10 tips for successful Dendrobium Orchid Cultivation for Beginners [Explained]

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Blog, Orchids | 0 comments

Dendrobium orchids with flowers
People often fail to grow Dendrobium Orchid or any orchid due to a lack of awareness and proper guidance about its cultivation practice. One of the main qualities required for an orchid farmer or hobbyist is to have patience and ability for keen observation to take care of plants by understanding its needs like pots, growing media, light requirements, watering, fertilizer requirement, management of pests and disease.

1) Use Porous Pots

Pots used for dendrobium orchids should have enough holes for drainage and air circulation. Pot of plastic, mud, ceramic, wood, net and metals, etc is used.

Orchid Pots with drainage holes
Please note that grow bags are not used for growing dendrobium orchids.

2. Use media with charcoal, coconut husk, broken bricks, etc. (No Soil)

Dendrobium Orchid naturally grows over trees as an epiphyte or rocks as lithophytes. The plant gets nutrients from the atmosphere through its velamen roots. The media used for growing dendrobium orchid should have such features. The media used consist of wood charcoal, coconut husk pieces, broken brick or tiles, wood bark, and moss.

Orchid pot with media
The best ratio of the media mix is 1:1:1 of charcoal: coconut husk or moss: broken bricks or tile
Please note soil is not used for growing Dendrobium Orchids.

3. No direct sun light

Dendrobium like 50% sunlight and it can be grown as an outdoor plant but plants have to condition to the outdoor environment gradually, light intensity can be identified by observing the leaf color and have to make necessary adjustments for the better performance of plants.

  • If the light is optimum, leaf color will be light green
  • If the light is more, leaf will turn yellow
  • If the light of less, leaf will be dark green

Orchid Leaf with light green color

If the light is optimum, leaf color will be light green

Yellowish green orchid leaf

Yellowish green leaf due to more light

Dark green orchid leaf

Dark Green Leaf due to less light

4. Controlled Watering

Watering is done once daily during summer, during rainy seasons watering is done once or twice a week. Dendrobium Stems (sympode or pseudaxis) have good water retention capacity, it can have water stored in their stems, so plants can sustain its life even if not watered for two to three weeks. This feature of plants is one of the reasons that make it easy to ship to various parts of the world.
Care is to be taken not to overwater the plant as it can succumb to a fungal attack. In the case of plants with flower water should not fall on flowers as it can adversity effect the life of flowers.

5. Regulate Humidity

Humidity is indispensable for the best performance of Dendrobium Orchids. It likes to have a relative humidity of 60% to 85%. Maintenance of optimum relative humidity is very essential during summer months, it is achieved by keeping water-holding structures near the orchidarium, or by spraying water in the orchidarium. Management of fish tanks near orchid growing area is good to practice for keeping high relative humidity.

6. Temperature between 17℃ to 37℃

Dendrobium orchids love to grow in a tropical climate in a temperature range of 17℃ to 37℃ over or below this temperature will adversely affect the growth of plants. In the winter where the atmospheric climate goes below 17℃ has to arrange a greenhouse for keeping plants warm. In the cases of places having summer temperate above 37℃ necessary arrangements for reducing the temperature has to be made.

7. Snails are major Pest

Snails are one of the major pests in dendrobium orchids as it devours on leaves and flowers of plants if not properly controlled it will damage plants. Its attack is severe especially during the rainy season, it is controlled by handpicking during the night hours and then killed.

Snail on orchid

Snail on orchid

Damage caused by Snail

Damage caused by Snail

8. Fungus causes serious Diseases

One of the major diseases in dendrobium orchids is rot due to fungal attack it is mainly due to overwatering and poor air circulation. It is controlled by regulating the watering and air circulation. Application of chemical fungicide before the onset of monsoon and subsequent sparing of fungicides at an interval of 10 to 15 days will ensure the plant diseases free.
The fungal attack can be controlled by cutting and removal of leaves show symptoms of rot .

9. Application NPK Fertilizer

NPK in the ratio 19:19:19 is usually used for Dendrobium Orchids once in the week a 2g/ per litter. To induce flowering you can use NPK in the ratio of 13:27:27 at the rate of 1g/per two litter.

10. Keep the plant Hygiene

It is very important to keep the hygiene of the Dendrobium Orchids. Mature and dry leaves, old flower spike are susceptible to fungal attack, its timely removal will keep plants healthy.

Mature Orchid leaf with fungal attack

Mature leaf with fungal attack

Orchid Flower spikes with old flower

Flower spikes with old flower


One of the frequently asked questions is which is the best orchid for a beginner, Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Oncidium, Cymbidium, Paphiopedilum, Vanda, and Ground Orchids are very popular among farmers. Even though, Dendrobium orchids are recommended for beginners. Because following reasons like its wide variety and variation, economy in cultivation, it’s resistant to pests and disease, easiness to manage and its attractive flowers.

These are the best tips for Dendrobium Orchid Cultivation practices


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