For those seeking an attractive and fragrant flowering plant to add natural elegance to their home, the Dendrobium Noble Orchid is an appealing choice.
Indigenous to the lush, forested regions of central and eastern Asia, the Dendrobium Noble Orchid produces a large number of blooms with a subtly sweet scent that is pleasant but not overwhelming.
Its pale flowers blossom from a relatively rigid stalk and nestle amongst delicate green leaves. White flowers are a common color, but some varieties of the Dendrobium offer a touch of color with petals accented in light pink or purple, making this orchid an ideal choice for nearly any home as it blends well with most decorative color schemes.
This beauty requires attentive care, however, and is not suited to every environment. To get the most out of your Dendrobium, you should follow standard care guidelines. In this article, we will give you all the information you need to take the best care of your Dendrobium.
Caring for Dendrobium Nobile Orchid
The Dendrobium Orchid is not a plant that is well suited to extremes of temperature, which is one of the reasons it makes a better house plant than an addition to your outdoor garden.
You will want to maintain an ambient temperature of between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-30 degrees Celsius) and avoid periods of excess heat or freezing, both of which can be fatal for this relatively delicate plant.
Temperate weather is conducive to optimal growth. A good rule of thumb is to use your own comfort level to gauge rather or not your orchid is being maintained appropriately. If you aren’t comfortable, it is likely that your plant isn’t, either.
If a temporary dip in ambient temperature is unavoidable, lightly cover your orchid. Even though the plant can adapt to a variety of temperatures, it does best with consistent temperatures during the autumn season.
If you follow specific temperature guidelines during the autumn months, then you can expect the Dendrobium plant to bloom many times. You should give them a cooler temperature during this period to encourage blooming. Additionally, you can allow some variation between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
The Dendrobium Orchid originates in a region that is closer to tropical than to desert, so excessive dryness can be extremely damaging. However, they are less sensitive to humidity in comparison to other tropical plants. The ideal humidity range for optimal growth is between 50-70 %.
On the higher end of this scale, it is important to ensure ideal ventilation conditions. This will prevent the risk of disease. You can provide the ventilation needed by opening windows and using an oscillating fan. However, it is important to protect your Dendrobium from any cold drafts.
It can be somewhat difficult for household interiors to reach these humidity levels; however, there are a few ways that you can ensure your Dendrodbim thrives in ideal humidity conditions. Firstly, you can consider using a humidity tray or grouping together your plants.
Additionally, you can use a misting tray or pebble tray. These methods will easily allow you to reach the ideal humidity level for your plant.
The amount of water it requires varies seasonally and is affected by cyclical blooming. During warmer weather, when the orchid is likely to bloom at its peak, the plant will require more frequent watering than it does when exposed to cooler, autumnal weather.
Because the size of the plant, degree of establishment, potting medium, type and size of pot, and rather or not the plant is root bound will all affect the frequency of watering, it is recommended that you determine rather or not it is time to water your plant by manually touching the soil and observing the plant rather than adhering to a fixed irrigation schedule.
Gently press your fingers to the topsoil. When blooming, the surface soil, about the first inch, should feel damp but not wet. When the surface soil is near dry, it is time to water. If the surface soil is very moist or muddy, hold off on watering.
The Dendrobium Orchid is sensitive to overwatering and can easily develop root rot, so it is important to be hands-on. The proper method for watering your orchid is to fully saturate the potting medium, making sure to irrigate the soil thoroughly.
Watch for water to begin to leak through the drainage holes in the pot. When it does, it is time to turn off the water and let the plant sit. When temperatures are cooler, you will find that you need to water less frequently, possibly as little as every 2 to 3 weeks. You can also weigh the pot by lifting it upwards.
Eventually, you will be able to get a good idea of what the weight feels like when the soil is dry. Pay attention to the color and texture of your leaves. Orchid leaves should be firm, smooth, and green. Wrinkled, flaccid, browning, or yellow are indications that you are overwatering or underwatering and should adjust the frequency of irrigation. If you suspect your plant is water-logged, it is advisable to relocate your plant in a new medium to avoid root rot.
It is important to soak the potting media thoroughly every time that you water your Dendrobium. Ideally, you should water in the morning, since this allows any excess water to evaporate. This helps to reduce the risk of fungal disease.
You should start to lower the watering frequency in the winter and autumn months. This is an important step since it encourages new buds to start developing. Once you see signs of new buds, you can begin to increase the frequency of watering again.
Your Dendrobium Orchid appreciates bright, warm light but should not be left in full or direct sunlight. Keep in mind that the natural environment of this particular orchid is one where it is surrounded by other plants, which serve as effective filters for sunlight.
Make sure your plant gets adequate sunlight, but if you live in a very warm climate, make sure to place your orchid in a location where it does not receive more than a few hours of bright lighting in the morning and/or evening.
Aim for 4-6 hours daily, depending upon where you live and rather or not there are other plants or light curtains near the orchid that might serve as filters. Harsh, desert sun can be hard on orchids. If you live in an area with heavy cloud cover where little sunlight filters, the proliferation of blooms on your plant can be affected.
There are a few attributes that distinguish the Dendrobium Orchid from other varieties. The stalk or stem of the Dendrobium is slightly thicker, making the plant top-heavy. For this reason, it is advisable to lightly secure your Dendrobium to a small stake to help support it.
In nature, the Dendrobium would rely on surrounding plants for support, using them to help bear its own weight and continue to grow vertically, but in the absence of a support system comprised of larger, stronger plants, a well- placed stake will suffice. Make certain to select a stake at least as thick/wide as the stalk of your orchid and one that is slightly taller than the plant to start with so that it can still effectively accommodate your orchid when it increases in height.
When securing the plant to its support stake, avoid tightly binding or impeding growth. Most orchid enthusiasts prefer wooden stakes to plastic or metal, and some theorize that the material of which the stake is comprised can affect growth, though there is no solid evidence to support this.
When potting your Dendrobium Orchid, it is advisable to select a pot that is lightweight, easily moved from place to place, and large enough to allow for root expansion. It is critical to select a pot with open holes or “vents” in the bottom. Without these, water can settle in the soil and remain there for long periods of time, resulting in unintentional waterlogging of the roots.
The Dendrobium Orchid likes being securely root bound, so frequent transplanting is not at all advisable and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Avoid a pot that is made of any material likely to hold too much heat, such as metal or thick clay.
When selecting a potting medium or soil, it is crucial to ensure that you have not chosen one that is too acidic or contains too many salts. Because orchids are sensitive, there are several varieties of planting mediums formulated specifically for orchids, and you should stick to orchid specific potting soil whenever possible.
Acidic soil can harm and even kill the root system, and certain types of soil do not allow for adequate nutrient absorption. Do not tightly pack the soil when placing your plant. Doing so can result in impeded root expansion and uneven absorption of water and nutrients and may lead to root rot, fungal infection, or disease.
Make sure that the soil is loose around the orchid and well ventilated. One method to ensure well-ventilated dirt is to insert a blunt stick to about ¾ the depth of your pot as soon as you plant and then remove it. Do so in several places, but be careful not to stab or traumatize the root system.
Orchids need nutrients, and through photosynthesis provides the majority of these, for the best possible blooms and health of your plant, it is recommended to add an orchid safe/specific fertilizer every once or twice per month. It is important to pick a water-soluble brand of fertilizer, and you can dilute it to half strength.
You may fertilize less frequently when your plant is not blooming, though it is still beneficial to do so from time to time. You can stop fertilizing completely from around October, and start again when it begins to bloom. To fertilize, add a small amount of the safe orchid fertilizer to the surface and then make aeration holes as previously directed with a blunt implement.
Do not dig up or inundate the orchid with fertilizer, as this can prove extremely harmful. Excessive fertilizer use can be harmful to the Dendrobium; since it can cause root burn and nutrient toxicity. Additionally, a fertilizer high in nitrogen can cause excessive leafy green growth. Therefore, we recommend diluting your fertilizer to mitigate these risks and ensure that you do not over-fertilize your plant.
Pruning is an important part of Dendrobium Orchid care and should be done as needed, and with care not to disturb the portions of the plant, you will be left intact. Pruning may seem simple enough, but like all aspects of plant care, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it, and doing it improperly may leave your plant vulnerable to the disease at worst or diminish its ability to bloom at best.
For the best blooms and healthiest plants, you should select a pruning tool that is sharp. Dull tools are damaging. Small pruning sheers can work nicely as long as they are kept sharp, but some enthusiasts prefer to use a razor blade. To properly prune your plant, you want to remove the flowers that have already passed their peak blooming stage and are just beginning to fade.
Do not wait until the flower is completely dead; cull it when it first begins to droop, and it is obvious that it is nearing the end stage of the blooming cycle. You will want to cut the flower stem completely in a single, clean-cut. Do not saw or pull at the stem, and take it back to about ½ inch to an inch from the main stalk.
Be certain to sterilize your tools after use or safely dispose of your razorblade if you decide that is what works best for you. Do not allow your pruning tools to rust or remain dirty after pruning, as doing so can lead to infections in the plant. Botrytis is a disease that can afflict the Dendrobium Orchid.
Symptoms include black or discolored spots on leaves or flowers, and it can be extremely damaging. If you notice discolorations or blemishes of this sort, discard your pruning tool and purchase a new one.
You may also want to strongly consider replacing your soil medium and removing leaves or blossoms that are obviously affected. Making sure to thoroughly sterilize your pruning implements can greatly reduce your orchid’s chances of blight and disease.
Dendrobium Nobile Orchid Blooms
One of the standout aspects of the Dendrobium Nobile Orchid is the flowers. They are light, beautiful, and simply mesmerizing. They also appear in huge quantities, which means that the blooming season is sure to be an exciting time. A single nobile cane can have up to 25-50 blooms.
Therefore, an Orchid that has a number of canes blooming will lead to a wondrous display. The light sweet scent is sure to make anyone’s day brighter, and any guests that you have will have no choice but to stare at these wonderful flowers. The buds tend to develop during the months of December and January.
You can expect to bloom to occur between January and March. It tends to last around six weeks. However, if you provide slightly cooler conditions for your Orchid alongside excellent care, then this blooming period can be extended to up to 12 weeks in total.
Once the blooming phase has ended, you can start to increase the watering and start fertilizing the Orchid regularly. During this phase, the Orchid should be kept in temperatures of around 65-85 Fahrenheit.
Additionally, you should ensure that the plant gets plenty of indirect sunlight. These conditions will optimize the vegetative growth of your Dendrobium. You should also expect some leaf drop from the canes which have flowered. Vegetative growth tends to develop between the months of April and August.
During the autumn months, the canes will begin to halt the production of any new leaves. During this phase, you can start to waterless regularly, stop fertilizing, and reduce the temperature. Once you have given your Orchid conditions of cooler temperatures, you can expect buds to develop in around 50 days. Once the buds start to develop, it is important not to drop temperatures below 54 degrees Fahrenheit since this can cause bud drop.
A useful side note about your new Dendrobium Orchid: make a point of keeping this plant and other orchid varieties out of reach of your pets, who may be tempted to take a bite. Though lovely to look at, your new orchid can be highly toxic if ingested by your furry friends.
One common issue that can occur with Dendrobium Nobile Orchids is the yellowing of the leaves after the flowering phase. However, this is perfectly normal, and you should not be worried if this happens.
When old leaves start to shed, yellowing is a natural part of this process. Yellow leaves should concern you when they happen during the growing season since it can indicate a problem with the plant.
The most likely causes are either underwatering or overwatering. You can touch the leaves to feel how dry they are. If the leaves and dry and crunchy, then this indicates an under watering problem.
If they are not dry, then you should check the potting medium. If the medium has become waterlogged, then you should inspect for any signs of root rot. If you do see signs of root rot, then it is important to repot the Orchid as soon as possible to stop the spread.
Yellow leaves can also be caused by underfeeding. A lack of nitrogen during the vegetative phase can result in the yellowing of the leaves. However, if you are giving your Orchid fertilizer at least once a month, then this will not be the cause. Temperatures that are too high or too low can also contribute to the yellowing of leaves. If this is the case, it is worth investing in a thermometer to ensure that the temperature remains consistent.
All plants are susceptible to pests, and you should watch to make sure your Dendrobium Orchid does not become infested by insects that can negatively impact the health of your plant. Though the Dendrobium Orchid does not attract as many insects as other house plants might, there are a few to be aware of and stay on the lookout for.
Gnats, Whiteflies, and certain types of detrimental mites can strike your Dendrobium Orchid. These insects are small, and can easily go undetected until the plant shows signs of their presence, so it is a good idea to examine your plant carefully, looking for anything that moves. Immature gnats can be small enough to be visible only upon close inspection.
To rid your plant of offending insects, select a spray or repellent that is specifically labeled as safe for all species of orchids. Using harsh chemicals that are not orchid safe can result in severe damage to your plant and may even kill it. Never use vinegar or other purported “natural” insect repellents, as these are highly acidic and very likely to burn leaves or flowers and can result in the death of your plant.
Do not apply even orchid safe chemicals in large volumes or place them directly into the water or soil and take all recommended safety precautions listed by the manufacturer. If you notice that your plant does not seem to tolerate the chemical treatment well, discontinue use and wait at least 3-5 days before attempting another solution to give your orchid time to recover.
6 Top Care Tips
It can be a tad difficult to absorb all of this information in one go, and therefore we will summarize the most important care details. Below, we will provide a care summary with six essential tips for caring for your Dendrobium Nobile Orchid.
- Keep your Dendrobium in bright indirect light
- Water regularly when the potting medium is dry
- Fertilize every two weeks, but stop during the autumn season
- In the autumn season, expose your plant to cooler nighttime temperatures to stimulate blooming
- Maintain 50-70% humidity levels on a consistent basis
- Use a large potting container with plenty of draining holes
These are the key and essential care guidelines that you should keep in mind. Taking care of a Dendrobium isn’t too complex, but it does require consistency. If you give your plant the best conditions, then you will be rewarded with longevity and many wonderful flowers.
Overall, the Dendrobium Nobile Orchid is an excellent houseplant that produces stunning flowers. You will now have a much better idea of the ideal conditions in which the plant thrives. It is not that difficult to properly care for a Dendrobium; however, you will need to remain consistent to ensure that your plant remains healthy.