Dendrobium unicum care infographicThe Dendrobium unicum is a type of orchid plant that is pretty easy to grow. There are a thousand reasons why someone would want the plant around them.

Maybe you’d want to grow them for their bright color, or perhaps you’d want their unique aroma gracing your home.

Whatever your reason may be, here we have the collective knowledge and expertise of various florists and gardeners in one blog to answer any query you might have had regarding growing these beautiful plants.

Looking to add beautiful plants to your collection but apprehensive about how to care for them? Let our professional florists be your guide!

Dendrobium Unicum at a Glance

Dendrobium unicum, also called the unique dendrobium, is a member of the orchid family. This plant is originally native to the southeast Asian mainlands of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. You can find them in lowland forests and woodlands growing on rocks and bushes.

These have only been described as recently as the 1970s. These days, as orchids become the hot new favorite plant among florists and gardeners, interest in the as yet lesser known Dendrobium unicum has also grown.

Brightly colored, small-sized, and freshly fragrant, these plants will be a beautiful addition to your garden or home.

So read on because we have compiled here a list of every query you might have had, as a novice, about growing these plants yourselves!

Salient Features: What Does Dendrobium Unicum Look Like?

Here is a small list for you to check on what you should know about the Dendrobium unicum’s appearance.

  • Dendrobium unicum is a small-sized orchid species reaching about 2.8-3.5 inches in height.
  • Like most orchids, it produces pseudo-bulbs, each of which contains several flower spikes. 
  • Typically, one to three flowers bloom per spike.
  • Numerous bright green deciduous leaves surround each pseudo-bulb. Each leaf is about 2-2.8 inches long.
  • The individual flowers are large and measure approximately 1.4-2 inches in diameter.
  • They range from bright orange to a darker, warmer shade.
  • The petals are long, slim, and tapered; and can either be completely open or twisted tightly into each other.
  • Each flower has a large serrated tip pointing upwards. This lip is thickly veined and innervated.

When Is the Best Time to Grow Dendrobium Unicum?

The blooming season of Dendrobium unicum begins late spring and lasts till early summer. It is best to pot or repot it in early spring because that is when new roots start to emerge. The bloom lasts till mid-to-end fall or autumn.

When Is the Best Time to Grow Dendrobium Unicum

The rest of the approximated five to six months, from autumn to the following spring, are typically said to be “rest periods.” During this period, the plant may often appear dead because it is not blooming, but in most cases is not. They only need a bit of warmth to rise again!

How to Grow a Dendrobium Unicum and Care For It?

That’s fairly simple! You can grow it in pots or mount it to tree ferns and corks. However, remember, repotting and planting should be done in early spring.

  • What Pots to Use

Our florists recommend using small-sized pots for this plant.

  • Watering Schedule

During the growth season, you will need to water the plant copiously. Also, ensure that the potting material does not become dry in between watering.

  • Sunlight Exposure

The plant needs shading from spring to autumn, and you should expose it to only medium lighting levels. Many florists recommend keeping these indoors somewhere where there is adequate light.

  • How Often Do You Water the Unicum?

Since these plants are native to regions that receive heavy rainfalls in summer, you will need to water them during the bloom copiously. As mentioned above, the media should not be allowed to dry up completely.

It is recommended to use regular water instead of salt-softened and distilled water. How much you should water them also varies depending on the type of potting media used by considering the material and size of the pot.

  • How to Fertilize the Dendrobium Unicum?

As for fertilizer, you will need to fertilize this plant once at least every week. It is best to use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to use during spring to mid-summer. Another one that is high in phosphorus is recommended to be used during late summer through autumn.

Dendrobium unicum blooming

It is also a useful practice to mix the fertilizer at half or one-fourth the strength recommended by the manufacturer. Once a month, you should use clear water to wash the potting mixture in order to remove any accumulated residual salts from the fertilizer.

  • How Much Light Does It Require?

This plant needs only a moderate amount of light. An approximate amount usually recommended by experts is 25,000 to 40,000 lux. You can put it under direct sunlight as long as the light is not intense enough to burn it. However, we strongly advise you to place it under a shade or indoors near a light source.

  • What Is the Appropriate Amount of Humidity Needed for Growing Dendrobium Unicum?

This plant is native to very humid lands. It thrives in humidity levels as high as 80-85 percent in summers and autumn. During non-growth periods of winters, this level falls to 55 percent.

If you live in areas with low humidity levels, you can use a humidifier for your dendrobium. We have also found that using a shallow tray filled with pebbles around your pot also tends to increase the humidity levels around the plant. However, if you do so, ensure that the pot is not touching the water since this will lead to the roots rotting away.

  • How to Care For Dendrobium During Non-Growth Periods?

Fortunately, Dendrobium is very low-maintenance during its rest phases which last from fall till spring. During these five to six months, you can continue to water them less and less. It becomes possible to allow the potting material to become dry for a while in between watering.

You will also not need to fertilize the plant during the non-blooming period or worry about humidity levels, given that the plant is not exposed to very high variations in temperature and lighting.

During the non-bloom period, you can cut or prune the flowering stems after they emerge from the thin pseudo-bulbs. Don’t cut the pseudo-bulb, though, as no bloom would occur afterward.

  • Ideal Temperatures for Dendrobium Unicum

This orchid can withstand a wide variation of temperature, especially hotter temperatures, if you allow for adequate humidity and ventilation.

The ideal temperature is between 65 to 75 Fahrenheit during the daytime and 55 to 60 Fahrenheit during the night.

  • How Important Is Ventilation for This Plant?

It is vital to maintain proper ventilation near your Dendrobium unicum. If these plants are crowded with each other or other plants, it can lead to insect and fungal infestations. Make sure that this particular species gets the space it needs to thrive.

  • Repotting Dendrobium Unicum

Keep in mind the following pointers while repotting your Dendrobium Unicum;

Repotting Dendrobium Unicum

  1.  Dendrobium unicum should be repotted every two to three years.
  2. The ideal time of the year for repotting is early spring.
  3. You should always use a small pot for these orchids. It is because larger pots tend to slow down growth and produce fewer flowers.

What Does Dendrobium Unicum Smell Like?

This southeast Asian orchid variety exhibits quite a number of fragrances. It has been commonly known to smell like fresh tangerines, which is just the smell you want around you in the summertime.

Some varieties also smell of freshly sharpened crayons or Crayola wax. Not bad either, right? Unfortunately, sometimes this plant has been observed not to exhibit any type of fragrance at all as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you maintain the shape of Dendrobium Unicum?

To maintain the shape of Dendrobium Unicum, you can prune it after blooming, remove dead or diseased parts, and provide support for any long stems.

2. How often should you check the roots of Dendrobium Unicum?

Checking the roots of Dendrobium Unicum every 6-12 months is recommended. Look for healthy white roots and trim any brown or mushy roots.

3. Is Dendrobium Unicum endangered?

Dendrobium Unicum is not currently listed as endangered, but habitat loss and over-collection for the horticultural trade may pose a threat to wild populations.


Ok, so now that’s quite a bit about Dendrobium unicum. We hope we managed to answer your queries by this point. Let us recap all that we’ve got covered so far:

  • Dendrobium unicum is a small-sized plant with orange-colored flowers that bloom during the spring-summer period.
  • Its flowers are small-sized with long, slender petals and a single serrated tip pointing upwards.
  • During active growth, the plant needs lots of water and a medium amount of sunshine.
  • Your dendrobium unicum will need to be fertilized at least once a week and then washed copiously with plain water once a month to rinse away the salt debris.
  • The resting months are from autumn to spring, and during this non-black period, the plant will require less watering and fertilization.
  • Dendrobium unicum requires good ventilation and repotting every 2-3 years.
  • The flowers of this plant smell most often of tangerines or crayons.

As you can see, growing these pretty little plants is not very difficult nor time-consuming. With only a little amount of regular care, you will get to experience the bloom of beautiful, tangerine-smelling flowers all through summer.


And with their dazzling color, these plants are the perfect mood lifters in any space they occupy. So why don’t you go ahead right now and give them a chance!

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