Dendrobium bracteosum care infographicDendrobium bracteosum is an orchid that all florists want to decorate their homes with. But many are afraid to try because of its demanding nature. Our orchidists bring you the simplest possible approach by which you will not only get a healthy, blossoming plant but also save precious time.

What Is Dendrobium Bracteosum?

Dendrobium bracteosum is a medium-sized orchid that grows to a height of 10 to 20 inches over its lifetime. It mostly exists in nature in rainforests, at elevations of over 700 yards above sea level, growing as an epiphyte on other trees. Moreover, this is what its flowers, stems and leaves look like below.

– Flowers

  • Orchid Species - Dendrobium Bracteosum pinkDendrobium bracteosum flowers bloom anytime from spring until fall and can also bloom more than once per year.
  • What’s even better is the fact that, once they bloom, these flowers can stay in perfect condition for up to five or six months. Talk about being long-lasting!
  • These flowers grow in clusters of three to eight flowers on 1.5 inches long pendulous inflorescences.
  • Each flower is only 0.5 to 1 inch across in diameter. Dendrobium bracteosum petals can be of a variety of colors like red, yellow, white, purple or pink and do not open all the way through. The lip is always yellow, orange or red.
  • These flowers are scented and feel waxy when you touch them.

–  Stems

  • The stems of the bracteosum that emerge from the pseudobulbs are slender at the base and thicken as they grow up.
  • They can reach a maximum height of 8 to 16 inches.
  • You can identify them by their yellow color and papery sheaths.
  • These stems can be both erect or hang down, depending upon the flowering condition of the orchid. Plants in bloom usually have pendulous inflorescences.

– Leaves

  • In addition to its exuberant bloom, this orchid is also known for its vibrant foliage.
  • Each stem of Dendrobium bracteosum contains about six leaves.
  • Each leaf is strap-shaped or oblong and tapers on both sides.
  • Dendrobium bracteosum leaves are only 2 to 3 inches long and present a very rich green color.

Dendrobium Bracteosum Care

In this section, you fill find out all the details of caring for Dendrobium bracteosum, including light and water requirements, the best potting mix to stimulate growth, and the ideal temperature for the blooming of its stunning colored flowers.

– Light

  • These orchids grow best under a light intensity that spans from 1,000 to 2,000 lux.
  • Put them near an east or west-facing window so that they receive the moderate amount of light that they require. Keep in mind that light intensity falls rapidly when you move away from the window, so position the plant in a range of 3 feet from it.
  • A southern-facing window gives very bright light in fall and winters. In summer, however, you will need to put curtains on it to prevent orchids from receiving such intense direct sunlight.
  • If you feel like no place in your house is providing sufficient light to your bracteosum orchids, then you should think about getting artificial lights.
  • Normal house lights are not enough to fulfill the light requirements of some orchids. Our orchidist suggests you buy special plant strip lights and install them about 20 inches above the place where you keep the plants.
  • On average, Dendrobium bracteosum needs to be exposed to an adequate amount of light for approximately 14 hours each day. No more, no less. 

– Water

  • Now, this is a plant that loves to be watered a lot. For most of the year — barring the two or three months of winter — water your Dendrobium bracteosum orchids frequently and plentifully.
  • The substrate should be kept moist at all times but not allowed to get soggy. For this to happen, you will need to invest in a potting medium that drains well but also retains moisture.
  • The pot should also have proper drainage holes at the bottom so that water doesn’t collect at the bottom to become stagnant.
  • Another thing you can do is to add orchid bark to your soil. A 3-inch layer of orchid bark in the top layer will go a long way in maintaining the right level of moisture for your soil.
  • Always water your orchids before the soil has had a chance to dry out.
  • If you want to keep your orchids in baskets or mounted on cork, then you will need to water them on a daily basis. This is because these varieties don’t have any soil or potting medium around their roots to retain moisture for longer periods.

– Soil

One question our orchidists frequently get from new florists is what type of soil and substrate is the best for each type of orchid. Read ahead to learn what the right soil for bracteosum is.

  • Growing Dendrobium bracteosum at home in a pot needs a potting medium that is loose enough to provide adequate growth space to the roots but also quick drying enough that it does not get soggy.
  • The most commonly used and time-tested potting media for Dendrobiums are peat moss, perlite, fir bark, or a combination of these.
  • If you want to mount them, then pieces of cork or tree fern are your best bet.

– Temperature 

  • All year round, maintain 86 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures during the day around your orchid.
  • At night, the temperature should drop to 68 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • This drop in temperature is very important for the buds of the bracteosum orchids to bloom properly.
  • One trick we always use to simulate this drop in temperature is to open the window near your orchid at night. This lets the cold night air in, allowing for a sharp temperature variation even in warm climates.

Growing 

Want to try growing Dendrobium bracteosum at home but worried about where to start? Worry no more. Continue reading our well-researched article as we answer questions most frequently asked by Dendrobium growers.

– Should You Grow From Seeds or Repot?

Why not try both? Many orchid growers opt for repotting since it is the easiest approach. You can repot Dendrobium bracteosum anytime new roots start to grow. Choose a pot that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than the previous one.

Also, change and replace the old potting medium. Do not remove old stalks from the plant as they have the potential to keep flowering for many years.

On the other hand, growing orchids from seeds is a bit tricky and time-consuming method, but it will allow you to have brand new plants without buying them. Dendrobium bracteosum seeds can be easily obtained from any reputed nursery or greenhouse.

You will at first plant these seeds in a sterile nutrient medium in a small flask. This flask will need to be kept under optimal culture conditions and watered daily. After some months of meticulous care, roots and shoots will emerge, which is a sign that your orchid is ready to be transferred to a proper pot or basket.

– How Should Humidity Be Maintained?

  • Dendrobium bracteosum needs 75 percent humidity levels almost all year round.
  • At night, humidity can be as high as 90 to 100 percent.
  • Despite their high humidity requirement, in dry seasons, they can tolerate humidity as low as 35 percent.
  • It is best to ensure maximum humidity around your bracted Dendrobiums at all times. 
  • Investing in a hygrometer and a humidifier will make your life so much easier as an orchid parent.

– How to Fertilize?

  • You should fertilize Dendrobium bracteosum orchids at least once every two weeks. It is even better if you can find the time to fertilize them every week. Fertilizer is like food for your orchid and helps it to grow and be healthy.
  • Buy a high-quality orchid fertilizer and use it at only half the recommended strength by diluting it. This is so your orchid is protected from the potentially toxic effects of fertilizers.
  • Another trick we usually employ in our nurseries to protect orchids from fertilizer-induced toxicity is to fill the pot with water one hour prior to using fertilizer.
  • Once a month, bathe the plant and the substrate using a large volume of water. This practice rinses out the built-up salts and toxins from regular fertilizer use.

Conclusion

Dendrobium bracteosum - medium-sized orchidThat is basically everything a beginner should know about growing Dendrobium bracteosum at home. Read below as we recapitulate the most useful points.

  • Dendrobium bracteosum is an orchid renowned for blooming more than once per year. Its blooms also last for months after flowering.
  • Provide only medium intensity of sunlight. An eastern-facing window would be ideal for these orchids.
  • In case you need to recur to artificial lighting, use special plant lights.
  • Water them a lot all year except for the few winter rest months.
  • Keep the soil moist but don’t let it become soggy.
  • Keep temperatures high all year round bracteosum orchids. The temperature should decrease from day to night for flowering to occur.
  • Fertilize your orchids every week If that feels like too much, then at least once every two weeks.
  • Dendrobium bracteosum orchids need at least 75 humidity levels all year round. Invest in a hygrometer and a humidifier.
  • The most suitable soil for these is a loose one that dries quickly. We recommend using peat moss, fir bark, or perlite.

Using our experience-based advice given above, you can get your bracteosum orchids to bloom more than once per year. Trust us, these flowers will cheer you up every time you look at them!

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