Available in more than 1,000 species and many colors, shapes and sizes, dendrobium orchids are the most common orchids on the retail market. The dendrobium requires minimal care. It is an adaptable genus and a good choice if you are not experienced in growing orchids.
The dendrobium orchid prefers being a little crowded. A pot that is slightly smaller than the root system is ideal. Choose a pot made from a porous material that has drainage holes in the bottom allowing the roots to drain and breathe. Line the bottom of the pot with a layer of Styrofoam peanuts to help protect the roots from excess moisture. Add 1/3 sphagnum moss to a commercial orchid potting mixture and fill the pot. You should never be pot an orchid in soil. Re-pot the dendrobium orchids every two years after blooming.
Locate your dendrobium orchid where the humidity is about 50 percent. Water your orchid by pouring water into the pot until the water runs out of the bottom. It is important that you pour the water over the entire top surface of the potting mixture so that all of the roots are watered. Allow the potting mixture to become dry before watering again to prevent rotting roots. Spray a light mist of water on the leaves and blooms during the dry hot summer months to provide the needed humidity to the plant.
Apply a fertilizer on a weekly basis. Fertilizer is necessary for the dendrobium orchid to bloom and grow. Mix a weak solution of 1/4 tsp. of 20-20-20 orchid fertilizer dissolved in 1 gallon of water. Use this solution to water the orchid once a week.
Place your dendrobium orchid where it gets plenty of bright indirect sunlight. This orchid prefers a window that faces east so it can enjoy the morning sun. Avoid placing the orchid in the direct afternoon sun because the hot sun will burn the leaves. If sufficient sunlight is not available, set the dendrobium under four 40-watt fluorescent lighting fixtures. It requires about 12 hours of light each day in order to bloom.
Provide your dendrobium with warm temperatures during the day, Ideally, place the dendrobium in a location that is between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, they prefer a temperature of about 65 Fahrenheit. Provide air circulation, but do not expose the orchid to cold drafts. This particular orchid can adapt to cooler temperatures if you cannot provide a warmer location. Most important is having a 10- to 15-degree difference between the day and night temperatures.