There are about 1000 Dendrobium orchid species in the world, and Dendrobium anosmum is one such beautiful variety. In Latin, ‘anosmum’ means unscented.
However, it has an exquisite fragrance which is why it is so popular among orchid enthusiasts. It belongs to the Dendrobium genus and the Orchidaceae family.
Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know on how to grow Dendrobium anosmum the right way.
What Is Dendrobium Anosmum?
Dendrobium anosmum is a large, epiphytic orchid found across Southeast Asia and the Malay island in countries such as Borneo, Indochina, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, etc. You can find it growing in the mountainous forests below 2500 feet.
Dendrobium anosmum’s common names are Unscented Dendrobium, The HonoHono orchid, Dendrobium leucorhodum, Callista anosmia, Callista scortechinii, Dendrobium dayanum, Callista macrophylla, etc. Lindley described it first in 1845 in the Philippines.
Size and Growth
Its height is between the range of 40 and 120 inches. Its growth cycle begins in spring when it starts to show new growth.
Its pseudobulbs can grow as tall as 10 feet. It has drooping, loosely hanging, long, and soft canes that produce abundant blooms. Fleshy, green leaves envelop each cane or node.
It is a deciduous orchid, which means that during winter, it goes into a resting period.
Deciduous plants need a significant rest period during winter before flowering in spring. The leaves turn yellow and fall off during winter.
Dendrobium anosmum is a seasonal orchid and blooms seasonally. The length of the leaves lies between the range of 4 to 7 inches. They are long, arched, oblong, elliptic, deciduous, and fleshy.
The plant drops all its leaves just before the flowering season. It may look lifeless when it does not have any leaves on the canes. But, after the flowering, new leaf growth emerges from the plant’s bottom. As the new leaves start to appear, resume the watering as done during summer.
The Dendrobium anosmum will bloom in the spring, with 8 to 10 flowers arising from the node. The flowers are dark pink to lavender with slight variations depending on the variety.
Additionally, they have burgundy spots on either side of the lips towards the base. The diameter of flowers is between 2 and 4 inches. Some flowers may be smaller, and some may not even open fully.
The blooms are translucent at the base and lighter at the apex. The inner and outer petals are usually of the same color, but the outer petals have darker veins. The flower’s lip is hairy, heart-shaped, and appears purple because of deep purple stripes in the throat.
Most flowers are grown from seeds, so color characteristics vary from plant to plant. During the first year of its growth, the plant does not usually produce flowers. But it will give you ample blooms during the next season.
The plant remains in bloom for about four weeks. In somewhat colder temperatures, the blooms may last longer than four weeks. They smell like raspberries and cream.
Dendrobium Anosmum Care
Dendrobium anosmum is not a fussy orchid, and it is easy to care for it if you keep a few points in mind. Read the following requirements regarding light, water, humidity, temperature, fertilizer, etc., to know more.
Dendrobium anosmum likes filtered sunlight and grows the best in bright, indirect light. The medium to bright, filtered sunlight throughout the day works well for its growth. Do not place your plant in harsh sunlight at noon, as it can burn the plant’s leaves. If the plant’s leaves turn reddish-brown, it might be a sign of too much sun.
It is always better to check and experiment with your Dendrobium plant when it comes to its light requirements. Some species can tolerate direct sunlight, whereas some others are shade lovers.
If you are growing your plant in hanging baskets, hang them in such a way that the plant does not receive any direct, hot sun rays. Cover the plant with a net to provide shade and protect it from direct sunlight.
If you are keeping the plant inside, place it in a lightly shaded south window or an east/west-facing window. You can also keep the plant under grow bulbs if you do not get sufficient natural light in your home.
Your plant should remain naturally erect without much support, even when mounted. It is a sign of good health.
Dendrobium anosmum likes high moisture levels with sufficient air movement in the soil. Water at least once a day in summer, especially if your plant is mounted or suspended. Suppose it is planted in a pot, water every two to three days when the soil starts to dry out.
Keep the substrate moist all the time during the plant’s active growth period of summer and spring. Check the flowers regularly for any markings or crippling signs. It could be a symptom of a virus.
Adjust your watering schedule according to the prevailing conditions in your home. Keep the watering moderate during autumn and reduce it further during the winter as it is the plant’s rest period. Watering two times a week should work well.
Allow the plant to dry out in between the waterings. But do not let it remain dry for longer periods. Water it enough to keep the leaves and canes from shriveling. Gradually, increase watering as buds start to develop during early spring.
Dendrobium anosmum grows well when mounted on tree fern or cork because of its overhanging nature. It needs a loose soil mix for proper growth. An airy, quickly drying soil mix consisting of fir bark works well for Dendrobium anosmum’s growth.
The ideal soil mix would consist of bark mixed with perlite or charcoal for drainage. Use sphagnum moss for mounting purposes.
If you are planting your orchid in a pot, choose a small pot with many drainage holes to maintain proper air movement and humidity. A 2 to 4 inches pot would be fine to grow Dendrobium anosmum.
The Dendrobium anosmum is a hot to cool growing orchid. It prefers an average daytime temperature of 78 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and an average nighttime temperature of 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
A daily difference of about 20 degrees Fahrenheit works well for the plant’s growth. It cannot withstand freezing temperatures and can die off if the temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dendrobium anosmum loves high humidity and prefers an average humidity level between 80 and 90 percent, whereas, during autumn and winter, it prefers 70 to 75 percent humidity level. However, it can also tolerate 50 to 60 percent humidity inside homes.
You can also place trays filled with water and pebbles to keep the humidity level high around your plant. Use a humidifier if the air is too dry in your area.
Fertilize your Dendrobium anosmum weekly with half a dose of any orchid fertilizer from early spring till mid-summer. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer till mid-summer and a phosphorus-rich one from midsummer till autumn.
Feed your plant with heavy fertilizer frequently during the growing period as it grows fast from spring till autumn. It goes into rest during winter, which means that you should not provide any fertilizers during the season.
Repotting Dendrobium Anosmum
Early spring is the best time to repot Dendrobium anosmum when new roots begin to develop. Repot the older plants every two to three years before the soil mix breaks and loses its consistency and texture.
Plant the plant in a pot one size bigger than the previous one in a well-draining soil mix of fir bark and perlite for aeration and drainage. This mix should be good for another two or so years.
Dendrobium anosmum grows the best in pots and containers. Dendrobium anosmum loves to be root-bound, but it tends to tip-off sometimes since it grows bigger. So, repotting in a bigger pot makes sense. Use heavy clay pots for better support.
Dendrobium Anosmum Problems
– Flower Thrips
Dendrobium anosmum is vulnerable to flower thrips, especially in the months of spring. Thrips turn the small buds brown, which affects the plant’s flowering capacity. It results in less or no flowering in the affected buds.
The virus is one of the deadliest diseases that affect Dendrobium anosmum. It is spread by the pruner used for pruning and cutting. Before pruning, make sure that you sterilize your pruner between plants.
Dendrobium anosmum is a beautiful orchid variety and looks great in baskets when grown in a pendulous manner.
Let us summarize all the important points about Dendrobium anosmum.
- Dendrobium anosmum is an epiphytic orchid native to countries of Southeast Asia and Malay islands.
- It is a fast-growing plant that can reach a height of 3 to 6 feet when grown in pots.
- It is a spring-blooming Dendrobium with lavender blooms with dark-purple to burgundy spots on the lips towards the inner base.
- The blooms have a sweet raspberry and cream-like fragrance.
- It needs bright, filtered sunlight to grow well.
- Water once a day during summer (growing period) and reduce the watering during autumn and winter.
- It needs a loose, well-draining substrate composed of tree bark and perlite.
- The ideal humidity level is 80 to 90 percent during summer and 70 percent during winter.
- Maintain good air circulation with high humidity for best growth.
- Fertilize your Dendrobium anosmum once a week with an orchid fertilizer during its active growth period, do not fertilize during winter.
- Repot the plant when the soil mix starts to decompose and new growth begins to show. The ideal time to repot is during early spring.
- It may suffer from problems like flower thrips and pests; treat them with anti-fungal powder.
We hope that our guide has helped you with all the information you needed on this stunning orchid species. If you do not have one, head over to the nearest garden center and grab one of these fragrant beauties for yourself!