Caring for dendrobium – tips and things worth knowing

Alongside the butterfly orchids (Phalaenopsis), dendrobiums are among the best-known and most popular types of orchids. The Dendrobium group includes more than 1500 different species, all of which grow naturally in either trees or rocks. The growth form of the shoots is characteristic of this orchid family. The name Dendrobium is composed of «dendros» (tree) and «bios» (life) and thus signals the way of life. Dendrobium were originally «arborescent» plants, hence the multitude of aerial roots that are necessary for attachment to the host plants and at the same time enable the uptake of nutrients from the air. Extensive breeding work resulted in a large number of varieties with different flower colours, sizes and shapes.

Worth knowing Location Care Watering Fertilizing Repotting Species Pests & Diseases FAQ

Worth knowing about Dendrobium

Botanical name: Dendrobium hybrids, Dendrobium nobile, Dendrobium phalaenopsis, etc. Other names: Dendrobium, dendrobia, grape orchid Use: indoor plants, potted plants, cut flowers Origin: tropical and subtropical Asia Flowering period: autumn to early summer Flower colors: white, yellow, violet, pink, pink, two-tone Special features: The formation of flowers depends on the species. Dendrobium nobile flowers with 1-3 flowers distributed over the entire stem. Dendrobium phalaenopsis flowers at the end of the stem with a spike of flowers. Depending on the variety, this orchid species can delight with colorful flowers several times a year.

In which location does Dendrobium feel most comfortable?

Dendrobiums come from tropical and subtropical areas, where they live as epiphytes on other plants. This epiphytic growth behavior also results in the demands on the location and the plant substrate. The location for the plant should be bright, but not in the blazing midday sun. A window seat facing east or west is ideal, the tropical beauty does not feel comfortable too far away from the window. The temperature requirements differ depending on the species.

A rule of thumb:

Dendobium nobile: Summer up to 25 °C during the day, 15 °C at night.
Winter not more than 20 °C during the day, 10 °C at night

Dendrobium phalaenopsis: Summer 28-20 °C during the day, 18 °C at night
. Winter: above 18-22 °C, 15-18 °C at night

Our gardening tip: From June to August is for Dendobium. nobile, a sheltered outdoor location is ideal. Bud formation is strongly stimulated by the day-night temperature fluctuations outdoors. Dendrobium phalaenopsis should be in the house all year round.

How do I properly care for my Dendrobium?

After flowering

After the pile, the withered flowers of Dendrobium nobile are removed from the stem. Further shoots grow from the shoot axis, so pruning is not recommended. Only when the shoot axis has completely dried can it be removed. In the case of Dendrobium phalaenopsis, the withered panicle is cut off at the base. A new shoot forms here, which then produces the next panicle with buds.

For Dendrobium nobilis, a dormant period of 8-10 weeks is essential for flowering. During this time, watering and fertilizing are reduced and the changing temperature of day and night is taken into account.

Our gardening tip: Never cut off yellowed leaves, because the risk of damaging the shoots is too great. Despite the visually unattractive view, the leaves should be left on the plant.

How do I water my Dendrobium orchids?

Basically, the houseplant needs a regular and even water supply. It must not become waterlogged or dry out completely. Weekly diving has proven to be the best solution. In this way, the roots and substrate soak up all the water. It is important that the plant can drain for a few minutes after the immersion bath and that no water remains in the planter or saucer. Dendrobium nobile should be kept drier from October to December to keep the dormant phase.

How do I properly fertilize my Dendrobium orchids?

Fertilization every 2 weeks is recommended for optimal growth and bloom. With orchid fertilizer you give the magnificent indoor plants the necessary nutrients in the right mixing ratio. In addition to the well-known liquid fertilizer, it is possible to supply the orchids with fertilizer sticks. These are easy to dose and offer a convenient solution for fertilizing your orchids thanks to the 3-month effect.

Our gardening tip: Dendrobium nobile should go through a dormant phase in autumn. In this case, less water is poured and fertilization is carried out at intervals of 4 weeks. Dendrobium phalaenopsis is fertilized every 14 days throughout the year.

How do I repot my Dendrobium?

It is advisable to transplant the potted plant every 2 to 3 years because the roots have spread and the substrate needs to be changed. Transplanting maintains and promotes the vitality of the orchid and stimulates the formation of buds. The best time for transplanting is April to September, provided the plant is not flowering. How to transplant the exotic houseplant correctly:

  • If you submerge the plant before transplanting, the planter will come loose more easily and the roots will be soaked with water.
  • Remove the existing substrate by gently shaking the flowering plant.
  • Put some orchid soil in the new container and hold the plant in the middle of the container. Now fill fresh orchid substrate around the root system.
  • It is important that the cavities are well filled, but that the roots and the soil are not squeezed. Therefore tap the pot on the side so that the substrate is also distributed between the roots.

Watering is not necessary immediately after transplanting. Light spraying of the soil surface and leaves acts as a wellness for your exotics, because the process of transplanting means a change for the plant and stresses it. Our gardening tip: Choose a pot that is 2-3 cm larger for repotting. The exotics do not need much more volume.

Which Dendrobium species are there?

Dendrobium is an extensive genus that includes over 1500 different species, hybrids and cultivars.

The most common species is Dendrobium nobile. Characteristic of this group is the flower, which blooms distributed over the entire trunk with 1-3 flowers each.

The second large group is Dendrobium phalaenopsis, which forms a spike of flowers at the end of the stem.

What pests and diseases can Dendrobium get?

Given the right conditions and optimal care, dendrobiums are easy-care plants. The following problems can still occur:

Rot in the leaf compartments and leaf spots:

This is often the result when water is poured in from above and remains in the leaf compartments. This can be remedied by consistent watering directly onto the substrate. Spraying the rarity is only recommended on very warm days and with a small dosage.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about Dendrobium

Can Dendrobium be propagated by offshoots?

Vital plants form offshoots and can therefore be easily propagated. These daughter plants are formed on dead stems and consist of leaves and aerial roots. Separating the Kindel is only recommended when the young plant has at least 2 leaves.

What can be the reason that the grape orchid does not bloom again?

Above all, the lack of a cold-blooded climate is the reason for a lack of flower induction in Dendrobium. The dormant phase is largely responsible for renewed flowering. In some cases, standing water and thus a lack of vitality are responsible for the lack of flowers.

What are bulbs in Dendrobium?

Bulbs are storage organs for water and nutrients. In dendrobiums, leaves and stems sprout from these thickened shoots. It is important that green and full bulbs are not cut off.

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