The dendrobium orchid plant has thick stems that appear like canes and are able to store moisture and food during times of drought. The plants are highly adaptable and have been known to grow in trees or in rocks. The dendrobium orchid includes more than 100 species and is classified into two types, evergreen and deciduous. The orchid is easily grown with knowledge of proper orchid care.
The evergreen variety of the orchid bears flowers in clusters, produces green leaves along its stems and can be grown in a warm house. The deciduous version of the orchid blooms from old growth. The blooms appear in the shriveled joints of the dry canes. They may also be grown in a warm house.
The deciduous version of the orchid grows plantlets off of its flower stems. These plantlets are grown as new plants in an effort to reproduce itself. If the plant is kept too warm or moist, it will spend its energy on reproduction instead of blooming. Evergreen dendrobiums need moderate amounts of water all the time; deciduous dendrobium needs to dry out completely when it is dormant.
Dormancy is when the plants are not producing blooms. During this time the plants will need a cooler spot to rest. Dormancy will end when new growth begins. The joints in the plant will begin to swell, which is an indication that the plant is ready to bloom. When this happens, the orchids will need to be well watered and moved to a warmer area. The dendrobium plants should be repotted when they are done flowering. The orchids will immediately begin new root growth and will need more space.
It is recommended that growers use a method to keep track of plant watering so that the orchids are not over-watered. Lifting the plant pot to decide if it is heavy or light is one method of telling when to water. A light pot needs watering. The orchids will appreciate diffused water, such as an overhead spray. The spraying will help plants tolerate hot, dry days. On hot summer days it is best to daily spray the plants down during the hottest part of the day.
Dendrobium orchids require water that is slightly acidic. A 4.5 to 5 pH is recommended. Hydrochloric acid can be used to change the pH of water, but it should first be analyzed by a chemist who will recommend the correct amounts of water and acid.