How to Grow and Care for Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids Indoors


Dendrobium Orchid, Dendrobium Phalanopsis

Botanical name: Dendrobium spp
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Dendrobieae
Subtribe: Dendrobiinae

Description

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid also called Hard Caned Dendrobium Orchids are easy to grow Orchids which bear large, long-lasting flowers arranged along an unbranched flowering stems.

Dendrobium Orchids are sympodial branching herbs with cylindrical roots arising from the base of a pseudobulb. The pseudobulbs of Dendrobium Orchids are long and cane-like, and covered with the bases of the leaves.

There are one to many leaves arranged in two ranks which vary in shape from linear to oblong and sometimes cylindrical.

Dendrobiums can be divided into Hard Caned or Soft Caned Dendrobiums. The Hard Caned Dendrobiums are also called Dendrobium Phalaenopsis because they have some characteristics similar to Phalaenopsis.

These similar characteristics are thick, waxy leaves and the flowers are borne on a flower spike.

Hard Caned Dendrobiums have a harder cane than the Soft Caned Dendrobiums. Their pseudobulbs are tall and very thin.

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis are evergreen and keep their leaves for many years. The flower spike emerges from the top of the cane.

Flower

The petals and sepals in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids are free from and more or less similar to each other but distinctly different from the lip (lowermost flower petal).

The lip is more or less egg-shaped and there is often a callus constising of narrow parallel ridges in the center of the lip.

Many hybrids and cultivars of Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids have been developed which have greatly extended the range of colors.

The flowers range in color from white, green, yellow, pink, purple and often contrasting colors in the lip (lowermost flower petal). With good care Dendrobium Phalaenopsis orchids will bloom year after year.

Origin

Dendrobiums are native to the tropical forests of Australia and New Guinea where temperatures are relatively constant therefore they do not require a significant temperature difference to induce flowering.

The genus name Dendrobium is derived from the Greek words dendro meaning "tree" and bios meaning "life" in reference to the epiphytic habit of most species. The genus name is abbreviated as Den. in horticultural journals.

Where to Buy

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids in various sizes are available online at Etsy. Buy Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids online from Etsy.

Dendrobium Orchid, Dendrobium Phalanopsis

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid Care Indoors

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid require bright, indirect light of about 10 hours per day away from direct sunshine, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, fertile, loose soil coupled with regular feeding inorder to thrive.

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid also need regular pruning to keep them neat and tidy and also encourage flowering. Repotting is only required when the orchid becomes extremely pot-bound as they bloom best when root-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid grows best in bright, indirect light of about 10 hours per day. Keep it away from direct sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the orchid gets adequate light on all sides for uniform growth.

A Hard Caned Dendrobium Orchid that is receiving the right amount of light has light-green upright leaves. Dark green leaves indicate that the Orchid needs more light.

Yellow leaves means that the Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is receiving too much light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Use tepid, chlorine-free water as Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water. Avoid wetting the foliage as it can lead to fungal diseases.

Hard Caned Dendrobium Orchids are more tolerant of dry soil conditions due to the presence of pseudobulbs and their thick leaves so keep them on the drier side. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature

The best temperatures for growing Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid indoors is between 16-300C. Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 8-110C are ideal as they encourage flowering.

Ensure there is good air circulation as it cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions. Protect the orchid from draughts as it hates sudden changes in temperature. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Moderate humidity is ideal for Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid. If the air is too dry, the orchid may wilt and develop dry leaf tips and edges.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out this techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Do not mist the leaves as it can lead to fungal diseases. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid every 4 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble orchid fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids bloom best when they are pot-bound. Repot only when growth begins to suffer. Repot when the Orchid has outgrown its pot and the new growth reaches out over the edge or when the soil has broken down completely.

Basically repotting every 2-3 years should be adequate. Repot only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over.

Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits; the roots of the orchid need good air circulation. The pot should be only 1 size larger than the previous one.

Use loose, free-draining bark soil as it drains freely and has adequate aeration. When repotting, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled pseudobulbs.

Soil

The best soil for Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid should be rich in organic matter, loose, free-draining bark soil to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most orchid potting mixes are ideal. Buy quality Orchid Potting Mix for Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is easy. Remove dead and diseased leaves by cutting them at the base with sharp scissors or a knife.

The flower spike arises from the top of the cane. Once flowering is over, cut the flower stalk at the point where it meets the cane. The cane has the potential to produce more flower spikes.

Do not remove old leafless canes as they continue to provide water and nutrients to the orchid. The old canes can produce Keikis which can be used to propagate new orchids.

How to Trigger Flowering in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids

Phalaenopsis Dendrobium Orchid do not need a significant temperature difference to initiate flowering.

A slight difference of of 8-110C is adequate to initiate flowering. Reduce watering to maintain the soil moderately moist and withhold feeding during this period.

Take back the orchid to its usual spot when the 6 weeks period is over.

This kind of treatment will coax a Hard Caned Dendrobium Orchid to flower as it mimicks its natural triggers in the wild.

Propagation

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season, once flowering is over by division of the rhizome or from keikis.

How to propagate Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids by division

Gently split the Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid rhizome into sections. Retain at least 3 shoots on each section.

Seperate the roots attached to each section from the mother's root ball and remove the old potting soil attached to the roots of the section.

Place each section in the center of the pot. Bury the roots of the section in the soil while ensuring that the bottom of the pseudobulb is level with the top of the soil.

The best pots for the sections should be about 1-2 in. larger than the pseudobulb. Ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot.

Place the set up in a brightly-lit place until the new orchids have established their own roots which is marked by new growth.

Water the new Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid.

How to propagate Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids from keikis

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids naturally produce "baby" orchids called keiki.

Keikis normally appear at the end of the cane which is where the keiki producing hormones accumulate. Keikis are identical copies of the parent.

The keiki can be detached from the mother when about one year old when it has developed 2-3 leaves and 1-3 in. long roots.

Pot the keiki in fresh potting medium. Direct the roots downwards and provide support for the keiki.

Place the set up in a shaded place and mist the keiki regularly to maintain a humid enviroment. The Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid keiki may take 1-3 years to bloom.

Dendrobium Orchid, Dendrobium Phalanopsis

Photo Credit: AmThai Orchids Online

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchids Problems Indoors

Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid problems indoors are caused by cultural faults. They include leaf spots, black leaf tips and edges, yellow leaves, drooping leaves, lack of blooms among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

No blooms

One reason for lack of blooms in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is too little light as it blooms best in bright, indirect light of about 10 hours per day away from direct sunlight.

Move the Orchid to a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light or instal a grow light> where the natural light is not sufficient.

The second reason for lack of blooms in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is underfeeding. Feed the orchid every 4 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble orchid fertilizer.

The third reason for lack of blooms in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is too dry air. The orchid requires a humid environment to thrive.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

Limpy and droopy leaves

Limpy and droopy leaves in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Water the orchid thoroughly during the growing season to maintain the soil moderately moist and allow only the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Dark-green leaves

Dark green leaves in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid indicate that the orchid is not getting enough light as it requires bright, indirect light of about 10 hours per day away from direct sunlight.

Move it to a brighter spot where it will receive bright, indirect light of about 10 hours per day or instal a grow light if the natural light is not sufficient.

The leaves of a Hard Caned Dendrobium Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light green.

Yellowish leaves

Yellowish leaves in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid indicate that the orchid is getting too much light. Move the Orchid to a shadier spot. The leaves of a Hard Caned Dendrobium Orchid that is receiving the correct amount of light should be light green.

Brown soft leaf spots

Brown soft leaf spots in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid are an indication of a fungal disease. Remove the affected leaves immediately to prevent further spread.

Brown, hard and dry leaf spots

Exposure of Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid to direct sunshine will result in scorch marks which are brown hard and dry spots on the leaves. Move the orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from direct sunshine.

Moldy leaves

Moldy leaves in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid are an indication of Powdery Mildew Disease. Misting the leaves may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly. Ensure good air circulation for the orchid and stop misting it.

Black and dying leaf tips

The cause of black and dying leaf tips in Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid is the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in water. Use chlorine-free water only to water the orchid.

Is Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Orchid toxic?

Hard Cane Dendrobium Orchids (Dendrobium Phalaenopsis) are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.

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