Dendrobium orchid care
Dendrobium is the name of a large genus in the orchid family Orchidaceae. There are over 1200 recognized species of Dendrobium orchids and the floral trade has created an abundance of hybrids. You can for instance purchase a wide range of different Dendrobium nobile varieties. Dendrobium orchids grow in a wide range of different habitats, and the ideal Dendrobium orchid care can therefore vary somewhat. The suggestions below are only general guidelines. You can find wild Dendrobium orchids in the Australian desert as well as in Asian tropical forest and the Himalayan Mountain range.
Dendrobium orchids are sometimes referred to as "Phalaenopsis type orchids" since their flowers are similar to Phalaenopsis flowers. There is however notable differences between the two orchid types. Dendrobium orchids will for instance shed their leaves each fall, while the Phalaenopsis orchids are evergreen.
Dendrobium orchid care - Medium
Dendrobium orchids are epiphytic or lithophytic in the wild, and choosing a well-draining potting medium is an essential part of good Dendrobium orchid care. The recommended potting medium depends on the size of the pot. If you keep your Dendrobium orchid in a pot smaller than 6 inches, you can mix 10 parts of fine grade fir bark with 1 par orchid mix. If the pot is larger, you can use medium grade fir bark.
Dendrobium orchid care - Temperature
Your Dendrobium orchid will to best in an environment where the night temperature is lower than the day temperature. The preferred day temperature is 75 - 85˚ F (24 - 29˚ C), while the recommended night temperature is 60 – 65 °F (15.5 - 18˚ C). Protecting your orchid from temperature extremes is naturally an important part of the Dendrobium orchid care. Occasional incidents can usually be handled by healthy and well established specimens, but prolonged exposure to unsuitable temperatures will be highly injurious for a Dendrobium orchid
Dendrobium orchid care - Light
If you want to provide your plant with ideal Dendrobium orchid care you should place it in a spot where it will be shaded from intense midday sun-shine. These orchids love full morning and late afternoon sun, but prefer to stay in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm. If the orchid is exposed to intense midday sun, the leaves can turn yellow. If the orchid is placed in a spot where it is too dark, the leaves will turn from light green to dark green.
Dendrobium orchid care - Watering
Dendrobium orchids are epiphytic or lithophytic in the wild, and are therefore ill equipped for a life in a soggy plant medium. Let the potting medium dry out thoroughly before you give the orchid any more water.
Dendrobium orchid care - Nutrients
Good Dendrobium orchid care includes providing your plant with high nitrogen fertilizer (25-9-9) year round. For a normal strong fertilizer, one teaspoon of fertilizer per month will be adequate. Many orchids prefer to receive the nutrients in several smaller servings instead of being given all the nutrients in one single watering.
Dendrobium orchid care - Repotting
Repot your Dendrobium orchid every second year. The best period for repotting is in spring, after the blooming. You can also repot when you notice new growth. Repot earlier if the potting medium goes bad, e.g. becomes sour, infested with mould or unable to drain properly.
More information about orchids