The Q&A Archives: Orchids

Question: The leaves of my Dendrobium are turning yellow and falling off. Am I watering it too much or giving it too much or too little light? I put it on the west side window of my house so it will receive afternoon filtered light. The bark is too dry on the top but moist underneath. I spray water on it almost every other day.

Answer: Dendrobiums are well adapted to growing indoors, providing you give them the best possible conditions. If yours are dropping leaves, it may indicate hot, stuffy conditions, or insufficient light. Orchids like a day temperature of about 70F during the summer and 60F during the winter, with a 10 degree drop at night. Cool nights are important to the health and flowering ability of your plant. Orchids require 10-15 hours of light each day, so you may need to supplement natural light with artificial light during the winter months when the days are short. Orchids like moist soil and appreciate being misted once or twice each day. To increase humidity around the plant, place the pot on a layer of rocks in a tray of water. As the water evaporates it will provide moist, humid conditions around your plant. Try adjusting the growing environment and your orchid should recover.

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