DENDROBIUM

FAMILY: Orchidaceae

TYPE
  • Flowers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • House Plants

Plant Details

This huge genus (it may include as many as 1,400 species and even more hybrids) ranges from Japan and the Himalayas to Australia and the Pacific islands. Many are grown by orchid fanciers in greenhouses (outdoors in southern Florida). Some have thin, canelike pseudobulbs, others short, fat ones. Only a few of the more widely grown are mentioned here.

Culturally, dendrobiums fall into two classes. Intermediate-climate types are evergreen; they need water throughout the year (somewhat less in winter) and temperatures similar to those required by cattleya orchids. Cool growers drop some or all of their leaves during a period of winter dormancy, at which time they need very little water (only enough to keep pseudobulbs from shrinking) and temperatures suitable for green-leafed paphiopedilums.

dendrobium bigibbum phalaenopsis(Dendrobium phalaenopsis)

  • Intermediate grower.
  • Native to Australia, New Guinea.
  • Blooms throughout the year, with canes up to 3 feet tall producing arching spikes that carry as many as ten 3 inches purple flowers.
  • The parent of many hybrids.

dendrobium hybrids

  • A bewildering number of hybrids have been produced in Hawaii and elsewhere, both for ornamental pot plants and for cut flowers and leis.
  • Most are intermediate growers.
  • Buy plants in bloom to get desired flower color and bloom season.

dendrobium kingianum

  • Cool grower.
  • Native to Australia.
  • Makes large clumps of 2- to 20 inches pseudobulbs topped by 4 inches leaves.
  • In late winter or early spring, erect spikes to 8 inches long carry a few or up to as many as 20 fragrant, inch-wide flowers in pink, white, or red.

dendrobium nobile

  • Cool grower.
  • Himalayan native.
  • Canes 1220 inches tall carry two ranks of 2- to 3 inches leaves; leaves last for about 2 years.
  • Short inflorescences on leafy and leafless canes carry two to four fragrant, 1 inches., white- to-purplish pink flowers with a yellow or white zone around a dark purple eye.
  • Blooms almost any time of year.
  • The parent of many colorful hybrids.

dendrobium speciosum

  • Cool grower.
  • From Australia.
  • Large masses of pseudobulbs (ranging in height from 4 inches.3 feet.) are topped with leaves that are 110 inches long.
  • Blooms in late winter or early spring.
  • Inflorescences are crowded spikes of fragrant, creamy-to-yellow flowers; they resemble bushy foxtails, can reach 22 feet long.

Indoors, dendrobiums need at least 6 hours of good sunlight per day; place them directly in front of a southern window. During active growth and bloom, they need high humidity and frequent watering. Feed monthly with water-soluble 30-10-10 fertilizer. Easier to bloom in a greenhouse than a home.

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