Growing Dendrobium Orchids

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Growing Dendrobium Orchids - nobile types

Dendrobium - Nobile types 
8 - 25 C (40 - 80 F)

Growing and buying Dendrobium nobile orchids Dendrobuims are often one of the first orchids that are attempted by growers new to orchids, and with good reason. A single plant can have hundreds of delicate white blooms with pale purple edgings and a deep maroon centre covering the whole pf the previous years stems (canes), they also come in yellows and pinks. These Nobile type orchids mostly come from South East Asia and the Himalayas and live at fairly high altitudes.  Although this type of orchid are easy to grow there are a couple of things you MUST do if you want to see the annual display.

Light requirements

Dendrobiums like good light at all times but they should not be kept in full sun or they may scorch. Keep them in the brightest position during the winter months to help ripen the current years stems, called canes.

Watering requirements

This is one of the key elements that new growers often fail to provide - NO WATERING  from mid November until February, if your atmosphere is very dry e.g. in a central heated home, dry greenhouse then you can mist your plants once a months to avoid over drying them or give them a good SINGLE soak every 8 weeks. The Nobile type Dendrobiums MUST have a rest from water between these dates if you want to see flowers. There is a fine balance between drying them out completely (killing them) and keeping them alive.  This is due to their natural habitat in South East Asia where the winters are cool and the air fairly dry. This winter treatment is stopped in February as growth re starts and water should be applied sparingly until good roots are visibly growing from the new shoots, by June watering can given twice weekly and continued until November. This watering regime is due to the plants native environment where they would be subject to monsoon type downpours during the early to late summer with corresponding higher temperatures and humidity and cool dry winter conditions.

Feeding requirements

Since you will not be watering your Nobile type Dendrobiums during the winter you will not be feeding them!, from late March to September you should water with a half strength high nitrogen feed to boost growth and from September to November change to half strength high potash feed to ripen the canes,

Re-potting schedule

Repotting and dividing should be undertaken in the spring either immediately after flowering or just as new growth starts. These plants need the roots confining and should always be under potted rather than over potted as this will help prevent over watering. These plants produce an enormous amount of aerial roots and so are ideal candidates for growing in many ways other than pots. They can be mounted on cork bark or even grown over a tree stump, they will become top heavy though but thanks to the abundance of anchoring roots should be stable by the following season after mounting.

Also available as NON Nobile types

Here's some useful equipment you may need with summer on the horizon
Thermometers | Thermostats | Humidity Gauges

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