My nobile Dendrobium hybrid orchid grew only keikis (babies) rather than flowers. What am I doing wrong?


If you have only baby plants (keikis) developing in spring rather than flower buds, it can indicate that the winter temperature was not cool enough. Nobile-type Dendrobium hybrids are derived from orchids native to high-elevation regions of Asia with cool winter and warm, wet summer growing conditions. Often closely related to Dendrobium nobile, they can be challenging to grow because they require a dry and low- temperature environment to create dormancy in winter months and trigger bud formation, with continued bright light.

Make sure your nobile Dendrobium hybrid gets proper winter rest period. In the fall, begin to taper off watering. The orchid will stop making new leaves and in late fall (about mid-November), reduce water further so that you provide little to no water for a period of 2 to 3 months. Water only to keep the cane and pseudobulb from shriveling and keep humidity low. Do not resume watering generously until buds have formed along the cane.

Some foliage may fall, leaving the plant looking bare and strange, but that is normal for these deciduous to semi-deciduous plants. During the winter rest period, keep day temperatures below 70°F, with night temperature around 55°F. Stop feeding completely in the fall and during the winter rest. Resume fertilizing the orchid when buds are well formed.

Nobile Dendrobium hybrids require extended very bright light to remain vigorous and produce flowers. In the New York City area, a south-facing window with a shear, filtering curtain is often best or an east or west window with extended light. Bright light should continue during the winter resting period.

Full care information is available in our Nobile Dendrobium Hybrid Orchid Culture Guide.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Jan 06, 2023
  • Views 7
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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