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Convenient care instructions detailing how to care for your dendrobium orchid.

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DENDROBIUM

The dendrobium (den-DROH-bee-um) orchid is a large and diverse genus. These orchids can be found from southeast Asia and extend to islands below Australia – from mountains to valleys.  Because care requirements vary, dendrobiums have been classified into sections according to care requirements. Some of these orchids are perfect for the beginning orchid enthusiasts, while others are best left to experienced orchid growers. Let’s explore dendrobium culture:

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BONUS: For your convenience, you can download your own quick-reference Dendrobium Care Card.

Section – Phalanethe/Phalaenopsis

The Phalanthe/Phalaenopsis section dendrobium is an evergreen orchid that is closely related to the Spatulata section.
Origin: Northeastern Austrialia.
Species: D. affine, striaenopsis, superbiens, williamsianum.

TEMPERATURE

Dendrobium phalaenanthe are warm growers:
Day: 70°-80° F/21°-26.7° C
Night: 60° F/15.5° C/ at night.
One month winter rest: 55° F/13° C.

LIGHT

Bright light 2,000-4,000 (fc).

HUMIDITY

75% humidity is ideal with 65% in winter. Use a humidifier if necessary and a fan set to low to provide air movement. If you are a home grower, not a greenhouse grower, remember that 50% is the recommended high for humidity levels.

WATER

Water copiously, then allow the roots to dry before watering again. Leaf drop indicates a need for more water, humidity and warmer temperatures. Begin decreasing water for winter rest after blooming. Do not allow pseudobulbs to shrivel. Increase water again in spring when new growth appears.

FERTILIZATION 

When new roots begin to grow, apply high nitrogen (9-3-6) in spring and high phosphate (3-12-6) late summer to fall. liquid fertilizer three out of four weeks. On the fourth week, flood potting media to rinse fertilizer salts.

POTTING AND MEDIA

These tall, arching orchids like to be underpotted and can be top-heavy. Nest an inner culture pot in a heavy clay pot to add stability. Use a free-draining potting mix to allow roots to dry between watering.

TIPS

Most Dendrobiums produce keikis (plantlets), which can be removed from the mother plant and potted up once the pseudobulb and roots are about an inch long.

 

BIGIBBUM

Typically bigibbum species are typically categorized with phalaenopsis dendrobiums, but as their winter care varies, I have given them their own culture guide. Bigibbum species look very similar to Den. phalaenopsis, though the flowers tend to be smaller. These evergreen orchids originate from Australia.

TEMPERATURE

Dendrobium bigibbum are warm growers:
Day: 82°-89 ° F/28°-32° C
Night: 73°-78° F/-23°-26° C/ at night.
These orchids do not need cool temperatures during the winter.

LIGHT

Bright light 3,000-4,000 fc) with strong air movement.

HUMIDITY

Humidity levels between 70-80% work well for this orchid. Use a humidifier if necessary and a fan set to low to provide air movement. Note to home-growers: keep humidity levels at or below 50%.

WATER

Water copiously, then allow the orchid roots to dry before watering again. Allow for a long, dry rest in winter, 2-3 months.

FERTILIZATION

When new roots begin to grow, apply high nitrogen (9-3-6) in spring and high phosphate (3-12-6) late summer to fall. liquid fertilizer three out of four weeks. On the fourth week, flood potting media to rinse fertilizer salts.

POTTING & MEDIA

These orchids like to be underpotted. Nest an inner culture pot in a heavy clay pot to add stability. Use a free-draining potting mix to allow roots to dry between watering.

TIPS

Most Dendrobiums produce keikis (plantlets), which can be removed from the mother plant and potted up once the pseudobulb and roots are about an inch long.

 

Section – Antelope/Spatulata

Dendrobium (den-DROH-bee-um) spatulata (antelope) section orchids
Easily identified by its twisting, pointing petals, like antelope horns, denote antelope horns.
Evergreen for many years.
Closely related to the Phalaenthe section.

Species: D. antennatum, D. bicaudatum, D. analiculatum, D. carronii, D. discolor, D. gouldii, D. helix, D. johannis, D. lasianthere, D. lineale, D. mirbelianum, D. nindii, D. stratiotes.

TEMPERATURE

Dendrobium antelope are warm growers:
Day: 65°-90° F/18°-32° C
Night: 60° F/15.5° C
No need for a cool winter rest.

LIGHT

Bright light 2,000-4,000 fc).

HUMIDITY

Humidity levels between 50-80% work well for this orchid. Use a humidifier if necessary and a fan set to low to provide air movement. Note to home-growers: keep humidity levels at or below 50%.

WATER

Water copiously, then allow the orchid roots to dry before watering again. Watch for leaf drop, which indicates a need for more water, humidity and warmer temperatures.

FERTILIZATION

When new roots begin to grow, apply balanced (7-7-7) liquid fertilizer three out of four weeks. On the fourth week, flood potting media to rinse fertilizer salts.

POTTING & MEDIA

These tall, arching orchids like to be underpotted and can be top-heavy. Nest an inner culture pot in a heavy clay pot to add stability. Use a free-draining potting mix to allow roots to dry between watering.

TIPS

Most Dendrobiums produce keikis (plantlets), which can be removed from the mother plant and potted up once the pseudobulb and roots are about an inch long.

 

Section – Latouria

Dendrobium (den-DROH-bee-um) latouria section orchids.
Evergreen
Origin: New Guinea
Species: D. atroviolaceum, D. macrophyllum, D. spectabile.,
Hybrids: D. Roy Tokunaga, D. Green Lantern, D. Stephen Batchelor, D. Andree Millar

TEMPERATURE

Dendrobium latouria are warm growers:
Day: 65°-90° F/18°-32° C
Night: 60° F/ 15.5° C
Allow for slight drop in temperature for a winter rest.

LIGHT

Bright light 2,000-4,000 fc).

HUMIDITY

Humidity levels between 50-80% work well for this orchid. Use a humidifier if necessary and a fan set to low to provide air movement. Note to home-growers: keep humidity levels at or below 50%.

WATER

Water copiously, then allow the orchid roots to dry before watering again. During the winter, reduce water by 20%.

FERTILIZATION

When new roots begin to grow, apply balanced (7-7-7) liquid fertilizer three out of four weeks. On the fourth week, flood potting media to rinse fertilizer salts.

POTTING & MEDIA

These tall, arching orchids like to be underpotted and can be top-heavy. Nest an inner culture pot in a heavy clay pot to add stability. Use a free-draining potting mix to allow roots to dry between watering.

TIPS

Most Dendrobiums produce keikis (plantlets), which can be removed from the mother plant and potted up once the pseudobulb and roots are about an inch long.

These orchids have notoriously long-lasting flowers.

 

NOBILE

Dendrobium (den-DROH-bee-um) noblile.
Deciduous
Belongs to dendrobium section.
Origin: southeast Asia
Species: D. moniliforme, D. anosmum, D. crepidatum, devonianum, D. falconeri. D. fimbriatum

TEMPERATURE

Summer day: 72°-82° F/26-28° C; night 66° F/19° C/.
Spring day: 87° F/ 30° C; night: 54°-66° F/ 12°-19° C.
Winter days: 76°-82° F / 25°-28° / C; nights: 50° F/10° C.
Low winter temperatures are essential for flowering.

LIGHT

Very bright light 3,500-4,500 fc). Lots of keikis (plantlets) are the result of insufficient light.

HUMIDITY

80% summer and 60% winter
Use a humidifier if necessary and a fan set to low to provide air movement. Note to home-growers: keep humidity levels at or below 50%.

WATER

During active growth, water copiously, then allow the orchid roots to dry before watering again. Reduce water in fall, then withhold water for 1-2 months winter. Begin watering in spring when new growth appears.

FERTILIZATION

When new roots begin to grow, apply 1/2 strength, low nitrogen liquid fertilizer (3-12-6) three out of four weeks. On the fourth week, flood potting media to rinse fertilizer salts. Do not apply fertilizer during winter rest.

POTTING & MEDIA

These tall, arching orchids like to be underpotted and can be top-heavy. Nest an inner culture pot in a heavy clay pot to add stability. Use a free-draining potting mix to allow roots to dry between watering.

TIPS

Most Dendrobiums produce keikis (plantlets), which can be removed from the mother plant and potted up once the pseudobulb and roots are about an inch long.

Cool, dry winters are essential for spring flowers.

 

Section – Callista/Densiflora

Dendrobium (den-DROH-bee-um) callista/densiflora section orchids
Evergreen
Origin: Himalayas, mid-elevations.
Species: D. densiflorum, D. farmeri, D. thyrsiflorum, D. kingianum, D. lindleyi, D. griffithianum, D. sulcatum, d. jenkinsiil.

TEMPERATURE

Spring, summer, early fall: 72°-82° F/26-28° C;.
Winter: 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.
Low winter temperatures are essential for flowering.

LIGHT

Very bright light 3,500-4,500 (fc).

HUMIDITY

80% summer and 60% winter
Use a humidifier if necessary and a fan set to low to provide air movement. Note to home-growers: keep humidity levels at or below 50%.

WATER

During active growth, water copiously, then allow the orchid roots to dry before watering again. Reduce water in winter, being careful not to allow pseudobulbs to shrivel. Begin watering in spring when new growth appears.

FERTILIZATION

When new roots begin to grow, apply 1/2 strength, low nitrogen liquid fertilizer (3-12-6) three out of four weeks. On the fourth week, flood potting media to rinse fertilizer salts. Do not apply fertilizer during winter rest.

POTTING & MEDIA

These tall, arching orchids like to be underpotted and can be top-heavy. Nest an inner culture pot in a heavy clay pot to add stability. Use a free-draining potting mix to allow roots to dry between watering.

TIPS

Most Dendrobiums produce keikis (plantlets), which can be removed from the mother plant and potted up once the pseudobulb and roots are about an inch long.

Think monsoon: hot and wet in summer; cool and dry in winter.

 

Tools I Use

In case you are interested, here are links to tools I use to help me to successfully care for my dendrobium orchids:

Dendrobiums require lots of light to properly bloom.

This is the grow light system I use.

Dendrobiums also require high humidity and air movement.

This is the humidifier I use.

This is the humidistat I use.

This is the fan I use.

To feed my Dendrobiums, I recommend this fertilizer:

This is the fertilizer I use.

Dendrobium roots require a loose, well draining potting mix.

This is the potting mix I use.

 
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Get Your DENDROBIUM Care Card

Convenient care instructions detailing how to care for your dendrobium orchid.

DENDROBIUM CARE CARD INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Thank you so much for the tips. I’m just a beginner. I’m loving following your advice and tips.

Amor
 

BUY DENDROBIUM ORCHIDS

If I can successfully grow dendrobium orchids, you can too! The key to thriving dendrobiums is to choose one that you can easily care for. The culture guide provided will help you choose denbrobiums that fit your care-style.

These links are for bare-root dendrobium orchids. These plants are small and are not currently in bloom. If you have a particular request, please notify seller. For example, you could request that all 4 dens. were from the antelope section – or whichever dendrobium section you are interested in.

4 SMALL BARE-ROOT DENDROBIUM ORCHIDS

3 LARGE BARE-ROOT DENDROBIUMS

Since these orchids are sold bare-root, you will also need potting mix and a pot.

ORCHID POTTING MIX

SLOTTED CLEAR ORCHID POTS

Or you may prefer a more decorative pot. These hand-thrown pots are works of art:

HAND-THROWN ORCHID POTS

POTTED DENDROBIUMS

 

YOUR TURN

 DO YOU GROW DENDROBIUM ORCHIDS?

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What has helped you to successfully grow dendrobium orchids?

Thank You!

Your orchid review will help many other orchid enthusiasts properly care for their orchids, and for that, I thank you!

anna