Airlift bioreactors were programmed for continuous and temporary immersion culture to investigate factors that affect the rhizome proliferation, shoot formation, and plantlet regeneration of Cymbidium sinense. During rhizome proliferation, the continuous immersion bioreactor system was used to explore the effects of activated charcoal (AC) in the culture medium, inoculation density, and air volume on rhizome differentiation and growth. The optimum conditions for obtaining massive health rhizomes were 0.3 g l⁻¹ AC in the culture medium, 7.5 g l⁻¹ inoculation density, and 150 ml min⁻¹ air. In addition, the temporary immersion bioreactor system was used for both shoot formation and plantlet regeneration. Supplementing 4 mg l⁻¹ 6-benzylaminopurine and 0.2 mg l⁻¹ naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) to the culture medium promoted shoot induction from the rhizome. Cutting the rhizome explants into 1 cm segments was better for massive shoot formation than cutting into 0.25 and 0.5 cm explant segments. NAA promoted plantlet regeneration and the rooting rate (94.7 %), with whole plantlets growing well in culture medium containing 1.0 mg l⁻¹ NAA. Therefore, applying bioreactors in C. sinense micropropagation is an efficient way for scaling up the production of propagules and whole plantlets for the industrial production of high-quality seedlings.