(The Cane Orchid)
How To Keep Your Dendrobium Healthy!
Dendrobiums and their relatives are epiphytes, naturally growing on rocks and trees. They store water and nutrients in a upright structure called a cane, which is a modified pseudobulb. Leaves are produced along the cane.
Light: Bright indirect light. Ideally, early morning direct light as in an east window. West windows are good provided direct sun is not on the orchid. Evening sun is okay. A south window with defused light or away from the direct sunlight. The foliage should be medium green color, indicating the orchid is getting enough light to flower.
Temperature: The ideal temperature during the day is 75 to 90°F. Higher temperatures to 100°F will require less light and more air movement to prevent sunburn on the leaves. Night temperatures can range from 55-65°F.
Watering: Watering should be done in the morning hours. You can water heavy overhead, or soak potted orchid in the sink for ten minutes. In cold areas, the water temperature should not be below 45°F. Water is an essential nutrient for plant development. In moderate light water once every 5 to 7 days in winter, and 3 to 4 days in summer. This may need to be increased in bright light conditions. When in doubt, check the bottom of the pot, if it looks dry, then water. Watering with ice cubes in NOT recommended.
Special note: Orchids in decorative containers should be watered once a week with 1/3 cup of water. Allow 1-5 minutes of soaking, then tilt container to drain excess.
Feeding: Dendrobiums are heavy feeders and require fertilizing every second watering. Use Gubler’s Pro Blend Orchid Food 19-8-16. This formula is exactly what we use to grow our Dendrobiums. By feeding every second watering, you will be feeding more during the longer days of summer when the orchid is growing faster, and less in the shorter days of winter when the Dendrobium is growing slower.
Repotting: Should be done once every 12 to 18 months. It is best to repot after the Dendrobium is done flowering. Plants that have overgrown their container should be potted into a suitable container the next size larger. You may choose any container, provided it has good bottom drainage. Plastic containers become too light in 8” sizes and larger, making your plant top heavy. We do not recommend pots with slits on the side. Transplant using Gubler’s Orchid Grow Mix Coarse Grade for containers four inch or larger, and fine grade for seedlings in three inch pots or smaller.
What to expect: Dendrobiums flowers have been used in floral arrangements for hundreds of years. Most Dendrobiums flower in the fall season, producing one to four flower stalks with 8 to 12 blooms. As the plant gets larger so do the flower stalks. Flowers last from four to eight weeks, depending on growing conditions. Some Dendrobiums can grow six to eight feet in height. Occasionally a plantlet is formed on the cane of the plant. This is called a Keiki. You may remove this plantlet once roots begin to develop. Dendrobiums grow well with Cattleyas and Phalaenopsis. They are a good beginner orchid, and make a wonderful addition to any orchid collection.
There are over 1,000 Dendrobiums species.
We grow three basic types of Dendrobiums. the Phalaenanthe (Phal type) ,
and Spatulatata (Antelope type), and Nobile.