on:

Please feel free to have browse by category (listed on the right hand page of) Eden’s Orchid Shop

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The flowers in this slideshow highlight Cymbidium orchids. These orchids grow especially well outdoors in coastal areas of California. The photos were taken in my garden as well as orchids shows in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
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green cymbidium orchids! can i have them for my march wedding in Australia?

Cymbidium King Arthur ‘Green Giant’ orchid seedling

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Cymbidium King Arthur is Cymbidium Sweetheart x Cymbidium Nila. This is a clone of the ‘Green Giant’ cultivar, which has a bronze medal from the Cymbi

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Question by Annabelle’s Mummy: green cymbidium orchids! can i have them for my march wedding in Australia?
were do they grow and are the expencive? i want a bouquet of them????

i live in Queensland Australia


Best answer:

Answer by dj
I am in Victoria so I don’t know how available these would be in Qld , but if you phone around your local florist shops they can certainly give you info and quotes.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

Cymbidium Orchids Care Made Easy

Cymbidium Orchids can be easy to care for if you know the steps. This tutorial on Cymbidium Orchids should help you very much with care for this Orchid variety. My homepage:
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