Dendrobium nobile

Dendrobium nobile

Dendrobium gibsonii

Dendrobium gibsonii

Pronunciation: den-DROH-bee-um

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Tribe: Podochilaeae
  • Subtribe: Dendrobiinae
  • Genus: Dendrobium, Swartz 1799

General Characteristics

  • epiphytic, occasionally lithophytic
  • cane-like, sympodial, pseudobulbs

Dendrobium is a huge genus of tropical orchids. It was established in 1799 and today contains about 1,200 species. Wikipedia provides a relatively complete species list, though not all species have an image reference. The genus occurs in diverse habitats throughout much of south, east and southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Borneo, Australia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and New Zealand. The name is from the Greek dendron (“tree”) and bios (“life”); it means “one who lives on trees”, or, essentially, “epiphyte”.

The species are either epiphytic, or occasionally lithophytic. They have adapted to a wide variety of habitats, from the high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains to lowland tropical forests and even to the dry climate of the Australian desert.

Dendrobium is commonly abbreviated as Den in horticulture. Some species are in great demand by orchid lovers. This has resulted in numerous varieties and hybrids, which have greatly extended the range of colors of the original plant. The flowers of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii have been reported to last up to ten months each.

While Dendrobium species may not be particularly easy to grow by novice horticulturalists, they are known to vigorously remove toluene and xylene from the air.


  • Temperature: Mature plants need a 15-20˚F difference between night and day. Provide nights of 60-65˚F; days of 80-90˚F. Temperatures from 90-100˚F are beneficial if humidity and air circulation are increased. Temperatures below 50˚F may cause leaf drop.
  • Light: Bright light, to 50% sun. In the home this will normally be an east, west, or lightly shaded south window.
  • Water & Humidity: Keep evenly moist while in active growth.  Allow to dry between waterings after growth has matured. This is indicated by a terminal leaf. 50-60% humidity. In the home, place on trays over moistened pebbles.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilizer should be provided on a regular basis during the active growing period. Apply a balanced fertilizer, 10-10-10 (or a similar ratio), weekly.
  • Potting: Potting should be done every two to three years before the mix loses consistency and breaks down.  Pot firmly in the new medium, provide aeration and ample drainage, allowing enough room for the next few years growth. Dendrobiums grow best in pots that are a little small for the size of the plant.

Selected Species

Browse to Wikipedia to view the entire list of 1,200 species.

  • Dendrobium bicaudatumTwo-tailed Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium bukidnonensisBukidnon Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium bullenianumBullen’s Orange Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium deareiDeare’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium erosum
  • Dendrobium gerlandianum
  • Dendrobium gibsonii
  • Dendrobium goldschmidtianumGoldschmidt’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium guerreroiGuerrero’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium ionopusViolet scented Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium junceum
  • Dendrobium macrophyllumLarge leafed Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium mindanaenseMindanao island Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium miyasakiiMiyaki’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium papilioButterfly Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium parthenium
  • Dendrobium phalaenopsisCooktown Orchid {formerly D. bigibbum var. phalaenopsis, D. bigibbum var. superbum} – Now classified as Vappodes phalaenopsis.
  • Dendrobium philippinensis Philippine Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium phillippsiiPhillips’ Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium platycaulonFlat Cane Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium profusumProfused’ Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium ramosiiRamos’ Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium sanderaeSander’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium schuetzeiSchuetz’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium secundum
  • Dendrobium seratilabiumSerrated Lip Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium speciosumOutstanding Dendrobium, King Orchid, Rock Lily
  • Dendrobium uniflorumSingle flowered Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium victoriae-reginaeQueen Victoria’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium wenzelliiWenzell’s Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium yeagereiYeager’s Dendrobium


Welcome to Jardim Therapy my blog about orchids and Brazil. Here you will find a few useful references, and some tip & tricks, along with posting of my own personal experience. I absolutely love orchids, and I want to help everyone interested in learning about these unique plants.

As guests of Jardim Therapy you are welcome to browse the home page, post comments, and access the archives. You can also send me a message if you have any questions.