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The Ultimate Dendrobium Care Guide: 31 Tips You Should Know

The Ultimate Dendrobium Care Guide: 31 Tips You Should Know

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The Dendrobium orchid is a tropical plant with unique features that make it an excellent addition to any plant lover’s collection.

For newer growers, orchids can feel overwhelming. But have no fear! This article will provide you with everything you need to know to keep your Dendrobium happy.

If you’re looking to buy one for yourself, we’ll discuss various dendrobium care options to check out. Read on to learn more about the interesting attributes that make this plant special.

What Is A Dendrobium orchid?

A Dendrobium is a type of orchid, sometimes called Dendrobium orchid, Dendrobium orchid plants, or simply orchid. Whatever the name, it’s known for its showy spray of flowers.

Dendrobium is tropical and alluring because of its elliptical leaves. There are many types of Dendrobium orchids, typically split into five key groups: Dendrobium, Dendrobium latouria, Dendrobium spatulata, Dendrobium formosae and Dendrobium phalaenopsis.

These plants can be grown as houseplants near a south-facing window, and it can also be grown outside in hardiness zones 9-12.

Origin And Family

The Dendrobium genus is part of the orchidaceae family. It is one of the largest orchid groups, with nearly 2,000 species. 

The forests of Asia are home to these plants, and they’re often spotted growing on tree branches in nature, meaning they’re epiphytes. While the species differ in appearance, they are all recognized for their abundant blooms in a range of pastel tones. Some species bloom down the length of their stems, while others only bloom at the tips.

The Dendrobium orchid has become a popular indoor plant in recent years, thriving in most households that give it plenty of humidity and light.

Olaf Swartz first described this enticing plant in 1799. It produces small to medium flowers seasonally, with specific varieties producing fragrant flowers in white, yellow, orange, green, pink, purple, or brown colors.

Where To Buy

If you are looking to buy a Dendrobium, we have great buying experiences with online sellers from Etsy. The fairly affordable prices for this plant typically range between $30 for small plants and $50 for larger or more mature plants.

Dendrobium Plant Size

The Dendrobium orchid is a plant that grows approximately 1-4 feet tall indoors. It thrives well near a south-facing window because of its height capacity, light requirements, and high humidity needs.

Dendrobium Care Needs

When properly cared for, your Dendrobium will thrive like any other houseplant. With its showy spray of flowers, this plant adores humidity and wants relatively moist soil throughout the year.

You’ll want to water your Dendrobium when the top few inches have slightly dried out. This alluring plant needs bright indirect light to thrive in terms of lighting.

When mature Dendrobium plants start producing keikis (baby plants), pay close attention. Keikis are often produced when an orchid is stressed. Asexually creating a Keiki may be an orchid’s greatest chance of passing on its genes if it is dying.

Care Difficulty

Dendrobium orchids are easy to care for with the proper light and an orchid potting mix.

Growth Rate

With good care, the Dendrobium orchid Plants grow to a mature height of 1-4 feet as houseplants. You should see faster growth in the spring, given optimal conditions.

The majority of Dendrobium species grow at a moderate-to-fast rate.

Potting

A Dendrobium plant makes a beautiful floral centerpiece. They generally prefer small pots with good drainage. The size of the pot is an important consideration when growing this attractive plant. Small-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pots work fine.

Repotting

You should plan to repot your orchid on an as-needed basis – usually every two to three years. This plant grows moderately fast, so you may need to do it more often than other plants.

You can (should) use a new batch of orchid potting media when repotting.

Related Article: How To Repot Orchids With Air Roots

Soil

Orchids don’t grow in traditional potting soil but rather a special mixture that mimics their native habitat. Use a commercial orchid potting medium for your orchid species. You can also make your own potting mix by adding peat moss, perlite, sphagnum, or fir bark mix. 

While it’s true that this plant likes a relatively moist potting mix, you also need adequate drainage to keep root rot and fungal diseases at bay. 

These are some soil options we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $10.39
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Black Gold 1310102...image Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control $15.54
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $14.98
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

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pH

Your Dendrobium orchid plants prefer acidic soil, so keep the pH between 6.0 and 6.5. If you’re concerned about acidity, you may test your soil using a basic pH tester.

Use sulfur or aluminum sulfate to control high pH levels in your soil. Calcitic or dolomitic lime, baking soda, or wood ash can be added to raise the pH.

Water

The watering frequency depends on the temperature and humidity in your plant’s environment. In general, a moist growth medium is preferred by your Dendrobium orchid.

Overwatering your Dendrobium orchid will kill it. It’s time to water your plant after the top few inches have dried up significantly. To minimize fungal infections, water directly on the soil and avoid wetting the leaves.

Allow the water to drain through the pot’s bottom. If your plant is sitting in a collecting tray, remember to empty it.

Light

Your plant may burn if there is too much strong light. Move your plant away from the window or use drapes and blinds to block the light if this occurs.

Your Dendrobium, on the other hand, will not blossom if it does not receive enough light. In this situation, you may relocate your plant closer to a window and add grow lights to complement it. The following artificial lighting products are recommended:

Fertilizer

Plants, like people, need more food when they are actively growing because they are using up a lot of their energy. For orchids, this growth phase usually happens in spring. During this time, you can apply a balanced orchid fertilizer every week.

In the winter months, you only need to fertilize once a month because plants’ roots usually go dormant and go in their rest period in the cold. This means they won’t need extra food for growth.

Humidity And Aeration

Dendrobium is a beautiful plant that thrives in humid environments. Keep the humidity level between 50% and 70% at all times.

Check the air moisture level in your Dendrobium’s region using a simple hygrometer. If the humidity value is too low, try the following steps to raise it:

• Because plants leak moisture from their leaves through transpiration, keeping houseplants close together will help them.

• Underneath your plant’s pot, place a flat tray of stones and water. The plant gets some nutrition from the evaporating water.

• For your plants, get a humidifier. This will continuously emit steam, improve air circulation, and enhance the humidity level in the room.

Temperature

Generally, warm temperatures are best for your Dendrobium orchid Plants plant. This can range between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bigger consideration for this plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily damage the Dendrobium orchid Plants. Protect your plant against cold drafts by closing windows and sealing any opening in cold weather. Keep it away from heat vents that can dry the foliage and cooler temperatures that may cause cold damage.

Flowers

Dendrobium orchids may produce (although rarely indoors) flowers that are white, yellow, orange, green, pink, purple, or brown in color. Outdoors during its flowering period, this plant blooms seasonally. Its delicate flowers may last for roughly six to eight weeks.

Non-Toxic

The orchids are non-toxic to humans, including children. Furthermore, according to the ASPCA, ingesting a Dendrobium would not hurt dogs or cats.

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Is your Dendrobium struggling? Have no fear. Listed below we’ve included some of the common ailments and cures for this tropical plant.

Unfortunately, Denbrobiums aren’t particularly resistant to pests, meaning you’ll need to spend extra time keeping them healthy.

Here are some of our top tips.

Spider Mites

Houseplants can sometimes bring unwelcome visitors to your home in the form of pests. One example of such is the spider mite. Adult mites can be seen fast scampering around when startled, but the larvae are next to invisible.

Spraying diluted neem oil on your plant’s leaves can help eliminate spider mite larvae. Adult mites can also be killed using organic Pyrethrin sprays. If you’re spraying pesticides indoors, make sure you use items that aren’t harmful to humans if breathed.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are one of the most common pests seen on Dendrobium orchids, known for attacking roots, causing poor growth and wilting.

Bottom-watering, which involves submerging your plant in a bowl of water, can help minimize the quantity of fungus gnats. This will keep the topsoil dry while also providing nutrients to the roots. Gnats are discouraged from laying eggs if a layer of sand is placed on the soil.

Fungus gnat larvae are killed by a plant-safe chemical called hydrogen peroxide. Soak your soil in a four-part water and and one-part hydrogen peroxide solution to get rid of these pests.

Powdery Mildew

Heat and poor air circulation cause powdery mildew, a fungal illness. A white web-like material will swiftly cover the leaves of your orchid species, indicating its presence.

To cure powdery mildew, use this simple DIY recipe: 5 mL neem oil, 5 mL non-bleach mild dish soap, 3 grams baking soda, and 1 Liter water Spray your plant’s leaves liberally with this solution reapply as needed.

Keep your plant away from direct sun and heat to minimize leaf burn after spraying.

White Flies

Whiteflies are triangular bugs that are grayish-white in color and flutter around like small moths. By feeding on the sap of your Dendrobium orchid, they can cause considerable leaf damage.

Whiteflies and their eggs may be vacuumed out, but make sure to empty the bag outside before the pests spread.

Spray the leaves with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil if you are experiencing a severe infestation. The eggs, larvae, and adults will be suffocated by these compounds. As required, reapply for the therapy you want.

Scale Insects

Scales are insects that eat plant sap and feed on it. The mature scale will latch onto one area of the plant and stay put, distinguishing them from other bugs. 

To prevent scales from latching onto your Dendrobium, dilute a teaspoon of neem oil in 500 mL of water and spray it over the plant’s leaves.

While not a full-proof plan, ladybugs or lacewings eat scale insects, so you could introduce them near your plants and let them get to work.

Aphids

Aphids are tiny insects that feed on your orchids’ sap. Some aphids are flying, whereas others are crawling. Brown, black, red, green, white, and a variety of additional hues are possible.

Aphids can be found on the undersides of leaves, on unfolded shoots, and on fragile regions of the stem. If you come across these insects (typically in a group), act swiftly to prevent them from spreading to your other plant babies.

To combat these little terrors, do the following:

  1. Start by covering the soil with plastic wrap or a plastic bag.
  2. Take a soft rag or sponge to gently wash the plant with soapy water.
  3. Try to get all the surfaces of the plant’s leaves and stem. 

When you’re done with that, place the Dendrobium in a shadier area that has decent ventilation. This will help protect the leaves from reacting poorly to the soapy residue. To be extra safe, you might place an oscillating fan nearby. 

Spray your orchids with neem oil, horticultural oil, or rubbing alcohol if the pests return. It’s important to remember to dilute these products first.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs may infest your Dendrobium orchid plants. These tiny parasites weaken your plant by sucking on the sap. The honeydew that they secrete can also invite fungal diseases.

Mealybugs are visibly oval bugs that appear as cottony masses on all parts of plants. They will either stay immobile or crawl slowly.

To fight against a mealybug invasion, take a cotton swab, soak it in rubbing alcohol, and rub it over the elliptical-shaped leaves or any affected areas of the pant. I also recommend neem oil mixed with water as a preventive spray.

Brown Leaf Tips

The edges of your Dendrobium orchid’s leaves may turn brown. One of the common reasons is that it’s not getting the sufficient amount of moisture that it needs, both from the air and through its roots. Water your plant on time and check if the humidity level in its location is consistent with its needs.

You may also need to consider the amount and frequency that you apply fertilizers. Overfeeding can burn your houseplants’ foliage, typically manifested as browning edges on their leaves.

Drooping Leaves

Dendrobium leaves that are drooping are usually an indicator that the plant is thirsty. In this instance, watering your plant will typically bring it back to life.

At first, pest-infested plants may have drooping, curled leaves. They will, however, acquire additional symptoms such as spots, stunted development, and a general loss in health in the future. If you think you have a big problem, always inspect the underside of the leaves.

Yellow Leaves

The leaves of an orchid can turn yellow due to various circumstances. It might be because the plant does not receive enough sunshine or receives too much or too little water.

To foster new development and avoid degradation, yellow leaves should be trimmed. Furthermore, they might be unappealing and alarming to look at. With a sharp, sterile pair of shears, cut off the leaves.

Root Rot

Overwatering is a common cause of root rot in Dendrobium orchids. Excessive wetness may either drown your plant or encourage fungal illnesses that will kill it.

Keeping your Dendrobium healthy requires figuring out the appropriate quantity of fluids. Instead of restricting the quantity of water you pour on your plant for fear of drowning the roots, just offer a medium that drains and dries quickly. Mix some chunky but light components like perlite, pumice, bark, coco cubes, coal, river sand, and more to your standard potting soil.

You must, of course, ensure that your planter has openings for water to drain through. Choosing porous terracotta or unglazed ceramic pots can help the soil dry faster.

Conclusion

With its showy spray of flowers, this diverse genus of orchids is an enticing plant for your home. If you follow our dendrobium care guide, you’ll be able to grow all types of dendrobium orchids with ease.

Do you have a Dendrobium? Excellent choice! We want to see it! Please send pictures to [email protected], and we might share them on our blog.

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