Answer: Dendrobiums are among the most commonly encountered orchids in the retail trade. Like most cultivated orchids, dendrobiums are epiphytes. They have well-developed water-storage organs (pseudobulbs), often called ?canes? for their upright, leafy appearance. They should be potted in porous, free draining media. There are many different types of dendrobiums available. However, the following culture will work for most of the common types available.
Temperature: Mature plants need a 15-20 F degree difference between night and day. Provide nights of 60-65 F degrees; days of 80-90 F degrees. Temperatures of 95 ? 100 can be tolerated if humidity and air circulation are increased. Low temperatures (below 50F) may cause leaf drop.
Light: Sufficient light is important for healthy growth and flower production. Provide bright light, to 50% sun. In the home, an east, west or south window will do nicely. You should be able to cast a shadow in the light. Plants should be naturally erect and of medium olive-green in color.
Humidity: Dendrobiums need 50%-60% humidity. Humidity can be provided by placing pebbles and water in the saucer, and setting pot on pebbles, taking care not to set pot in the water.
Water: Keep evenly moist while in active growth. Allow to dry between waterings after growth is mature (indicated by terminal leaf).
Fertilizer: The exact fertilizer you use will depend on the medium in which the plant is growing. A good general rule is to provide feed on a regular basis during the active growing period. A balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer is used if the potting media is anything other than straight fir bark. If fir bark is the medium, use a high nitrogen fertilizer (30-10-10) during active growing period and a high phosphorus (20-30-10) fertilizer in fall and winter. Feed ?weekly, weakly? during active growth. That is, feed every week at ? to ? the recommended dilution.
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