Growing Dendrobiun Orchid
Traditionally regarded as exotic and fragile, many species of orchids have been available as undemanding houseplants only recently. Modern cultural methods now produce plants that boast blooms of myriad stunning shapes and colors and that are easy to care for in the home. Although most orchids originally came from tropical and subtropical climates, modern plants bred for home use are remarkably adaptable.Dendrobiums [den-DRO-bee-umz], one of the showiest types of orchids, are also one of the largest of the six major groups of orchids.
Height and Spread
Dendrobium orchids range in size from 10 inch creeping types to 24 inch or taller plants. While most have a slender upright habit, some others hang down, especially as they grow large.
Dendrobiums have profuse, unusually shaped flowers that grow in clusters or sprays, depending on the variety. Ranging in size from small to medium, they come in almost every color. These plants may bloom several times a year for periods of 3 to 4 weeks. Some have fragrant flowers.
Their leaves grow along cane stems. Typically they are strap-like, a inch or more wide, smooth, medium green with rounded tips. There are both evergreen and deciduous species of Dendrobiums.
Locating The Orchid
Light and Temperature
Dendrobiums are able to handle considerable light, even a little direct sun, and do well in the brightest window when they are in bloom. An east, shaded-south or west window is best. Less light is needed when the plants are resting.
The new varieties, bred especially as houseplants, prefer temperatures in the 70øs, 75 to 80øF is ideal. The minimum temperature they are comfortable with is 55øF.
They do like to be misted in the morning if the air is particularly dry. A humidity of 40% to 60% is optimum.
General Plant Care
Dendrobriums will usually have a growth period and a dormant period each year. It is difficult to predict that period in general since it will vary among the many different kinds of dendrobrium plants. During the growth stage, green foliage is obviously developing. When that stops, you can suspect the plant is moving into its dormant stage.
Fertilizer must be provided on a regular basis since the potting media has little nutrient value. During active plant growth periods, give an orchid fertilizer (usually 30-10-10) at the rates recommended on the label. When the plant is in its dormant stage, little fertilizer is needed.
They are not able to store nutrients or moisture, so they are not able to withstand drying out over a dormant season like some orchid types. Water them just as they are getting dry. Run the pot under the faucet so that the potting medium is thoroughly wet. Allow it to drain freely so that water does not collect in the pot saucer. Dendrobiums do not like to sit in standing water.
Dendrobiums are terrestrial and are typically rooted in soil or other water-absorbing medium so that moisture is available to them at all times. The root structure of Dendrobiums, a horizontal rhizome or ground stem is typically anchored in a coarse medium such as charcoal or bark.
Products for Growing Orchids
ne of the people I do some freelance work for is a chef at the
Garden Terrace Restaurant at the Indianapolis Museum of Art AND an
orchid grower. Here's what he said:
Dendrobium is the most common as a food garnish because it holds up
very well and because it comes in many colors.
The light purple Vanda orchid also is an edible, but is usually
served in drinks. It is smaller and more delicate.
If you go to Google.com and plug in edible dendrobium, you'll get
hits for those that grow and ship the plant as food.