Dendrobium Care InfographicA Dendrobium grows to a height of six to 48 inches and as well as in width. During the blooming season, Dendrobium produces profuse blooms that come in yellow, white, orange, green, brown, purple, and pink, bringing life to your spaces.

Some physical or athletic diets include a Dendrobium supplement in them. This article will provide you with the best Dendrobium parenting guide to make your growing experience worthwhile.

What Is Dendrobium?

The Dendrobium is a beautiful orchid native to Southeast Asia and grows well in all climates. Naturally, they grow in hot and wet lowlands and high-altitude mountains with cooler conditions. The Dendrobium species bloom along their lengths though some produce flowers on the top of their stems.

Dendrobium Care Requirements

Some Dendrobium species like the Dendrobium nobile are beginner-friendly and gorgeous houseplants. However, there are certain care conditions that you should maintain to help these plants to grow and produce healthy blooms. Consider increasing your orchids in small pots in which the roots can be in a cramped form.

– Watering Requirements

Dendrobium benefits a lot from a moist growing medium, but remember that you should not keep it soggy. These epiphytes do not like to sit in wet conditions for long as they will start yellowing and wilting. 

Root rot is the worst case that results from overwatering as the micro-organisms that cause it thrives in constantly wet mediums. You should dip your finger in the potting medium and if it comes out wet, wait a few more days until it becomes drier before watering again.

During summer, the sunlight intensity and temperatures are also at their peak. This means that water loss through transpiration and evaporation is increased. Also, your Dendrobium orchids need more water for growth and blooming.

In winter, water loss is low due to cooler temperatures and reduced plant development, implying that you should add more days between waterings. When watering your beauties, you must use distilled or rainwater since tap water contains chemicals like chlorine which causes mineral and salt build-up that burns the plant’s roots.

The Dendrobium Orchid

– Light Requirements

Dendrobiums grow in partial or dappled sunlight in their natural habitats. However, consider placing them closer to the brightest windows when grown indoors. South-facing windows will do good for the foliage and blooming needs of the Dendrobium species. 

Avoid direct sunlight exposure to curb foliage discoloration and shriveling and burn the pretty blooms. Once you notice some tiny offshoots termed ‘keikis’ on young and small canes, they sign that your plants are not getting enough light.

When the light is too much, the Dendrobium leaves gradually turn yellow. For outdoor growing, find a shaded place with good air movement. Sunlight is generally low during winter and LED grow lights are the best alternative to keep your Dendrobium in good health.

Some Dendrobium species have large leaves that can reach three to 10 inches in length and one inch in width, which calls for brighter light exposure to help them grow their best. These leaves turn from their bright light green color to dark green when sunlight exposure to the orchid is low.

– Soil Requirements

Typical potting soil is not best for orchids, so try to make a unique mixture that replicates their natural habitat. You can buy a commercial potting medium from reliable gardening suppliers or create your own mix using perlite or fir bark and peat moss. 

You have to make sure the mixture is well-draining and has good aeration properties so that the roots are not exposed to excessive moisture for prolonged periods. When grown outdoors, you can substitute using bark as substrate and mount the epiphyte on a tree cork or fern to aid aeration.

Caring for a Dendrobium that is mounted in a tree cork is quite costly as higher humidity levels are needed which means you will have to water the plant on daily basis as well as spritzing it. Bear in mind that water or moisture-holding soils cause rotting roots and stems, consequently leading to loss of the Dendrobium’s vibrancy and possibly death of the entire plant. 

A good Dendrobium potting mix works well with a pot that has enough holes or qualities to lose excess moisture. Additionally, the medium should allow roots to expand to improve water and nutrient absorption.

We recommend that you loosen the soil after a few waterings so that it does not get compacted. Also, flash the potting medium regularly with distilled water to get rid of excess salts caused by fertilizers.

– Temperature Requirements

Daytime temperatures are best for Dendrobium’s upkeep. Maintain a temperature range of 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit around the plant during the day and around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. 

Don’t worry, the plant can still withstand a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, although prolonged exposure to such conditions can be detrimental to the plant. Due to cooler conditions, orchids take winter as the rest period during which development is rare.

During winter, we recommend that you move your orchids indoors or to a warmer place to protect their beautiful foliage. Avoid freezing temperatures that may cause cells to burst and kill your plants. 

On the other hand, higher temperatures that are well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit burn the orchids’ leaves and flowers. You should strike a balance between temperature and watering to avoid dehydrating or overwatering your Dendrobium.

– Humidity Requirements

The Dendrobium does well in humidity levels ranging from 50 to 60 percent. It also survives in a minimum humidity of 45 percent but, leaf growth and vibrancy are limited under such conditions. Orchids develop brown leaf tips when humidity is too low. Avoid placing your plants close to drafty windows and doors as they drive away the much-needed humidity.

If your orchids are under dry air conditions, you should place the plants on pebble trays. As the water in this pebble system evaporates, moisture levels in the environment improve.

Grouping your Dendrobium plants is also useful in trapping the moisture that is released as they transpire. We recommend using a humidifier to raise the humidity levels although this method is more costly than the other strategies that we discussed.

Dendrobium species do not grow large although they become bushy when humidity and other care requirements are met.

– Fertilizing Requirements

Fertilizer is an important ingredient in producing a healthy, glowing plant. For the best results, fertilize your orchids once a week using balanced orchid feeds during the growing season. These fertilizers contain magnesium, calcium, and nitrogen which are essential in nourishing your beautiful orchids. Any nitrogen-rich fertilizer is also useful.

Follow the instructions on the package to avoid inappropriate fertilizing that may lead to salt accumulation in the soil. Excess salts have the risk of burning the roots and leaves of your Dendrobium plants.

As you approach the fall of the growing season, cut back on fertilizing by at least half application. During winter, you shouldn’t fertilize as the plants are at rest due to cooler temperatures.

In this non-fertilizer period, the soil takes an opportunity to restore its original form as excess salts will be flashed out. Bear in mind that hard water contains some minerals that may add to this undesirable accumulation of salts. Therefore, consider using distilled at all to avert this problem.

– Pruning Requirements

We recommend using bacteria-free gardening tools and that can be achieved by sterilizing the equipment before, during, and after using them. Prune off dead or diseased stems, leaves, and flowers to keep your Dendrobium appealing. 

The best time to prune your beauties is during the growing season as this allows the plant to heal and produce new growth at a faster rate. When grown indoors, space may be limited as your orchid matures, so prune off the messy foliage to keep it neat.

As Dendrobium orchids develop, a single upright cane is sent each year. Dendrobium Nobile orchids produce around 25 to 50 blooms that fade up at the end of the flowering season; therefore, you should clip them off from the canes.

It would be best to leave the old clubs uncut because they store water and nutrients for the orchids’ upkeep. Unlike other orchids, the Dendrobium’s re-blooming chances become very slim when old stems are cut off.

In addition, old canes have a chance of flowering as well as producing some tiny offsets known as Keikis. Note that these offsets are very useful as they can be saved for propagation purposes.

 

Propagation

The most effective season for propagation is spring and summer. Lower temperatures in winter make it impossible to grow new plants. You should get sterilized shears when using the division method. Also, make sure you have an orchid potting mix ready.

– Propagating by Division Method

Choose a plant with at least four canes and healthy leaves. Use a stiff knife large enough to cut through rhizomes and root mass of the Dendrobium. Try to be gentle enough to keep them intact. Now, clean the root mass to remove the growing medium and trim off the dead or dangling roots.

Find a pot that is larger than the root mass size and place the plant inside. Fill the pot with an orchid potting medium, ensuring the roots are well covered. Firmly press the potting medium down and wait for seven days before thoroughly watering it.

– Propagation Using Offsets

Prune off the Dendrobium offsets (keikis) from the bases of old and mature canes. Wipe the potting medium off the balances and plant them in a new orchid mix.

This method usually takes longer for the young plants to grow mature and flower, unlike when larger divisions are used. However, provide a quality, well-draining orchid mix, adequate sunlight, humidity, and temperature for enhanced development.

When you notice the plants becoming taller and producing more leaves, consider repotting them to larger pots that accommodate four to six canes.

– Propagating Using Seeds

We do not recommend seed propagation for orchids because several controlled conditions include laboratory precision.

In their natural habitat, Dendrobium germinates through a symbiotic and complex relationship with fungi in the soil, so artificially replicating is hectic and usually unsuccessful when conducted by starters. In short, easy and fruitful propagation is done using the offset and division methods.

Problems

Dendrobium orchid care also includes detecting and solving problems promptly. Pests and diseases are the most feared hindrances that growers come across. It is, however, essential to check your plants always so that these problems can be identified and rectified earlier.

– Pests

When it comes to pests, regularly check the plants physically and eliminate them earlier before they start causing damage to your Dendrobium. The Dendrobium Nobile orchid’s flowers are susceptible to problems, so you should be vigilant in preventing them so that you can enjoy the blooms’ lengthy presence.

Be on the lookout for mealybugs, the most common Dendrobium orchids pests. Mealybugs hibernate in the junctions where the canes and leaves meet.

In severe mealybug infestations, consider spraying the entire plant with a houseplant formulated pesticide. Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water together with some drops of dishwasher soaps. Use a clean cloth dipped in the concoction to wipe the foliage.

When the Dendrobium beetle invades your orchids, you will notice dying leaves, waxy extrusions, larvae, and tiny orange beetles with black spots roving around the plant at night.

These beetles and larvae that come in the form of caterpillars feed on Dendrobium’s green tissue and new growth. These pests are hard to control, but you can consider squashing them on sight or spraying the plants with carbaryl. It is wise to remove their eggs by hand before they become larvae.

Look out for thrips when you notice the Dendrobium orchid developing silvery lustres on the leaves and some dark spots. These lustres result from leaf cell surfaces that these bugs have sucked up.

Also, when you come across tiny yellow to brown or greyish bugs around one to two millimeters long, start taking action against thrips. These bugs can multiply within a few days as they lay and hatch eggs on the leaves.

The larvae become very active and mobile immediately. They start feeding on the plant’s tissues and extending their target to the parts below the potting mix. However, thrips do not survive in high humidity conditions and cooler weather. They usually become active in summer when humidity is relatively low, and temperatures are high.

Using insecticidal sprays like dimethoate Rogor for two to three months can stop thrips from infesting your orchids.

– Codlin Moth

The Clodlin moth excretes some tiny brown droppings on the foliage. When your Dendrobium plants are under attack, you start by seeing the flower spikes collapsing. This brown moth is so small.

It lays eggs on flower spikes and new growth. Its larvae, which come in the form of white or yellowish caterpillars, also invade new growth and flowers, causing them to rot and collapse.

A regular spray on the plants using a systematic insecticide and carbaryl is effective in dealing with the moth. For instance, you can use Rogor and lebaycide, especially during the growing season.

– Diseases

Although all Dendrobium species are known to be low-maintenance, many diseases may affect them. The leading cause of these problems is excess water supply, so you should balance the care requirements to avoid a situation where excess moisture results.

Root rot emanates from leaving your orchids sitting in soggy conditions for long. When the roots start rotting, water and nutrient uptake fall, a state that causes your plants to become malnourished.

Once you notice wilting, yellow leaves, and curling, check the roots for possible rotting. You should start trimming the dead roots and stop watering for some time until signs of recovery.

Also, ensure that the soil is well-draining and the pot has excellent drainage qualities. Please note that in lower temperature conditions, water loss is reduced, so you have to cut back on watering.

Unfortunately, severe rotting of the roots and stems cannot be reversed. You must discard the entire plant and desist from reusing once infected mediums under such circumstances.

– Yellowing

Overwatering or excessive moisture around your plants causes their leaves to turn yellow. However, it is widespread for old mature leaves to turn yellow before they fall off. Therefore, you must carefully distinguish between the yellowing caused by excess moisture and leaf maturity.

A Dendrobium orchid also develops spots before shedding off for winter. So, you do not have to worry. Simply prune off the spotted leaves to maintain the lovely appearance of your plant.

Dendrobium Orchid

Conclusion

The Dendrobium genus decorates your places better when grown together with other lovely and exciting orchid species, like the Brassia orchid variety that blooms twice a year, giving you an extended beautiful flower presence.

Let us go through some interesting points we came across in this informative guide.

  • Keep daytime temperatures between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night to keep your orchids thriving.
  • Use a well-balanced orchid fertilizer to feed your plants during the growing season. Do not fertilize in winter as plants enter dormancy due to low temperatures.
  • The division method is the best form of propagation for Dendrobium. The seed propagation method is too hectic and more prone to failure.
  • Be on the lookout for mealybugs, thrips, and the Dendrobium beetle that feed on the plant tissues, leading to their death.

The Dendrobium genus has gorgeous varieties that you can blend as they give different bloom colors and appearances.

Their blooms last long when their care needs are being met, giving you the reason to acquire yours if you are a color lover. Consider Dendrobium and lighten up your homes!

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