Essex Orchid Society

Growing your Dendrobium

Dendrobium orchids are a little more difficult to keep on a windowsill than other widely available orchids. There are many different Dendrobium but most of them can be divided into two groups; cool growing and warm growing.

Temperature: Cool: 52-80°F (11-26°C) This is cooler than most homes but the minimum temperature is important in the winter. Warm: 60-96°F (15-30°C).

Humidity: In the spring and summer they all need good humidity and this can be provided on a windowsill by placing the pot on a tray of moistened gravel or pebbles. Also, spraying in the summer would be beneficial. The cool growing ones need a dry rest in the winter.

Light: They need dappled or shaded light (behind a net curtain) to prevent the leaves from scorching.

Watering and feeding: In winter only water the cool growing ones enough to prevent excess shrivelling of the canes. When growth starts in spring, water once a week and in summer perhaps twice a week. Water the warm growers all year round. Give the plant a feed with orchid fertiliser every third watering from spring until September and ensure the plant is flushed through with clean water on the other waterings to avoid a build up of salts.

Potting: You will need to re-pot your Dendrobium every 2-3 years once the new canes reach the side of the pot. The best time is when the new growths start to develop. Use a good quality bark.


A typical Dendrobium


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