Culture, care and growing tips for


  • Dendrobiums do their best with 60% to 80% shade (2,000 to 3,500 FC) of light. Direct sunlight may cause the plant to burn and not enough light will slow growth and stop flowering. Leaves should be a light green, not yellowish (too much light) or dark green (too little light). They should be somewhat stiff, not long and floppy (more light needed). A reddish edge to the leaves indicates the light is on the upper boundary of a proper level of light. Two to four hours of sunshine on an East, West or South window sill, or under HID sodium or metal halide lamps. A bank of 4 to 8 fluorescent tubes may also be successful for miniature varieties. With full sized plants reaching 1 – 1.5 m, fluorescent light is not likely to be effective for the larger plants. Sticky, honey-like sap may form on stems and leaves. This is a natural occurrence in high light, but may also signal an insect infestation. Examine your plant carefully for pests should this occur.


  • Between 50% to 70% relative humidity is optimal for Dendrobiums. To provide adequate humidity in you home, place the plant on gravel in a shallow tray of water. Never stand the pots directly in water or roots will rot. Enclosing plant growing areas is effective but ensure fresh air and air movement to avoid mold and rot.


  • Pot in a coarse medium. Fir bark mixtures are best, with 1.5 to 2.5 cm chunks of bark, perlite and charcoal. Repot when the growth has reached the edge of the pot or if the medium is beginning to decompose (usually after about two to three years). Repot as new growths are just starting to form. Remove old medium if it is loose and any rotting roots; choose a plastic pot just big enough to hold the roots, and position the plant so that the new growths will have room to grow without reaching the edge of the pot. These plants like a rapid drying cycle – grow in the smallest possible pot. The plants may become top heavy and require the plastic pot be slipped into a clay pot to lower the center of gravity. Roots should be moist at all times when the plant is in active growth but should dry out somewhat as the growth matures and when the plant is not actively growing.

More tips for Dendrobium

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