There are many varieties of Dendrobium orchids, however, D. nobile are the most widely grown in this area. They are extremely variable in color and size. The plants are upright, growing as high as 24” tall, with somewhat zigzag stems. Leaves are thick and fleshy, usually 2” to 4” long. They bloom mostly early spring to summer. Dendrobiums are among the easiest to grow of all orchids, hence they are heartily recommended to all collectors.
Dendrobiums are best grown in pots with very well drained potting medium. They will not tolerate stale conditions at the roots; hence drainage is an extremely important factor in their successful cultivation. Fir bark is the most common potting medium used in this area; however, osmunda or chopped tree fern fiber is also used. While actively growing Dendrobiums require copious quantities of moisture and bright light and will take considerable heat. During cooler months, as the new growths harden, water should be all but stopped in order to harden the pseudobulbs and induce formation of flower buds.
Dendrobiums benefit from frequent and liberal applications of fertilizers, though feeding should be ceased during their resting period in cooler months. We recommend using Osmocote 14-14-14 or water soluble 20-20-20 and follow the instructions on the package.
Propagation of new plants is easily done from ‘keikis’ which form on older growth. Cut them off as clean as possible when “air roots” have formed to about 1” long.