Dendrobium Orchid – How to Grow Care

How do I take care of my dendrobium orchid so it will flower again?

Hi Nelson,

Plum purple Dendrobium Orchid

Dendrobium Orchid

Here are some care tips on how to grow a Dendrobium Orchid

It’s recommended that you water your orchids in the morning so that the leaves dry out before temperatures cool in the evening. They like to be almost dry before you water. How often you need to water depends on the type of pot (soil in a clay pot  dries out faster than soil in a plastic pot) the type of soil you are using, and the size of the pot. Never use water that has passed through a softener or has a lot of chlorine or fluoride in it. Water well until the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Never let an orchid plant sit in water.

Container: Dendrobium Orchids like to be in small pots that are taller than they are wide.

Dendrobiums like very bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light. but no direct sun.

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. 
Use a well balanced orchid plant food (20-20-20 or 10-10-10). Dilute the plant food to 1/4 the recommended strength and fertilize every other week. Every other month flush out any accumulated plant food or salts with a clear water rinse.


Dendrobium Orchids grow best when the temperature is between 65°F and 75°F  during the day and 55ºF to 60ºF at night.