The Nobile dendrobium is a semi-evergreen orchid that produces sweet-smelling blooms in the winter or spring. One plant can often produce more than 100 blossoms during a two-month period. Grow Nobile dendrobiums indoors or in a greenhouse. Place the orchids outside during the spring, summer and fall months when the danger of frost has passed. The plant flourishes with a 10 to 15 degree differential in temperature, which placing it outside provides. The plant will not live through a freeze. This type of orchid require a few specific cultural requirements during and after blooming.
What to Do When Buds Emerge
Buds appear on the sides of the canes. Buds will be opposite the leaf axis. It often takes three months for the buds to fully emerge before blooming takes place. Once buds appear on the plant, water consistently every day. Orchids tend to be root bound within their pots with very little medium, so water thoroughly and allow the water to drain freely from the bottom of the container. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Mist the plant daily with a hand-held sprayer once the buds emerge. Continue regular watering and misting until the blooming cycle ends and the plant returns to dormancy.
When buds emerge, place the plant in full sunlight. Leave the plant in full sunlight through budding and blooming. If spring weather arrives after blooming and there is no danger of frost, place your plant outside to enjoy the spring, summer and fall months.
As blossoms die on the plant, clip them away where they join with the cane. Use a pair of pruning shears to clip the dead flower-heads to avoid ripping a small piece of the cane's skin. Discard each blossom as it begins to shrivel up.
Re-Potting After Blooming
If your Nobile dendrobium requires re-potting, do so immediately following the blooming cycle. It is not recommended to re-pot the plant every year. The orchid should only be re-potted every two years, or when the roots begin to overtake the top of the counter or hang over the edge of the container.
After the plant has blossomed for thirty days, begin fertilizing. Use a balanced, 20-20-20 orchid fertilizer. Follow the directions on the fertilizer label for application. Feed the plant every two to three weeks until it enters dormancy again in the fall. Dormancy normally starts mid September.