Dendrobium Phalaenopsis type Culture

This warm growing type of Dendrobium is usually referred to as the Phalaenopsis type Dendrobium. The plant is evergreen and flower spikes emanate from the top of the pseudobulb on a raceme. Sometimes spikes are produced several years in a row from the same pseudobulb. New bulbs also produce new spikes and a large plant can be quite spectacular.

TEMPERATURE: The Phalaenopsis type of Dendrobium prefers a greenhouse or sheltered area. This warm grower likes temperatures in the 60 to 70 F. range (16 to 18 C.) with good air movement.

WATERING: Since this is an evergreen it should be kept moist at all times. During the growing season they require a great deal of water. When the flower spikes appear that is the time to reduce your watering but be sure not to allow the canes or pseudobulbs to shrivel. Watering about once a week should be adequate. During very hot dry spells increase your watering cycle to once every three or four days.

FERTILIZING: In the spring when there is new growth showing that is the time to start fertilizing with high nitrogen. It does not harm to fertilize every time you water provided you mix your fertilizer half the strength recommended by the manufacturer. In July or August start using fertilizer that is high in phosphorus.

LIGHT: Only about 50% shading is required during most of the year. Make sure that there is adequate air movement at all times, day or night. It is generally recommended that you have about 1500-3000 foot candles of light as a minimum for proper growth.

POTTING MEDIUM: In So. Cal. fine bark (1/8 to 1/4") is an excellent medium. Other medium are osmunda, sphagnum moss, New Zealand moss, charcoal, blue granite, and/or lava rock. As with all orchid plants good drainage is a must. Dendrobiums as a group like very small pots. As an example, a plant with 3 to 4 pseudobulbs and about 10 to 15" tall, a 3 to 4" pot is adequate.

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