Home Orchids Dendrobium Parishii – A Gorgeous Tropical Orchid

Dendrobium Parishii – A Gorgeous Tropical Orchid

by gardeningit
Dendrobium Parishii

Dendrobium Parishii is a beautiful, tropical orchid from the family Orchidaceae. These Den Parishii plants are sometimes known as “hand orchids” because of the way their canes grow out, resembling fingers. Despite its tropical origins, these plants can grow very well in indoor settings. This is why houseplant enthusiasts love this species. These orchids not only make a beautiful addition to their collection, but they are also easy to grow in regular indoor environments.


  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily: Epidendroideae
  • Genus: Dendrobium

About the Genus Dendrobium

This genus was first officially described by Olof Swartz in 1799. The name Dendrobium meant “tree” and “life” in the Greek language, in reference to their growth habit. The Dendrobium plants make up a large genus from the plant family of Orchidaceae. It consists of about 1800 species, all of which are diverse in terms of size, shapes, colors, and growing habitats. Generally, these plants are epiphytic orchids so they are found creeping on rocks and trees. All around the world, these plants are not only popular for their ornamental uses, but also their benefits to the floral industry.

The most popular Dendrobium plants are Dendrobium Crumenatum (the pigeon orchid), Dendrobium Anosmum, and Dendrobium Parishii (the hand orchid).

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Parish’s Dendrobium
  • Callista Parishii
  • Callista Rhodopterygia
  • Dendrobium Polyphlebium
  • Dendrobium Rhodopterygium

Origin and Distribution

The genus Dendrobium is most commonly found around the south, east and south-east parts of Asia. This includes China, India, and Japan as well. However, the species of Den Parishii is particularly native to Eastern Himalayas and Indochina and is found in density in these distributions.

Structure and Features of Dendrobium Parishii

Foliage and Stem

These plants can reach up to a height of 15 to 50 centimeters in size and have yellow stems that are covered with membranous sheaths of white color. These stems may be erect or pendant, meaning that they can be potted upright or hang to grow down. The plants have stiff, leathery leaves that grow as much as 5 to 15 centimeters in length and are deciduous, meaning that they fall at the end of every year. These leaves may be narrow or elliptic in shape.


Luckily, these plants are evergreen. This means that their leaves stay fresh, leathery, and beautiful as long as they live. This is always a favorable feature for houseplant lovers that wish to grow tropical plants indoors and use them as a display.


Generally, these plants are sized small to medium, but if given the proper Dendrobium Parishii care and environment to grow, they can grow from a minimum of 6 inches to as tall as 18 inches.

Temperature Tolerance

This particular orchid species is not very tolerant in terms of temperature changes. Make sure you do not put them under extreme temperatures for example near a fan, an air conditioner, or a heat ventilator.  Sudden and extreme changes in temperatures can quickly make these plants ill.

Humidity Tolerance

Unlike temperature, these plants do not have a problem with added humidity in the air, especially during the growing seasons of summer and spring. However, make sure that you do not overdo it and reduce the moisture in the air during the autumn and winter seasons.


These beautiful Den Parishii orchids bloom starting from February to August. The canes bear flowers that are 4 to 6 centimeters in diameter with varying colors like rose, magenta, fuchsia, and lavender. The color transitions as it moves from outwards to inwards. These flowers have a dark pink lip that is covered with hair and has dark purple spots on the inner surface. The spine is most commonly white. These flowers are fragrant and smell like strawberries and cream.


Considering that these plants love humidity in their surroundings and moisture in their soil, they will not do well under drought-like conditions. Make sure that you do not put them under dry, extremely warm, and water-deficient environments for too long because they will not be able to tolerate it and will certainly fall ill.

Pressure Tolerance

Dendrobium Parishii orchids are just as delicate as they look. They will not tolerate being stepped on or pressed against other plants or materials. Make sure you put them somewhere high and out of people’s way, in free space for them to grow.

Disease Resistance

These orchids are not entirely disease resistant and the most common diseases that can attack these plants are Erwinia and Pseudomonas. Your plant is especially prone to catching these diseases if it is living in extremely wet or humid conditions or under low lights. A shady, damp environment promotes microbial growth and infection. However, if spotted timely, you may be able to prevent severe damage and get rid of the underlying problem quickly. Make sure you examine your plant thoroughly every other day while you dust and clean it.

Pest Resistance

In terms of pests, snails and slugs may occasionally visit the plant and cause you trouble. You must keep the leaves and stem of the plant clean and dry because water sitting for too long on the surface of the plant is what attracts them in the first place. While you do so, take the opportunity to examine and inspect the plant thoroughly to make sure there aren’t any bugs or spots on the leaves and stems.

If you do find insects attacking your plant, simply spray them with soap water or an insecticide to kill the insects and their babies. For a more natural alternative, you can use Neem oil or rubbing alcohol to wipe the leaves.


If given the right Dendrobium Parishii care, these plants can grow pretty quickly. However, the growth rate of these orchids majorly depends on the conditions they are kept in and the care they are given as well as their genetic makeup. So if you are doing everything right and your plant is still growing very slowly, give it time because the reason may just be its growth rate.


There is no evidence whether this particular species is toxic to cats and dogs or not, however, until that is sure to say, it is suggested that you avoid ingesting the plant. Even if the plant is not toxic itself, it is best if you keep them away from your pets and children because of all the potential dust, bacteria and poisonous chemicals that may be latched onto the surface of the orchid’s leaves. These dangerous substances can cause mild to severe physical symptoms if ingested or mishandled.


If taken well care of, Dendrobium Rhodopterygium plants are pretty durable and can live for a long time. However, their leaves are deciduous and fall at the end of every year. You do not need to re-pot them, as they come back eventually.


Dendrobium Parishii care does not involve any special efforts to grow the plant. It thrives well in a regular indoor environment with moderate temperature and humidity. This is one of the many reasons houseplant enthusiasts are in love with this species. It is not only beautiful but is pretty low-maintenance.


During the winter season, it is best if you let the plant be, and reduce its water and food supply to only as often as needed. It is best if you do not fertilize the plant during these months at all because the plant is “sleeping” and will not take overfeeding well. The most you can do to avoid dehydration of the plant is to occasionally mist it. But make sure that you let the orchid dry completely before the next watering and misting session. Avoid grooming or propagating the plant until new growth starts appearing in spring.

Dendrobium Parishii Care

It is recommended that you plant these orchids in a well-draining, loose substrate, and water them only when the soil starts to look moist or dry. Put the plants under low, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures for them to grow to their full potential.

Water Requirements

It is a good idea to water these plants frequently while they are growing and during summer and spring. But when the plant reaches maturity or when the autumn or winter seasons arrive, the amount and frequency of watering should be gradually decreased. During the normal routine, it is advised that you keep the soil moist to dry and water the plant only twice or 4 times a week allowing the orchid to dry between these watering sessions.

Soil Requirements

Because of their growing nature, they can be potted in both pots and baskets. You can even mount these plants and let them grow freely. For the substrate, it is recommended that you use a loose and well-drained soil mix that has a pH of 6.1 to 7.5 (slightly acidic to neutral). These plants prefer growing in a mix of sphagnum moss or bark based substrates.

Sunlight Requirements

It is very easy to get Dendrobium Parishii plants sun-burnt so special attention should be given to their sunlight requirements. It is essential that you keep them in a bright, well-lit room but not under direct sunlight. They prefer living in a shady spot rather than out exposed to the direct sun. Preferably, put these plants next to windows facing south or behind sheer curtains. If you must keep them under the sun, use a shade cloth to mellow the sunlight hitting the leaves. Also, make sure that you keep rotating the plant to ensure equal distribution of light to all parts of it. This ensures an equally asymmetrical growth.


This beautiful plant likes to live under moderate temperatures, which are mostly on the warmer side of the thermometer. As mentioned earlier, keep these plants away from direct exposure to extreme temperatures, like fans and air conditioners, and also avoid sudden and frequent temperature fluctuations throughout the day. If it tends to get too warm or too cold outside, make sure you shift the plant to a more suitable spot.


As discussed earlier, Dendrobium Rhodopterygium plants love humidity in the air so they will appreciate any extra efforts to add more moisture to their surroundings.

You can install an indoor humidifier or even group some water-loving plants together to add to the factor of humidity around all of them, collectively. A home remedy involves putting the plant in a pebble tray and adding some water to the tray. However, make sure that the pot is sitting on the pebbles and not directly in contact with water.  Occasional misting also does well in terms of not letting the plant get dehydrated.

Just make sure that moisture does not linger on top of the surface of the plant because that is an open invitation to infections and pests.

Fertilizer Requirements

Fertilizing the plant during the growing seasons of spring and summer are especially beneficial to it. During these months, it is recommended that you use a fertilizer that has high nitrogen content. As the autumn season approaches, you can switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer. Just stay away from fertilizing the plant while it is dormant (during the winter season). Also, make sure that you are not using cheap fertilizers for your plant because low-quality plant food can silently kill your Dendrobium Parishii.


If the plant seems to have outgrown its current pot or you generally just feel like repotting it into a bigger container, you can do this during early spring as the plant comes out of dormancy and develops new roots.

Grooming and Pruning

If you want to trim your Dendrobium Rhodopterygium, just make sure that you do not cut off the stem. Carefully trim off the flowers that are fading and clean the plant thoroughly. New flowers will grow on the same stalks the following year.

Dendrobium Parishii Propagation

Propagation of these orchids is done by dividing the plant into rhizomes. Make sure you sterilize your tools and equipment before starting to avoid spreading any diseases or infections. Also, make sure you wear protective garments to avoid hurting yourself during the process.

  • Start by removing the parent plant from its pot
  • Brush off the excess soil and divide the plant into rhizomes using a clean, sterilized blade, knife, or a pair of scissors.
  • Place the rhizome onto moist soil or sphagnum moss and put it in low-light and good air circulation.
  • Mist the growing plant twice a day and keep the soil moist (not dry, not soggy).
  • When you see new growth occurring, carefully shift the plant to a bigger pot, and treat it as a mature orchid.


Week 1-8: Plant the rhizome in suitable soil mix and mist it to keep it moist under the right conditions.

Months 2-5: Roots will finally start to grow at this point. You can now shift it to the bigger pot and change its water and fertilizer routines accordingly.

Months 6-12: It takes several months for the plant to adapt to develop to its full, mature self so you will need to be very patient and consistent.

Some Common FAQs

What Are Keikis and Why Do They Grow?

Sometimes, an orchid-like Dendrobium starts to grow baby plants on its stem instead of flowers. These baby plants are known as “keikis”. These growths are natural and are most commonly a result of excessive growth hormones accumulating in certain areas (or nodes) of the plant. If they bother you, you can simply remove them using a blade or knife. If you wish to re-pot them separately, wait for the baby plant to grow some leaves and roots that are at least 2 to 3 inches long and only then separate it from its mother.

Why Are the Leaves of My Dendrobium Plant Turning Yellow?

This could be the result of an underlying disease or inadequate light or water conditions. Check all these reasons one by one and identify the underlying cause. Fix the problem and your plant will get better in no time. However, at the end of every year, these plants tend to shed their leaves normally. So, before you get worried, take this normal phenomenon into account.

Displaying a Dendrobium Parishii Plant

For display, you can either hang them in baskets on mount them onto a strong surface. Their beautiful color and sweet fragrance are not at all overwhelming. Because of how elegant these plants look, they are suitable to be displayed in formal settings such as offices. However, this does not mean that you cannot arrange them in a casual setting. They look beautiful hanging in a basket in a well-lit room that has plain walls or monochrome interior. You can put them behind sheer curtains or in an empty corner of a room to add a quick, vibrant pop of color to your place. Just avoid putting it next to other colorful plants because it may not be as visible as you would like it to be and the other colors may mellow its beauty.

Dendrobium Parishii for Sale

These plants can easily be found in the botanical market. But when looking for a Dendrobium Parishii for sale, make sure you inspect it thoroughly for any diseases, spots, or dead parts. Look under and behind the leaves as well as the stems to make sure the plant is perfectly healthy. Check to ensure that there are no kiekis growing on the stems instead of flowers. Ask for the age of the plant and make sure you are comfortable with how old it is since baby plants tend to need more attention as compared to mature plants.

Final Thoughts

Dendrobium Parishii is a beautiful orchid plant that blooms during the spring season and grows stunning flowers in different shades of pink. Not only are these plants gorgeous to look at, but they are also very easy to grow and simple to maintain. They are not toxic, but you will still want to make sure your pets and children do not ingest it. These plants can be propagated by dividing them into rhizomes and growing them under suitable conditions. You can arrange them in your formal, as well as informal settings to add a bright, vibrant touch of color to the place.

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