Dendrobium Culture

The Dendrobium genus is a very large group of orchids which come from India, Japan, Australia, South East Asia to New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.  The genera which these cultural notes cover is known as Australian Natives.  These are often found in many orchid collections and it is not unusual to take these beautiful little orchids for granted.  Pinks, mauves and white are common, but now with hybridising, new colours are being developed and we can no longer take them for granted.

Dendrobium
Conditions

Dendrobiums are usually hardy and can tolerate low and high temperatures as long as they are protected from extreme summer heat and winter frosts. They are happy to grow under trees, on shaded verandas, in shade houses etc.

Fresh air movement is important.

Potting Mix

No orchid likes to live in a muddy mix.  Choose a mix of orchid bark which suits the size of your plant.  The larger the dendrobium is, the larger the bark size.  There is a large variety of additives which can be added to the bark e.g. small pebbles and perlite.  The mix must be free draining and not retain water during winter.

Watering

Water regularly in summer when the new roots and growths are developing. Never let them completely dry out. In winter, they require less watering and only early in the day—if constantly sodden, roots will rot

Fertilising

Feed with a commercial orchid fertilizer using suggested strengths.  Younger plants benefit from higher nitrogen content, but flowering size plants require a higher potassium content to assist flowering and plant health.

Flowering

The main flowering period is early spring into summer, but some varieties tend to flower earlier.

Problems

Problems are limited. Be aware of aphids especially when in spike. Scale likes to hide under the paper like sheath which covers the stem. Treat with a commercial insecticide.