Orchids labelled “Dendrobium nobile” are frequently offered for sale in garden centres. However, these are usually hybrids of the more graceful true species (see photo below). The Dendrobium nobile species is cool growing hailing from the Himalayas and N. India. It is regarded as easy to cultivate but difficult to flower and that was my experience until I followed the advice offered on this difficulty discussed on the “Roger’s Orchid’s” YouTube podcast. The key to success I have now learned is that the species likes warm summers in dappled shade and watered copiously until the canes become fully swollen in the early autumn. Critically over the wintertime the plant must be kept cool at night with temperatures of between 7-10 C and ideally a few degrees warmer during the day. The plant must be positioned all winter in bright light until the flower buds emerge in spring and only occasional watering provided to prevent cane shrivelling. Mature plants can produce dozens of elegant, scented blooms and so not surprisingly it has been popular in collections for over two hundred years.
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