Deciduous Dendrobium orchids are peculiar-looking plants. Before the orchid enters its dormancy, it will get dry and shrivel, showing its bamboo-like canes after all its leaves have dropped off. And amazingly, and lovelier by contrast, the orchid flowers bud and bloom from the nodes of these day canes once the orchid has come out from its dormancy.
And after sharing what I know about Cattleya orchids, let me share what I know about Dendrobium orchids here.
Compare with many other orchid species, Dendrobium orchids slightly requires more light than others. While the Dendrobium orchids in the bonsai workshop is covered with 30% shade cloth, Teacher Wong told me that Dendrobium orchids grow well even without shade cloth. In fact, the Dendrobium orchid will grow stronger and healthier if it grows without covered by any shade cloth since spring time when the plant is still a seedling.
During the growing season, Dendrobium orchid like high humidity and lots of water. For abundant, beautiful blossoms in the next spring, we should water and fertilize the orchids less when autumn comes, and allow the Dendrobium orchid to dry out thoroughly during dormancy. The combination of longer, cooler nights, less water and no fertilizer creates the dormancy which can ultimately induce flowering. And once the flower buds mature in spring, normal watering and fertilizing routines can be gradually resume.
The temperature requirement for Dendrobium orchid is similar to Cattleya orchid. During its growing season, Dendrobium orchid grows well in the range of 18-30 degrees Celsius (65-85 degrees Fahrenheit). And we should stop watering when the temperature drops lower than 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit).
Fertilize our Dendrobium orchid every 10-14 days with a balanced water-soluble like 20-20-20 in only half the strength as instructed in the fertilizer instructions.
Mounting Dendrobium Orchid
We can mount our Dendrobium orchids instead of potting them. What we use to mount our orchids depends on the species we are growing. For example, we can use a piece of wood or bark. In addition, we also need plastic coated wire and sphagnum moss when we mount our Dendrobium orchids.