Dendrobium spectabile care infographicDendrobium spectabile is a sure fire-fan-favorite amongst all orchid lovers. Also called The Grand Dendrobium, one can never fully describe it to someone else using just words.

Bizarre flower shapes, odd heights, hypnotizing colors, and that signature orchid fragrance, the grand dendrobium, require different care from other Dendrobium species.

So, although growing this orchid may seem like a daunting task at first, especially if you’re a newbie, it is sure to become a plant that you’re most proud to grow. Besides, you’re not alone!

We have picked the ears of orchid experts and professional florists the world over to bring you the basics of planting and growing these right in your homes.

Dendrobium Spectabile

Dendrobium spectabile is a type of orchid that grows to be several feet tall.

Unlike most orchids, it is popularly sought after due to its semi-sweet intense fragrance, bright foliage, and the size mentioned above.

It is originally native to Australia, Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea and was introduced and described worldwide by Friedrich Anton Wilhelm Miquel in 1859.

Whether you are an avid orchid enthusiast or someone who simply wants to have these gorgeous plants brightening up your house, we want to ensure that you will not regret investing your time and money in the Grand Dendrobium!

So choose the right location in your house or office to keep these beauties and read ahead!

Identifying Dendrobium Spectabile

Spectrabile is one of the most exotic-looking members of the orchid family. The following are some of its most outstanding features. They’re pretty hard to miss once you’ve read on.

  • How It Looks

Dendrobium spectabile is a medium to large-sized plant. Its basic parts are as follows:

– The Pseudobulbs/Stem

Most orchids produce storage organs called pseudobulbs that are basically thickened portions of stems between leaf nodes. These pseudobulbs give rise to cylindrical roots.

Dendrobium spectabile flowers

The stems of Dendrobium spectabile are thin at the base and thicken as it grows upwards. These continue to grow for almost ten years and can reach up to three feet long.

– The Flowers

This orchid produces the most exciting-looking flowers. Here’s how you can identify them:

  • Each stem of the Dendrobium spectabile produces flowers at the top node.
  • The flowers bloom as racemes or clusters of a few to about twenty flowers each.
  • The petals and sepals of the spectabile flowers are often so twisted around each other that they might even prevent the bud from completely opening.
  • The petals are mostly cream or pale greenish, or yellowish in color. These are superimposed by purplish or reddish spots and veins.
  • These spots and veins are not present near the petal apices or edges.
  • The lip of the flower is yellowish with a cream-colored base.
  • The average size of dendrobium spectabile flowers is about three inches in approximate diameter.


– The Leaves

  • About four to five leaves grow from various nodes along each plant stem.
  • The leaves are about 8 to 16 inches long.
  • The shape of the leaves varies from one plant to the next.

Dendrobium Spectabile Fragrance

Very few orchid species are blessed with fragrance, and luckily, spectabile is one of them. In fact, it gives off such a strong semi-sweet fragrance that you will be able to smell it across the room both day and night time.

Blooming Season for Dendrobium Spectabile

The blooming period for Dendrobium spectabile is late winter and early spring. However, like the evergreens of the orchid family, you can get your spectabile to flower throughout the year if proper care is dispensed to it.

Proper Humidity Levels for Dendrobium Spectabile

This is a plant that thrives on high levels of humidity. Ideal humidity levels evaluated are found to be 75 to 80 percent throughout the year.

If you live in an area where you struggle with maintaining such levels naturally, here are some ways you can increase the humidity around your plants otherwise:

  1. Get a humidifier! That is the easiest and best option you have; if that is a bit on the pricier side, then go for the second option mentioned below.
  2. Take a pebble tray with water underneath and place your pot on it. This is a great way to increase humidity. Just make sure the pot’s underside sits on the pebbles and does not touch the water below.
  3. Another method would be to group together a few water-loving plants.
  4. Misting the plant at regular intervals is another option.

Growing Dendrobium Spectabile at Home

Follow these few easy steps to plant and grow the grand Dendrobiums at home by yourself.

– Getting Started

  • Repotting is best done in early spring.
  • Take the rhizomes from old plants and plant them in moist soil with good circulation.
  • Twice a day, moist the soil until new shoots appear.
  • Shift to a bigger pot next when you deem fit.
  • Dendrobium spectabile can be grown in tree ferns, corks, or pots with an airy, quick-drying substrate.
  • Make sure you fulfill the plant’s adequate watering, light and fertilizing requirements.
  • Always be on the lookout for pests and insects. If you suspect an infestation, take immediate action with the appropriate insecticide or pesticide.

– The Ideal Soil Required for Dendrobium Spectabile

Choosing the right soil for potting can be a headache.

Dendrobium spectabile Soil Requierments

The following is a list of some ideal characteristics for the soil you should be using:

  • The soil should be breathable.
  • It should have proper drainage so that water does not needlessly accumulate in the pot.
  • Our experts recommend using an equal amount of potting mixture with moss or peat to plant the Grand Dendrobiums in.

– Proper Lighting for Dendrobium Spectabile

  • The Spectabile is unique among the Dendrobium family due to its affinity for direct sunlight. It will not grow much without direct, intense light.
  • These orchids will continue to grow and bloom even in partial shade, but you will need to acclimatize them to sunlight if you want to experience a full bloom.
  • A light level of 15,000 to 35,000 lux or about 5,000-foot candles in the form of filtered sunlight will definitely yield more flowers.

– Proper Watering for Dendrobium Spectabile

A healthy plant requires a proper watering schedule. Read below to find the best one for spectabile

  • Dendrobium spectabile needs moist soil at all times.
  • Water your plants at least 3-5 times per week.
  • Keep a close look at these orchids; water right away if you notice the soil getting dry or if you find yourself unable to maintain adequate humidity levels.
  • Remember, overwatering leads to root rot, so steer well away from it.

– Required Temperatures for Dendrobium Spectabile

  • Throughout the day, the ideal temperatures are 84 – 89 Fahrenheit or 29 – 32 Celsius.
  • At nighttime, the temperatures needed are 66 – 70 Fahrenheit or 19 – 21 Celsius.

– Fertilizing Dendrobium Spectabile

Fertilizer is vital for plants. For fertilizing the Dendrobium Spectabile, we would recommend that you:

  • Use any good fertilizer at one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dosage for orchids.
  • You don’t need to fertilize these too often: only once or twice per week.
  • Choose a fertilizer that has an adequately healthy amount of nitrogen. Remember, too much nitrogen is unhealthy for roots.

– Repotting Dendrobium Spectabile

Repotting entails transferring plants from one pot or growth media to the next, slightly bigger one. It is conducive to their growth.

Repotting Dendrobium Spectabile

  • For Dendrobium spectabile, repotting can be done at any time of the year if you judge the plant to be outgrowing its current pot.
  • The ideal time for repotting is, of course, at the beginning of the growing season.
  • Each time you repot, use a pot that is bigger than the last one by two to three inches.

– Pruning and Grooming Dendrobium Spectabiles

The good news is, except for regular watering and occasional fertilizing, this plant doesn’t need much in the way of pruning and grooming. However, our florists recommend:

  • Removing all or any dead leaves from the plant
  • Wipe and dust the plant clean
  • Mist it lightly

This will keep your orchids looking fresher and healthier.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can dendrobium spectabile be trained to produce more branches?

To train dendrobium spectabile to produce more branches, prune the plant regularly and provide it with adequate light, water, and nutrients.

2. Can I use sphagnum moss for Dendrobium spectabile

Yes, sphagnum moss can be used for Dendrobium spectabile as it retains moisture well and provides good aeration for the roots.

3. How do I store Dendrobium spectabile bulbs?

Store Dendrobium spectabile bulbs in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area with temperatures around 15-20°C. Keep the bulbs dry but not completely dehydrated.


Now that you have covered the basics of everything you need to know in order to grow Dendrobium spectabile, we hope you feel a little less daunted to try it yourself.


Here is a quick recap of every query we have cleared so far.

  • Dendrobium spectabile is among the giants of the orchid family: growing up to three feet long.
  • These are evergreens and continue to bloom throughout the year producing racemes of cream/burgundy/ yellowish mixed flowers.
  • These plants need about 75 to 80 perfect humidity levels.
  • Repotting is best done in early spring.
  • Dendrobium spectabile needs watering three to five times per week. Do Not allow the soil to become dry.
  • This orchid species thrive on intense light. Direct sunlight will produce the richest blooms.
  • Plant these in a mixture of breathable soil with peat or moss.

In short, even though the Dendrobium spectabile looks like an intimidating project at first, trust us as we say this: with only a little bit of time, effort, and money, you will be able to experience these orchids in their full glory all year round, making your heart flutter every time you see them!

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