The Dendrobium nobile is a commonly-grown orchid variety that has pseudobulbs. This ornamental plant produces charming flowers that have a pleasant aroma.
By providing the proper care and environment to this precious plant, your garden can become a center of attraction.
Read this guide to gain expert ideas on how to parent the dendrobium nobile so that you can change your home atmosphere.
- What Is Dendrobium Nobile?
- Dendrobium Nobile Care
What Is Dendrobium Nobile?
Dendrobium nobile is an epiphytic plant that has upright stems with canes and oval-shaped green leaves that have a leathery texture. The long-lasting colorful flowers of the Dendrobium nobile produce a delightful aroma and can grow up to three inches long.
Dendrobium Nobile Care
Naturally, Dendrobium nobile grows well on tree trunks and rocks, but this should not hinder you from taking care of it as a houseplant. Provide all the necessary requirements for this plant to grow well indoors and enjoy the results.
– Water Requirements
Watering patterns for the Dendrobium nobile differ with seasons.
– Spring and Summer
During its active season, which is spring and summer, the plant needs to be watered more frequently. The substrate gets dry quickly due to high temperatures that are associated with the summer and spring.
You can water the Dendrobium nobile once on a weekly basis and it should be in the morning. This will give the leaves ample time to dry during the day and avoid bacterial growth overnight.
In the winter, your Dendrobium nobile should be watered once or twice a month. The temperatures are lower during this period and so is the evaporation rate.
The substrate will stay moist for longer than it would during the summer. The Dendrobium nobile is also passive in winter, so watering is only done to keep the plant alive and healthy.
Remember to check if the soil is 90 percent dry prior to the next watering. You should irrigate your Dendrobium nobile thoroughly until the water starts to come out through the draining holes.
A slight impoverishment of Dendrobium nobile with regard to water enables the plant to start developing new blooms and buds. Once the new growths are visible, it’s now time to switch to the summer watering conditions.
– Light Requirements
Unlike most orchids, the Dendrobium nobile can tolerate more light, although it thrives well under indirect bright light conditions. The Dendrobium nobile can only be exposed to direct sunlight in winter or in the mornings and late afternoons of the summer to avoid leaf scorch.
Place the plant on an east-facing window in summer and a south-facing one during winter so that the orchid will get enough filtered sunlight.
Lack of light can cause your plant to produce a flower pistil of poor quality. The plant can also become leggy and unhealthy as it will be trying to grow toward the light. If your room is not providing enough sunlight, consider growing the Dendrobium nobile outside under the shade.
– Artificial Lights
You can also purchase a fluorescent light to provide artificial light, mostly in winter. Do not place the fluorescent light too close to the Dendrobium nobile to avoid burning the plant.
The light produces heat and increases the rate of transpiration so the plant will definitely dry if the problem is not rectified early. Too much heat will cause the Dendrobium nobile to lose more water than it can take up within a given period of time.
– Soil Requirements
Naturally, Dendrobium orchids grow well on the rocks and trees. You should use the substrate that will meet the needs of these air plants.
A substrate that is well-aerated and with the ability to drain water easily is ideal for the Dendrobium nobile. You can buy an orchid mix or make your own by mixing perlite, coconut husk and coarse pine park. The potting mix should also retain moisture for a bit longer to avoid frequent watering.
– Temperature Requirements
The Dendrobium nobile orchids prefer a room temperature range of 65 F to 85 F from spring to summer. This temperature stimulates the development of blooms every year.
However, the plant can also tolerate winter temperatures that are between 50 F and 60 F. Always keep night temperatures cool to promote the successful formation of new buds and flowers.
You can test the temperature and if you notice that it is very low, artificial heat may be the best alternative to remedy the situation. You can provide a heater to regulate the room temperature that is very low due to snow or frost. Remember to constantly monitor the temperature so that it will not exceed the ideal range, as too much heat can lead to leaf burn.
– Humidity Requirements
The Dendrobium nobile prefers high humidity levels of 50 to 70 percent. While exposed to such conditions, the room should be well-ventilated to enhance adequate air circulation.
This way, the moisture in the room will be moderated naturally so that the plant will not be vulnerable to fungal diseases.
If the windows are not providing enough air, you can use a fan. Alternatively, you can also use a hygrometer to test the humidity as the Dendrobium nobile can suffer in very low humidity levels.
You can use a humidifier, humidity tray, or mist the plant leaves to achieve the average humidity conditions that are suitable for growing Dendrobium nobile. If you decide to hydrate the plant’s atmosphere using a humidity tray, make sure that your Dendrobium nobile is not standing in water.
– Fertilizing Requirements
You need to add an orchid fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season of the Dendrobium nobile, which is from spring to summer. Dilute the fertilizer to half-strength to weaken the salts.
In the period from September to February, you can stop fertilizing the Dendrobium nobile so that it can start to bloom. You can then immediately resume when you notice the new growths at the plant base to boost their growth.
Do not over-fertilize the Dendrobium nobile so that you protect the plant from root burn and possible ultimate death. Over-fertilization can also promote the growth of many keikis or offshoots. Keikis will compete for nutrients with the mother plant. You should either trim them off or use them for propagation.
Do not apply any fertilizer in winter. The Dendrobium nobile will be in its dormancy stage so no additional nutrients will be required.
Trimming can only be done when the Dendrobium nobile flowers fade away. Cut the flowers only, leaving the stems because blooms develop from the same stalk the following year. The stalks also store energy that can be used for plant growth and the development of new canes. Keikis can also be trimmed off if you do not need them for propagation.
Your cutting tools should be clean, sharp and disinfected so that you can leave a healthy cut that can easily heal.
The Dendrobium nobile favors being root bound so repotting is not done regularly. You should repot the plant when the potting mix loses its ability to drain excess water properly.
Repotting Dendrobium orchid can also be done if the roots and canes are now big enough to be contained in the pot. Repotting Dendrobium nobile is usually done every two to three years.
The best time to repot this plant is after its flowering phase. Repotting the Dendrobium nobile at any other time can hinder flower and bud formation. Do not also repot when the plant has flowers already, as this can automatically terminate their lives before they reach maturity.
Repotting can facilitate the removal of the Dendrobium nobile rhizomes from the mother plant. Each individual rhizome should have at least three canes for it to be separated from the main plant.
Repot your Dendrobium nobile in a pot that is two inches wider than the old one. Rinse the plant roots and trim the dead roots prior to transferring your plant into a new pot.
Most orchids are not propagated using stem cuttings and seeds. Cuttings are not easy to use as they usually end up rotting in the potting mix instead of developing new roots.
Dendrobium nobile can be propagated successfully using keikis and rhizomes.
– Using Keikis (Shoots)
The Dendrobium nobile plant can be propagated using keikis that develop on the mother plant canes. Keikis develop their roots while they are still attached to the main plant.
Gently remove the shoots from the stem when they have a few leaves and at least four roots that are almost two inches long. You should cut the plant stem at about two inches above and below the node when removing the keikis.
Take keikis from a healthy Dendrobium nobile to avoid failure and transmitting pests and diseases to the new plants. The potting mix should be ready before cutting the shoots from the mother plant.
You should immediately plant the Keikis in moist substrate and water it thoroughly. Place your new Dendrobium nobile plant at a warm spot that is free from direct sunlight.
The plant can start to flower after one year of proper care from the day you propagate it. Each cane can produce around 50 flowers and the Dendrobium nobile will create a spectacular floral display.
– Using Rhizomes
Use a sharp, disinfected shear or knife to sever the rhizome between sympodials. You should leave four to six canes on each pseudobulb. You can also use rhizomes that do not have pseudobulbs to propagate the Dendrobium nobile. Just cut the rhizome with a maximum of four eyes for the best results.
Place your rhizomes in moist sphagnum peat. Make sure the room is circulating air properly and provide low light until the plant is established. Remember to also mist the potting mix twice a day to keep the substrate moist, not wet.
You can transfer your new Dendrobium nobile to its permanent pot when it has developed new growths. The Dendrobium nobile can also be propagated from the seemingly dead pseudobulbs. Make sure their eyes are facing up when you plant them in the sphagnum peat, as the plant develops stems from those eyes on the rhizome.
Like most plants, Dendrobium nobile can also be affected by pests and diseases. Regularly look out for the problems that we will discuss in this section so that you can deal with them as early as possible.
– Drying Out
Dendrobium nobile leaves can dry out when they are supplied with a limited amount of water or none at all for an extended period of time. The plant leaves will start to wilt, the leaf color will turn brown, and it will finally become crunchy.
If your Dendrobium nobile goes thirsty for a prolonged period, the plant can dry permanently. Follow the watering patterns perfectly, and take into consideration the climatic conditions you are experiencing and the relevant seasons.
– Yellow Leaves
Old yellow leaves can be seen on the Dendrobium nobile orchid soon after the blooming phase. Do not panic when this happens to your plant because deciduous naturally shed their old leaves when the flowering stage is complete. But if you notice yellowing on new growths, that should be a cause for concern.
Under or overwatering the Dendrobium nobile can cause yellowing of the leaves. If the leaves are lacking in water, they crumble when you crunch them between your fingers. This can also be caused by sunburn, so you should check the potting mix to confirm if it’s a shortage of water or too much sun.
The Dendrobium nobile leaves will not crumble if the plant is overwatered. In this case, you need to check if the Dendrobium nobile is not waterlogged. There might be a need to repot the plant with new potting mix if it is not draining excess water as expected.
Check for fungal infections during the process of repotting so that you can trim the affected areas if possible or discard the whole plant if the infection is severe.
– Fungal and Bacterial Diseases
Overwatering and very high humidity conditions can cause fungal and bacterial diseases. Back spots on the leaves, stems and roots are the signs of infection. Botrytis, pyllosticta, as well as fungal pythium and phytophthora are examples of fungal and bacterial diseases that can affect the Dendrobium nobile.
You should look out for these diseases more often so that you can treat them before they cause more harm and become too difficult to control.
Make sure the plant pot has drainage holes and the potting mix does not compact easily to avoid the risk of waterlogging the plant. Also, monitor your watering patterns so that you do not overdo it.
Always irrigate when the topsoil has dried out completely. Check the humidity levels every now and then so that you can maintain the ideal range.
You can buy recommended fungicides and bactericides to treat the affected Dendrobium nobile. You can also use home remedies like a cinnamon solution to do away with these diseases. Most home remedies do not have harmful chemicals as ingredients so they are safe to use.
When the leaves of the Dendrobium nobile are infected with a virus, they become streaked and blotched with yellow or red colors. Viruses cannot be cured, so the only available option is to discard the infected plant. Quarantine the infected Dendrobium nobile immediately when you notice an infection and then destroy it.
If you want to keep the plant, make sure it is far away from other healthy ones. Separate all the tools that you use on the infected plant as the disease can easily spread through the use of tools or flying insects.
Scales are small, brown insects that are circular in shape. These insects are legless and headless, and that’s how they achieve a circular shape. Female scales are the ones that attack your plants and they find it difficult to move from where they are once they mature. They remain in one place and start to multiply.
Scales are sucking pests so they damage the plant leaves. They use a straw-like appendage to suck the sap from the plant foliage.
The scales love to feed on the new, fresh leaves of the plant. Dendrobium nobile leaves will slowly change color due to lack of the chlorophyll, which has already been sucked.
You should check for scale on the undersides of the plant’s leaves. Once you notice that your Dendrobium nobile has been attacked by scales, isolate the plant right away and treat it.
Scales can be difficult to control, so you should repeatedly rub alcohol on the plant leaves until you are 100 percent sure that the insects are fully gone.
– Fungus Gnats
The fungus gnat’s larva affects the roots of the Dendrobium nobile. Once the roots are damaged, stunted plant growth happens. The plant can eventually die if the pest is not controlled in time. The adult gnat is not harmful, so make sure you destroy them before they reproduce.
Dendrobium nobile can also be attacked by thrips, mealybugs and mites. You can use Neem oil or insecticidal soap to destroy all these pests. Take proper care of your Dendrobium nobile so that it won’t be vulnerable to pests.
How do I know if my Dendrobium Nobile needs repotting?
Look for signs such as overgrown roots, yellowing leaves, or the plant toppling over. Gently remove from the pot to inspect roots.
Does Dendrobium Nobile rebloom on old stems?
Yes, if the stem is healthy and has nodes. Prune the old stem after flowering, and new growth should emerge from the nodes.
Why is my Dendrobium Nobile growing roots but no stem?
Insufficient light or water, or a dormant phase. Check environmental conditions and wait patiently for growth.
You have acquired all the crucial tips to care for the Dendrobium nobile. Let’s quickly go through the main points once again so that you can grow your own plant and beautify your home garden.
- Dendrobium nobile thrives well under indirect, bright light. Consider growing this plant indoors for best results.
- You should use a well-draining substrate when growing the Dendrobium nobile so that the air can circulate freely.
- Always check for moisture content before the next watering.
- Dendrobium nobile can be propagated using shoots and rhizomes. These two methods are fast and effective.
- Dendrobium nobile is fairly resistant to pests and diseases. Scales are the most common pests that can attack the plant.
With all these tips, you are now good to start caring for your own Dendrobium nobile the best way possible. Happy gardening!
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