Did you know that the royals in 17th century Japan used Dendrobium moniliforme to perfume their clothes?
The fragrant orchid is called Shihu in China and Shikkoku in Japan.
Commonly known as the necklace-shaped Dendrobium, it has medicinal properties and is widely used as both medicine and food in different parts of Asia. Some studies suggest that the plant could have the potential to cure osteoporosis. It belongs to the Dendrobium genus and the Orchidaceae family.
Our gardening experts have provided the ultimate care guide for Dendrobium moniliforme.
What Is Dendrobium Moniliforme?
Dendrobium moniliforme is an epiphytic, ornamental orchid species native to Japan, Korea, China, the western Himalayas, and some parts of India. It grows at an altitude of 2600 to 9800 feet.
Dendrobium moniliforme’s common names are The Necklace-shaped dendrobium, Japanese stone orchid, Callista candida, Dendrobium castum, Dendrobium japonicum, Dendrobium taiwanianum, Dendrobium crispulum, Dendrobium zonatum, and many more. Olof Swartz described it first in 1799.
– Size and Growth
Dendrobium moniliforme is a small to large orchid that grows as an epiphyte and lithophyte in mountainous jungles. It has erect, slim stems that are cylindrical and grow in small, dense clumps.
The stems are purple-green, wider in the middle, and have many nodes. As the plant ages, the stems turn yellow. The stems can reach a length of about 12 inches.
In its natural habitat, the necklace-shaped dendrobium grows as an epiphyte on tree branches in temperate broad-leaf forests and as a lithophyte on the rocks.
Dendrobium orchids have lanceolate, obtuse leaves that are usually 1 to 2 inches long. You can also find variegated leaves depending on the cultivation practices.
It is a deciduous orchid, which means that it loses all its leaves annually and needs rest to rebloom. It likes a cool winter resting period with less water and fertilizer. New leaves start appearing at the end of the winter.
Dendrobium moniliforme is a perennial and is popular for its showy flowers. The plant blooms from winter till the end of summer. It blooms in clusters, and one to three blooms come out of the nodes of older canes.
The blooms are white, and the labellum or the lip is green with brownish-purple spots. They have a yellow blotch at the base of the lip and have a sweet, rosy fragrance. The plant has many hybrid varieties, and their blooms come in different colors and variations.
Dendrobium Moniliforme Care
Dendrobium moniliforme is not a difficult orchid. Like other deciduous orchids, it does not require much water or nutrients to grow well, especially during the winter months. However, there are a few points that you must remember before planting it.
Follow our care tips to know more about place care, such as its light and water requirements, the ideal temperature, the right potting mix, and the fertilization schedule.
– Light Requirements
Dendrobium moniliforme is a great windowsill plant that prefers shaded conditions. It grows well sitting in the east, south, and west-facing windows. Filtered sunlight works the best during summer, and it enjoys full sun during winter. Avoid placing your orchid in direct sunlight during summer, as it can cause leaf burns.
– Water Requirements
Dendrobium moniliforme is a drought-tolerant orchid. During its growing period, water it abundantly and do not let the soil dry out for too long.
Reduce the watering slightly during autumn and reduce the watering sessions further during winter months. It needs less water during the winter months as it goes dormant during the colder season.
Watering every fortnight works well in autumn and every three to four weeks in winter. The time gap may vary depending upon the prevailing conditions in your area. The higher the temperature, the higher will be the water requirements.
Ensure that your pot or container has enough drainage holes, so that excess water drains away. Stagnant water leads to root rot and other fungal diseases. Stop watering when the plant has shed all its leaves.
Maintain moisture by watering only when the soil mix dries out. At the end of winter, these plants usually begin to produce buds and canes. This is when you should water your plant and gradually keep increasing the watering frequency.
– Soil Mix
Dendrobium moniliforme need excellent drainage in pots. It grows the best in a potting mix of staghorn peat mixed with perlite or charcoal. Use small pots for Dendrobium moniliforme as it does not enjoy large containers. Accommodate the plant in the smallest pot according to the plant’s size.
You can also mount your plant on a piece of cork using sphagnum moss. But mounted and suspended plants, in general, require more frequent watering than when they are planted in pots. Remember to change the sphagnum moss regularly. Reuse the old moss only when it has not been decomposed and is clean.
Dendrobium moniliforme is a cold to warm growing orchid. It can naturally tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from cool to warm temperatures.
In summer, it prefers an average daytime temperature between 75 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit and an average nighttime temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the winter months, it prefers an average daytime temperature between 52 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit and an average nighttime temperature between 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Giving a daily temperature difference of 5 to 10 degrees helps the plant to grow fast.
Dendrobium moniliforme needs 80 to 90 percent humidity during the growing period from spring to summer. In winter, the humidity level drops, and it can tolerate a humidity level of 65 percent.
With higher temperatures, the humidity level should also be high. High humidity with good ventilation is the key to Dendrobium moniliforme’s proper growth.
Dry air inhibits the necklace-shaped Dendrobium’s growth. Its leaves start to turn yellow and gradually fall off. In summer, maintain humidity along with air movement around the roots, and during winter, as the temperature falls, humidity and air movement requirements also reduce.
Dendrobium moniliforme is not a heavy-feeder of fertilizers. But fertilizer plays an important role in stimulating flowering.
Fertilizing during the active growth period can improve your plant’s health and promote more blooms every year. During summer and spring, these plants grow new canes and leaves, which is when they require more water and fertilizer.
Fertilize your plant during summer and spring with a liquid-based orchid fertilizer once a week or every two weeks. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer from spring to summer and a phosphorus-rich fertilizer during fall.
It does not need fertilizers during the winter months as there is no new growth during the colder season. Resume fertilizing the plant once some new growth appears or at the beginning of spring.
Dendrobium moniliforme does not need frequent repotting. Repot your plant when it is necessary. The ideal time is when the new roots begin to develop.
After flowering, once you notice some new growth appearing, you can repot the plant. Unnecessary movement hampers the plant’s growth.
Repotting is also required when the moss used around the plant decomposes and disintegrates. When the pseudobulbs start to fall out of the pots, it is time to repot your Dendrobium moniliforme.
Remember not to shift the plant during winter. Wait for spring to arrive, and then you can repot your plant.
If showy and splendid flowers are your favorite, then Dendrobium moniliforme is the plant for you. It is a tough one that can withstand extreme temperatures.
Let us sum up everything we have learned so far about this beautiful orchid.
- Dendrobium moniliforme is an epiphytic orchid species endemic to many countries of Asia
- It is a deciduous orchid which means that it loses all the leaves once a year and needs winter rest with reduced watering and fertilizing
- It has fragrant and showy flowers that bloom from winter to late summer
- It prefers shaded conditions, with filtered sunlight during the growing period
- Water your plant when the soil dries out a bit, water abundantly in summer, and reduce it during autumn and winter months
- Keep the potting mix well-draining by using staghorn peat mixed with perlite or charcoal
- Use a pot with drainage holes to avoid root rot and to maintain the airflow
- It grows well in the daytime temperature range of 75 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit during summer and 52 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit during winter
- It prefers humidity between 80 and 90 percent during summer and about 65 percent during winter
- Repot your orchid when new roots and growth begin to show
- Fertilize your plant with an orchid fertilizer once a week during the growing period
- Repot the plant when new roots begin to develop, or the substrate starts to decompose, whichever happens first
We hope that our care guide helped you clear all the doubts regarding the plant. Now that you know all about the beautiful necklace-shaped Dendrobium, what are you waiting for? Go and get one and fill the garden with the royal scent.