Seeing Cascading Cymbidium Orchids at LZ Orchid Nursery

"This orchid is so special because of its natural character. When you see it, you immediately understand why this plant symbolizes friendship.”

By: PETER VAN DELFT | 19-01-2023 | 6 min read
Cascading Cymbidium Orchids header

Just like many other growers, this company is a family business. I am invited by Leo Zwinkels. Together with his wife Trees, they are growing and are specialized in Cascade Cymbidium plants. Leo is the director and the owner. In the winter season, they hire 2 extra employees. His father started in de Lier by growing tomatoes and cymbidiums as cut flowers. Leo and his brother joined the company. Later 2 more brothers as well. In 1995 the company split up and the brothers all separated. Leo started LZ Orchidee, first with tomatoes and cymbidiums. But very soon to only cut cymbidium.

Quote Leo Zwinkels

How Growing Cascade Cymbidium Started

At the Floriade In 2002, Leo saw an entry from Japan with a cymbidium cascading. He soon started ordering them in Japan and Australia. From 2005 the supply accelerated, and they received Cascade plants from another grower. In 2017 the last cut cymbidium from the garden was sold, and after that, they'd only continue with cascade cymbidiums. They were also moving from 2ha to 6400m at the Kerklaan in De Lier. They are now producing 32 different species in total.  They are grown as pot plant, due to botanical properties the flower stems go straight down. This will give you a waterfall of flowers. The hanging branches can also be used as a cut flower. They are available from late autumn to early spring.


LZ Orchidee nursery of Cascade Cymbidium Orchids
LZ Orchidee nursery


What is the history of the Cascading Cymbidium Orchid?

The Cymbidium Cascade (cascade = waterfall, hanging) originates from the Himalayas. It grows in the rocks and dead tree trunks, and the flowers hang down. Other cascading cymbidiums also occur in Australia, where they are a bit stiffer. In Japan, in the 1980s it was a big product, and many people were buying it. The breeding process is done by Floricultura. At the nursery, they divide plants themselves to multiply them. LZ Orchidee is the only nursery in Europe that grows the cascading cymbidium orchids. The Cascade Cymbidium orchid flowers at 22 degrees for 3 weeks and at 12 degrees it flowers for 3 months!

Fun fact: Cymbidium plants are given to friends in Japan, that's why LZ Orchidee has friendship names for its varieties.


What does the trade think of this product? Most buyers and sellers say it is very beautiful, but difficult to sell, due to the unfamiliarity. It is still quite an unknown product. The plants are available from October to March in a pot size of 15 cm. What does 'the florist' think? Feedback from many florists is that they just sometimes buy it. If at all, and when they do, they buy it for something special. A tip for florists is to keep the Cymbidium in the shop at around 10 degrees Celsius.


Cascading Cymbidium Orchids 'Ice'
Cascading Cymbidium Orchids 'Ice'


Leo Zwinkels

When asked about his favorite flower, Leo answers that it's the variety 'Novia' with its beautiful lip and the white 'Ice'. Leo is very positive about the future. He plans on continuing as he works now, to keep optimizing the product. It is a difficult product to grow, and very unpredictable. They have already learned a lot, but there is still a lot to learn! He is taking good care of the environment. This grower originally comes from vegetable production, so Leo is very aware of to use of biological control for their crops. They have a double energy screen, and100% recycled water. It is energy-efficient cultivation. Electricity comes from solar panels.


Leo Zwinkels and his wife Trees from LZ Orchidee
Leo Zwinkels and his wife Trees


Leo and Trees hope that these special plants, just like in Asia, will also become known to the wider public in Europe. Or as Leo puts it nicely: 'This orchid is so special because of its natural character. When you see him, you immediately understand why he symbolizes friendship.”



Cascading Cymbidium Orchids

The botanical parents of the Cascade Cymbidiums they produce originally come from altitudes of 1500 to 2200 meters in Taiwan, Vietnam, and China. Where they grow in rocks, and dead trees. In these circumstances is not necessary for the flowers to protrude above the leaves. And so the flowers are hanging down. This is what makes the Cascade Cymbidium so special and loved. The name Cymbidium is probably derived from the Greek 'kymbos', which means boat, hollow. In this case, it refers to the lip shape of the flower. The Cascade Cymbidium is a terrestrial orchid. This means that it roots in the soil and extracts its food from it (unlike most orchids with their aerial roots). It is a very strong plant that likes to grow in colder conditions. This makes the plant particularly suitable for western climates. The Cymbidiums flower between October and March, depending on the variety. You can expect an average of four weeks of flowering. You need some patience to get the plant to flower again a year later. But with proper care, your Cascade Cymbidium will become more beautiful every year.


Cascade Cymbidium at nursery


Cymbidium Care Tips

With proper care, your Cymbidium will reward you for years with beautiful flowers in the winter months.

Light for Cymbidium Cascade Orchid

Place the Cymbidium in a bright spot. Especially in the dark winter months, the plant needs all the light it can get. The ideal temperature during flowering is between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius. It will often be warmer in the living room, making the plant flowers to last a bit shorter. At 12 degrees the plant can flower for twelve weeks, at 21 degrees this will not be more than three weeks. Ideal for your bedroom! Avoid a position above the heating. If your plant is in front of a south-facing window, be careful not to burn the leaves in spring and summer from the direct sunlight.

Watering of Cascade Cymbidium Orchid

The Cascade Cymbidium needs more water than many other orchids because it is a terrestrial orchid and not an epiphyte. You can treat the Cascade Cymbidium in much the same way as other potted plants. There are three ways to water the plant:

1. Once a week, immerse the pot in a container of water and let it stand for about three minutes. Then drain well, so that the roots do not stand in the water;

2. Water twice a week with the watering can from above. Make sure that the roots do not stand in the water, rather too dry than too wet;

3. Insert a water stick into the bottom of the grow pot, about 1/3 into the pot and 2/3 below. Then place the plant in a high, watertight pot and fill it so far that the cultivation pot is just above the water. Then the water stick will stand 7 cm in the water and ensure that the pot remains sufficiently moist. Refill the overpot once every 3 weeks.


Cymbidium Orchid

Peter van Delft profile picture
Peter van Delft

I am always on the lookout for new flowers, specialties, novelties, and products coming into the season. Working in the Dutch flower industry enables me to see the prettiest flowers in the world, and I can say I really love it!



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