Blooming Noble Dendrobium Orchids
Author: Celeste Booth7 Comments
Noble dendrobiums (dendrobium nobile) can be grown and flowered in the home or greenhouse. However, they have rather specific cultural requirements. When those requirements are met, they will produce a profusion of sweet-scented, long lasting flowers usually in spring.
- Light and Shade – Nobiles can and should be grown outdoors in the summer, usually between the first of June and the end of September. If there’s danger of frost, bring them in. They should be grown in 30% shade or bright, filtered sun. In the fall, when you bring them in, place them in either an east or south window. South is preferable. When growing year round in windowsills, try to give them between 2000 and 2500 foot-candles of light.
- Temperature – Nobiles are definitely cool growers. Therefore they must have cool night temperatures. To produce good flower count, night temperatures should not raise above 60 ° until the buds appear. After the buds appear, you can keep them at 62-64 ° at night and you should have blooms in January or February. At night one can even put them in the refrigerator until buds appear. Remember that with cold night temperatures one must keep them very much on the dry side. This prevents fungus and rot problems.
- Watering – Nobile Dendrobiums like to be kept root bound in the pot, which means that in the summer, with strong sunlight, you can water your plants almost every day due to increased evaporation and transpiration. In the fall (late September) when the plants are in dormancy, water only enough to keep the canes or pseudobulbs from shriveling (about once per week). Do not resume normal watering (watering when the plant approaches dryness, every 3-5 days) until you see flower buds appear in the sides of the canes. Water in the morning. Rain water, distilled water or reverse osmosis water works best.
- Blooming – Nobile Dendrobuims produce buds from the sides of the canes, generally opposite of the leaf axis. The buds will slowly emerge over a period of about 3 months before blooming. These plants can produce from 10 to 100 flowers at a time depending on the size of the plant.
- Fertilizing – For tap or well water, fertilize with Grow More 20-10-20. At the end of August cut off fertilizing, otherwise you will end up with all growth and no flowers. Resume feeding in mid to late January or after flowers appear. Another highly recommended fertilizer is Green Jungle Orchid Food, especially formulated to work with rain, distilled, reverse osmosis water or water low in alkalinity. Fertilize with Green Jungle every time you water, all year round.
- Potting – Repot every two years or as the plant outgrows the pot. Standard orchid potting mix or New Zealand sphagnum moss can be used. Another common potting medium used is straight coconut husk chips. Be careful not to over pot as these plants like to be root bound.
Header Image: C T Johansson