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Growing Nobile Type Dendrobium

Nobile Dendrobium are probably the easiest to grow.  They are easy to recognize when in bloom because the flowers come directly from the cane and not on a flower stem like other Dendrobium.Den. Red Emperor

1.  They can take full sun without shade or can be flowered in shade.

Den Memory Love2.  They can take temperatures to 100 degrees and we have accidently frozen flowering plants to 25 degrees and not even lost the flower buds.  Literature says they can survive at Zero degrees F.  We placed seedlings outside this year down to 23 and they looked excellent.

3.  They can take large amounts of water without rotting and can go for a month without water.

BUT they one very distinct growing pattern that is important to know.  Their leaves turn yellow and fall off Den. Yellow Songevery year - they are deciduous.  This is their growing pattern.  They are not dying.  It is an indication that flowers are coming.Den Oriental Smiles

The main parent Dendrobium nobile from Asia is totally deciduous and requires a cool rest period each fall to encourage flowering.  The newer hybrids are easier to grow and can be watered regularly throughout the year and do not need a rest period.  Even the species nobile is watered heavily once a week during its 'rest' period in Florida.  Total failure to water will shrivel the canes.

Dendrobium nobile would lose all its leaves before starting to flower, whereas the newer hybrids may keep some of their leaves.

Flowering - Nobile flower in the fall to winter after being cooled to under 50 degrees at night for a month.  They grow best outside down to freezing temperatures so leave them until hard freeze is threatened before bringing them inside.  In Florida we keep them outside year round.  As a result, they will flower in the fall in northern states and Jan-April in Florida.

Fertilizer - Nobile require very little feed and excess nitrogen causes leaf and keiki growth at the expense of flowers.  We recommend a balanced fertilizer lightly from the finish of the flowers for about 5 months.  In Florida we stop fertilizer in August and recommend stopping a little earlier in northern states.

Re-potting - Nobile do not grow as many roots as other Dendrobium and re-potting to larger pots is not necessary for years.  Like all orchids we recommend replacing the growing medium every two years.  You will find the roots tend to circle around the top of the pots and can be moved fully into the pot at this time.

Staking - The canes of Nobile hybrids can be very thick at the top while having a very thin cane near the medium.  As a result they will fall over if not staked for support.  Staking is the most common way of growing them.  Surprisingly the canes are not injured even when they cress on falling over in baskets.  Allowing the canes to fall is a pleasing alternative way to grow them.  In a basket the flowers will be hanging down and new green growth will grow up for a pleasing contrast. .