How to grow dendrobium orchids

How to grow dendrobium orchids

A widespread genus, Dendrobium orchids will flourish in many climates. Generally though, provide them with a partly-protected position in a frost-free zone, where they have the best light, and dappled sunshine.

As Springtime approaches, Dendrobium orchids will reward you with budding stems that are ready to start flowering as the weather warms.


Step 1

Potting up:

Pots shouldn’t be overly large. Dendrobiums only need a pot just big enough to fit the roots comfortably.

Fill half the pot with either bark chips, broken polystyrene foam bits, or ideally, charcoal.

Next add a dependable, loose and open, commercial orchid potting medium to support the plant.

Step 2


During late winter and throughout the «growing’ period» in Spring, perhaps early Summer, these orchids will need feeding to make the most of flowering. This can be easily carried out, by using a commercial orchid tonic, often in a granular form, containing major trace elements; nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other nutrients.

  • First though, water the potting medium before applying any fertilizer.

The fertilizer will need to be diluted in a watering can, and can be watered onto the foliage and into the potting medium, generally on a fortnightly basis. Make a note on your calendar!

Step 3

Propagating dendrobiums from keikis:

Dendrobiums will sprout what are known as «keikis» near to a node. They can appear at any part of the cane, from close to the bottom or, nearer the top end.

Keikis appear as strong roots, and this new plant can be carefully prized away from the main orchid, or cut below the roots with a section of stem attached, to be grown on as a new plant.

Wrap the roots with wetted spaghnum moss, and pot into a small container.

Potting a Keiki

Certain orchids can produce adventitious growths on vegetative parts of the plant. Phalaenopsis, Vanda, Dendrobium and Catasetum are a few of the better-known orchid genera that can be easily propagated by removing «keikis» (Hawaiian word for «baby») at the right time. This video shows you how easy it is to pot one up.

Things Needed
• Shallow pots to suit orchids
• Orchid potting medium
• Bark chips, styrofoam bits or charcoal, to half-fill the pot.
• Watering can
• Soluble orchid fertilizer


• Look for keikis on dendrobium canes, and start new little orchid plants from them.
• Water well before adding any fertilizer.


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