Dendrobium – Dendrobium – Dendrobium – Orchids – Dendrobium – Dendrobium – Orchids

Dendrobium are a genus of orchids which counts more than one thousand species, without counting the tens of greenhouse hybrids, very diffused in commerce. In the wild, these orchids live in Asia and Australia, and in most of the islands of the Indian Ocean, thus crossing various climates: from the cold of the Asian highlands, to the dry heat of the Australian deserts.

They produce small oval leaves, pointed, of a pale green colour; over the time, the plants develop several pseudobulbs, in which they store the nourishment during the winter, for utilizing it the following year. The flowers and the plants can have various dimensions, seen the number of the species present. Often the larger species produce long arched floral spikes, while the smaller ones produce erect floral stems.

They bloom in spring, more rarely in autumn, and the flowers can be of various colors, with pink and yellow among the predominant colors.

They are mainly epiphytic plants, even if there are lithophytic species and few terroirs; to be able to better describe these plants are often divided into numerous groups, which bring together the species most similar to each other by climate of cultivation.

In reality, in the nursery we usually find hybrids somehow related to Dendrobium nobile, a species with deciduous leaves; besides these, we find, at times, evergreen dendrobium, of which, more easily, it is possible to find only the cut flowers, for preparing bunches of flowers or bouquets.

We can therefore generalize and describe only two large groups of dendrobium, and almost certainly the plant that you received as a gift falls into one of these two types.


Dendrobium with deciduous leaves

piante Dendrobium Relatives of the noble Dendrobium, these orchids are epiphytes and produce pseudobulbs of almost cylindrical shape, slightly enlarged. The pseudobulbs produce big stems, which vaguely resemble reeds, some of which carry leaves, others, on the contrary, produce flowers, of various colours. The flowers bloom in spring, when the plant needs a good luminosity and quite regular watering, avoiding to leave the soil dry for long time.

From April to September let’s water regularly, and every 15-20 days let’s mix some specific fertilizer for orchids with the water of the watering.

In the summer we can place the dendrobium outdoors, in a bright place, but not directly exposed to sunlight; it is important that they receive good ventilation and good environmental humidity.

In autumn, let’s thin the watering, so that the plant goes into a vegetative rest; if possible, let’s shelter our dendrobium in a greenhouse, where it can receive temperatures close to 10°C. If grown in an apartment at an almost constant temperature, these plants tend to stop blooming, so it is important that they enjoy a few weeks of dry and cool climate.

Let’s avoid watering the plants, the cooler the climate and less need for watering. During this time of year they will lose most of their foliage; however, if we notice that the stems tend to wringe and dry out excessively, we should provide small quantities of water, so as to moisten the substratum.

Watering will resume when the plant emits the first shoots, at the apex of the pseudobulbs.

There are deciduous dendrobiums that need to be watered throughout the year, with a slightly warmer climate.

  • vanda The first is to know how to wet the orchid Vanda. Some say every now and then a splash of water, some suggest to put it in an appropriate place.

  • orchidea Dendrobium Plant of tropical origin, lives in a particularly humid climate, which you can recreate by vaporizing abundantly of water on the highest part of the plant, trying to avoid the flowers….
  • Dendrobium nobile fiori The irrigation of the noble Dendrobium requires some shrewdness. First of all, you have to take into account the season: during the winter you will have to minimize the water supply in order to obtain at the arrival of the Dendrobium noble….



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Evergreen Dendrobium

dendrobium These are dendrobiums of tropical origin; they are often small species, with very brightly coloured flowers.

These dendrobium do not need a dry period, and should be watered throughout the year, avoiding leaving the substratum completely dry for short periods of time.

Some species prefer warm temperatures throughout the year, others love the cool in winter, when the temperature should not exceed 12-15 ° C; let’s place them in a well-lit place, avoiding the blows of air.

The climate must be perpetually well humid; for this reason it is advisable to place the dendrobium in a pot holder full of clay, which must always be kept moist.


Family, genus, species

 Orchidaceae, gen.

dendrobium, more than 1600 species

Area of origin

 Southeast Asia, Oceania

Type of plant

 Epiphytic orchid

Size at maturity

 From 10 cm up to 6 meters


 Medium to difficult


 Very bright


 Bark, clay or other inert material; raft


 Frequent, with periods of suspension depending on the group

Soil moisture

 Cool to dry, depending on the period

Soil pH

 Slightly acidic





Minimum temperature

 The most resistant to a maximum of 5°C, the most delicate 12°C

Ideal temperature



 Division, keiki withdrawal


 Vase, raft.

In apartment or greenhouse. Outdoors in spring-summer


Periodically, the dendrobium tend to fill the container with new pseudobulbs; in autumn we can repot our plant, using a good specific substratum for orchids.

If desired, it is also possible to propagate the plants, dividing the heads of pseudobulbs; or we can simply remove the older pseudobulbs and keep only the young and swollen ones.

The dendrobiums tend to produce at times new plants attached directly to the knots of the stems, called kieki; these young plants have their own roots, and can therefore be detached from the mother plant and repotted individually.

Species and varieties

fiori di dendrobium Giving a unified description of the dendrobium is very difficult. The genus is, in fact, composed by at least 1600 species spread, in the spontaneous state, in a very ample aeral and with great climatic differences, from the south-eastern Asia and Oceania, to the Himalayan slopes, to the islands of Polynesia and New Guinea.

Their appearance also varies a lot: they can be erect or decumbent, large (some exceed 6 meters in length) or small.the flowers are solitary or in groups, from very large to tiny and are really multiform.

Beyond aesthetics, however, what most interests the enthusiasts are the cultivation needs. Some dendrobiums tolerate low temperatures better; others need greenhouses and special equipment to keep the climate and lighting mostly stable in every season.

For this purpose, we can divide the gender into six groups.

Exposure and lighting

All dendrobiums need a very bright exposure to grow and bloom. In general, in an apartment it is best to place them near a window to the south or east, but avoiding direct sunshine (especially in the middle hours of the day, in summer). Light and strong heat can cause leaf burns, especially if the ambient humidity is too low. We can also screen the light with a light curtain of a light colour.

During the summer we can move them all outside: the ideal is to place them in a lawn (but be careful of the presence of snails!), under a pergola or under a deciduous tree, so that they are protected from excessive light from 11:30 to 15:00.

We specify (especially for those who cultivate in greenhouses) that the right lighting for persistent leaf dendrobium ranges from 15000 to 25000 lux; deciduous dendrobium are more demanding (especially in spring and summer) and can need up to 30000 lux.

We remind also that they are very sensitive to the currents, both hot and cold, which can lead to drying up and abortion of jets and buds.

Irrigation and ambient humidity

dendrobium The more we respect the natural vegetative cycle of these orchids, the more blooms we will obtain. It is in fact essential to facilitate a period of winter rest, with consequent consumption of the reserves contained in the pseudobulbs in order to induce, at the first increase in temperatures, the production of the buds. In this perspective, the right modulation of irrigations is a very important aspect, as in nature they are subjected to a long and hard dry season.

The basic principle is to always keep the ambient humidity high (with vaporization or with specific devices) and to make sure that the pseudobulbs do not wither too much. Also remember to use rainwater or demineralised water. Here are some tips for each specific group:

– Those of the first group need abundant irrigation in spring-summer, which must be completely interrupted by the arrival of autumn. We resume as soon as we see the first buds born and continue until the end of flowering. At that point we will stop again until the sight of the vegetative jets.

– The dendrobium of the second group need abundant irrigation during the summer, but you must be very careful when flowering and vegetative development.

– The third and fifth groups require abundant irrigation and fresh substrate at all times of the year.

– Also the fourth group wants humid substratum for most of the year, except for a short period coinciding with the interruption of the growth.

– For the sixth group, it is important to administer water during the flowering and to limit, for the rest of the year, to abundant foliar vaporization, thus avoiding the occurrence of rottenness at the level of the pseudobulbs.

Let’s fertilize the evergreens twice a month and the deciduous ones only once, leaving out, however, during the rest period. These orchids are also used for very frequent, but very diluted, foliar fertilization.


Most common species


Needs and temperature of the growing season

Needs and temperatures in autumn-winter

noble, chrystathum ewardianum

From March to October

In winter suspend

T. min. 13°C

They can be kept in a tempered greenhouse, in an apartment or outside.

T. just below 10°C are useful for stimulating flowering.

Cold greenhouse

anosmum, findlayanum, heterocarpum, pierardii

Only during the growing season,

moderate in bloom. In winter suspend

They want constant temperatures all year round, with minimums of at least 13°C. Ideally, they should be grown in a temperate greenhouse.

densiflorum, farmeri, fimbriatum, thyrsiflorum

Regular throughout the year

T. min. 13°C

They can be kept in a tempered greenhouse, in an apartment or outside.


just below 10°C are useful for stimulating flowering. Cold greenhouse

formosum, infundibulum, sanderae, schutzei, macrophyllum

Regular throughout the year

Warm greenhouse, apartment or outdoor: minimum temperature 15°C during the night, maximum 20°C during the day.

Warm greenhouse with about 12°C at night and 15°C during the day

Warm greenhouse with about 12°C at night and 15°C during the day

Regular throughout the year

From tempered to hot greenhouse. Approx. 20°C during the vegetative period

Hothouse at minimum 15°C

biggibum and phalaenopsis

Only during the growing season. In winter suspend

From tempered to hot greenhouse. Approx.

20°C during the vegetative period

Not direct light, but very intense

Hothouse, temperatures never below 16°C

Dendrobium – Dendrobium: Other crop indications

As epiphytic plants, it is ideal to provide them with a substrate similar to the natural one, i.e. bark or inert material. You can then use bark, specially treated, expanded clay or alternate large and small pieces of polystyrene. We always choose rather small pots so that we can water frequently, but avoiding excessive deposits of water that can cause rottenness.

An excellent method of cultivation is also on a raft: you can set the plants by making them adhere to branches or degrees pieces of cork bark, which will then cling. When hung they will also be very decorative.

Repotting is carried out every two years, always during the vegetative period, when the new buds and rootlets are shown.


Orchidee Phalaenopsis

Potare orchidea

Orchidee rare