Dendrobium (den-droe-bee-um) Orchid                                                      Leaflet 03


Dendrobium orchids are a very popular plant to grow at home. They are widely available from garden centres, and DIY chain stores. The specie Dendrobium is one of the largest orchid groups and comes from many countries with diverse climates stretching from Northern India through Burma, Thailand through to New Guinea and Northern Australia. There are three main types on sale and these fall roughly into the following groups, Nobile Type, South East Asia Type (New Guinea) and Australian type.


Nobile Type


These come largely from Northern India and can withstand temperatures to 10C. Flowers are large with spectacular colours. The flowers are borne on stems, which grow from canes, which can be up to 30” in height.


In the winter months (November - February)


The plants like plenty of light. Watering should be minimal. A drop in night time temperature will help the plant to flower. This occurs naturally and in domestic situations happens when the central heating goes off at night.


In spring (March - June)


Increase watering as new buds start to form and grow.


Summer through to autumn (June - November)


Plants like to be warm and moist. It is a good idea to feed the plants with diluted high nitrogen feed every three or four waterings. From October through to November reduce feeding frequency.

Re-potting is only required when canes and hence roots start hanging over the edge of the pot.


Asian (New Guinea Type)


Whilst the plants (they have sword like leaves) come from a multitude of climates generally they like to be warmer and damper than the Nobile type and can be fed with a dilute feed all year round, never allow them to dry out.  Always allow 2-3 ‘clear’ waterings between feeds to prevent build up of salts. Flowers generally last a long time and are the type used in the cut flower trade.


Australian Type


Only a few of these types appear. The most common is Dendrobium kingianum. Water and feed generously from spring to autumn, then reduce water and increase the drying out period between watering. The plants like a drier atmosphere generally and as with the Nobile type will flower when night time temperatures fall from January to March.

Feeding                                                                                                                                                     Use a fertilizer containing trace elements (e.g., Phostrogen) at half strength in rainwater if possible.


Remember, only actively growing plants can utilize feed.



This basic information leaflet has been produced by the Cheltenham & District Orchid Society.

If you would like further information, help or advice you can email us at Cheltenham Orchids