Dendrobium is the second largest genus of orchid family. It consists of more than one thousand naturally occurring species. A dendrobium orchid usually lives as an epiphyte i.e. it lives mounted on the surface of other plants. Sometimes it would grow over a rock surface. Flowers of dendrobium come in a rich variety including red, yellow, orange, pink, white, and lavender. Usually they would last up to two months. A dendrobium orchid can be found in a variety of natural habitats, ranging from high mountains to tropical forests and even deserts. Geographically, dendrobium orchids cover regions in Asia, Australia, Thailand, New Guinea, Borneo, and New Zealand. The conditions required for proper growth of the plant vary, depending on the particular species of the dendrobium orchid. Favorable Conditions for a Dendrobium Orchid Dendrobium orchids require that the plant roots be not too tightly wrapped up in the soil mix. Tree-fern fiber is a good mix for them, provided that the medium lets some air meet the roots. A soggy soil mix is the last thing a dendrobium orchid would tolerate, since the roots start rotting in response to an excessively wet mix. Temperature Range and Light Intensity The most suitable temperature range for dendrobium orchids is 16o C to 30o C, though most species would survive in temperatures as low as 7o C or high up to 33o C. Though blooming in warm temperatures, the flowers of a dendrobium orchid will usually last longer if temperatures remain low while the flowers are blooming. Usually stronger light is needed for good health of dendrobium plants. One sign of improper lighting of the plant is the development of spindle-shaped stems, thin leaves, and absence or inhibited growth of flowers. On the other hand, overexposure to light or high temperatures can result in permanent damage to the plant, the condition termed sunburn. Nutrition Though dendrobium orchid is equipped to bearing dry conditions, regular watering and use of fertilizer ensure the plant’s health. It is important to remember that excess water causes the plant’s roots to rot; hence caregivers should water the plant when the containing medium feels dry upon touching. A soluble fertilizer can be used in each episodes of watering if the plant is showing active growth. At this stage, usually a higher concentration of fertilizer is needed. However, if the plant is steady with little active growth, use the fertilizer in water at every second or third episode. Remember to oversee if the medium is fresh. In case it is decomposed, it is time to repot the dendrobium orchid.
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