Originating in southeast Asia, there are 1,000 known species of dendrobium orchids. These Phalaenopsis-type orchids are considered air plants because they grow on the sides of trees and are not planted in traditional potting soil. Dendrobium orchids have upright branching sprays with brightly colored flowers in either white or purple with white coloring that bloom for up to two months at a time. These orchids are ideal for the novice gardener because they are relatively easy to grow.
Select a growing container that is the same size or slightly smaller than the root ball of the plant. Dendrobium orchids like their roots to be somewhat cramped in their pots.
Fill the container half full of a free-draining media such as wood chips, small stones or even pieces of foam peanuts. This type of material allows good air circulation to the roots and ensures that water and fertilizer drain well.
Place the plant in the container spreading out the roots somewhat. Fill in rest of the container with the media you have chosen.
Water well after planting until the water runs out of the bottom of the container. Keep the growing media slightly moist during the active growing season of the plant when it is blooming. When not in bloom allow the media to dry out in between watering.
Place the container in an east or west facing window so the plant receives bright light for at least half of the day. It also can be placed in a shaded south-facing window, but be careful not to expose the plant to direct sunlight. You can also place a 40-watt fluorescent light directly over the plant if light is low.
Keep the temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with nighttime temperatures about 10 degrees lower. There needs to be a fluctuation between daytime and nighttime temperatures for blooming to occur. Provide enough humidity by placing the container on a pebble lined tray that has water added about halfway.
Feed your plant with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 once a week while blooming. Use a fourth of the recommended dosage and water well after applying. There is no need to fertilize when the plant is not in bloom.