Caring for Dendrobium Orchids

Dendrobium orchids can thrive indoors.

Dendrobium orchids can thrive indoors.

Dendrobium orchids vary dramatically in color, size and shape. There are more than 1,000 varieties of dendrobium orchids on the planet, growing in many different places around the world. While the orchids may look different, dendrobium orchids require a similar indoor environment and care regimen for these beautiful plants to thrive.


These delicate flowers require significant amounts of light but do not tolerate direct sunlight. Choose a spot with significant amounts of indirect sunlight. If that's not possible, fluorescent lights in warm and cool white will provide the light required for your dendrobium orchids. Give your plants 14 to 16 hours of light each day, allowing them to rest in darkness at night.


Dendrobium orchids fall into one of three groups: cool growing, intermediate and warm growing. Cool-growing orchids thrive in temperatures between 50 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while intermediate orchids will do best between 58 degrees and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm-growing orchids have the greatest temperature tolerance, growing well in temperatures as low as 52 degrees and as warm as 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water and Humidity

You should water your dendrobium orchid thoroughly, but not too often. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Water more often in the spring when new growth appears. Orchids require relatively high humidity. Group plants together and use a room humidifier or place your orchid on a humidifier tray if the humidity in your home is below 50 percent.

Planting Medium and Food

Orchids require a special planting medium designed specifically for orchids. The medium is fir bark based and breaks down after approximately two years. Repot your orchid in the spring to replace the planting medium. Feed your orchid every two weeks in the spring and summer, using a diluted 20-10-10 fertilizer or a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Reduce feeding in the winter to encourage the plant to flower.

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