The orchid family is one of the largest in the plant kingdom, with more than 17,000 species identified. The dendrobium species contains nearly 1,600 unique plants. These orchids have distinctive coloring and tough stems, making them popular in arrangements. Dendrobium orchids grow throughout the world and like different climates, though most do well in pots with proper care. Since there are so many varieties, take care to investigate the particular orchid you will purchase to ensure that it will thrive in your climate.
This orchid produces blooms ranging in color from violet to rose and may be grown outdoors in USDA Zone 10b or 11. In general, they do well indoors as well. This perennial category of this species grows 6 to 12 inches tall and enjoys partial sun while the tropical version of this species grows 12 to 18 inches tall and enjoys partial shade. Both varieties may bloom from late spring to early fall. If you grow this orchid indoors, water when the topsoil is dry but do not let it sit in standing water. Keep it in about 50 percent shade.
These orchids produce a cascade of yellow pansy-like flowers that bloom in spring. This orchid is native to Burma, the Himalayas, Indochina and the Malaysian peninsula, but will do well in pots specially prepared with sphagnum moss or other woody compounds. In nature, these orchids grow on cork or out of trees. Keep plants in about 50 percent shade and at temperatures up to 90 degrees F. They will likely need watering every other day.
These fragrant orchids will produce as many as 100 blooms during one season, depending on the size of the plant. The purple and white Nobile Dendrobium is a great houseplant, though you may want to keep it outdoors during summer months. This orchid requires filtered sun and should be watered about twice a week, except in the summer, when it may need watering daily. Nobiles like cooler temperatures than many other orchids and may even be placed in the refrigerator overnight to encourage blooms.