Home Orchids Dendrobium Spectabile – Features, How to Grow and Bloom

Dendrobium Spectabile – Features, How to Grow and Bloom

by gardeningit
Dendrobium Spectabile

Dendrobium Spectabile alba is an epiphytic orchid that has a rather unique appearance. It has beautiful, green foliage that blooms with flowers every spring and summer, and the overall appearance of this plant makes it an interesting and gorgeous addition to the houseplant collection of an enthusiast. Dendrobium Spectabile can be grown inside the house and propagated, or you can even find the plant online for sale.


  • 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, about their growing habit. The Dendrobium plants are epiphytic orchids so they are found creeping on to rocks and trees. They 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 habitats.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • The Grand Dendrobium
  • Dendrobium Spectabile F. Aurea
  • Dendrobium Tigrinum
  • Latourea Spectabilis
  • Lautoria Spectabilis
  • Latourorchis Spectabile
  • Sayeria Spectabilis

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.

The Dendrobium Spectabile plants, in particular, have a diverse range of adaptable habitats, including high altitudes of mountains and tropical, humid rainforests, and sometimes even the warm, deserts.

Dendrobium Spectabile Features

Foliage and Stem

This particular orchid grows canes that are thin at the base but grow thicker near the top. They grow about 4 or 5 leaves and grow a “flower” from one of the nodes on top. These plants have cylindrical roots that grow from the base of a structure called the pseudobulb. The leaves are arranged in a particular manner and they vary in terms of sizes and shapes, some of them being linear and some being elongated while others look cylindrical. The stems can grow as much as 30 to 122 centimeters and the leaves measure approximately 20 to 40 centimeters long.


This particular species of Dendrobium Spectabile orchid plants are evergreen, meaning that it stays lush and beautiful throughout the year in every season if given the right care and environment to grow.


The Dendrobium Spectabile can be a medium to large height plant, capable of growing anywhere between 30 centimeters and 122 centimeters. Their perfectly, adorable size makes them very easy to display.

Temperature Tolerance

Dendrobium Spectabile plants do not do well under hot temperatures, most definitely not if they are exposed to warmer temperatures for longer periods. They prefer mild temperature all year round, anything that lets them keep the soil around them moist is good for them. Preferably, give them a temperature up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, if you can control it, that is. Probably the most effective way of growing them is to grow them by mounting them on slabs because in excessively cool conditions their roots can be expected to rot.

Humidity Tolerance

The Dendrobium Spectabile orchids love a humid atmosphere. 75-80% humidity throughout the year is what they prefer most, but anything near those numbers would do just fine too. The whole purpose is to keep the soil enough moist for the plant’s roots to slowly soak the moisture up. So when you feel like the plant needs a little extra help or when the weather seems too dry, you can mist the plant here and there.


These plants bear flowers during spring and summer. These flowers can be white, green, or yellow, sometimes even pink/purple.


Considering just how hot, dry, and windy droughts are, no, these orchids are not drought-tolerant at all. They require cooler temperatures and lots of water in the soil and the air to grow, so bring hot and thirsty will not do it any good.

Pressure Tolerance

Orchids are delicate plants and cannot tolerate pressure. Make sure you put them somewhere safe from being stepped on or from being pressed against other things.

Disease and Pest Resistance

Even though these plants are not very susceptible to diseases and pests all year long, they can attract some unwanted visitors and microbial growth now and then. This especially happens if the plant is living in inadequate or extreme conditions. 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 groom it.


The growth rate of these plants depends on the conditions they are kept in and the care they are given as well as their genetic makeup.


While there is still no evidence of this particular plant is toxic to cats and dogs, 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, these plants are pretty durable and can live for a long time. However, their flowers only last as long as several weeks.


A Dendrobium Spectabile plant does not require any fancy conditions to grow in. It thrives well in a regular indoor environment. This is one of the many reasons houseplant lovers are in love with this species. It is beautiful and is pretty low-maintenance.


During the cold, dark months of the year, these orchids go into a state of dormancy and their water and food requirements tend to generally decrease during the winter season. All you can and should do during this time is to give it attention and only water it as needed. Keep the plant clean and dry and make sure it stays protected from any pest attacks. Over-watering and over-feeding are a huge no-no so make sure you steer clear of it.

Related Posts:

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Dendrobium Anosmum

Rhipsalis Paradoxa

How to Grow Dendrobium Spectabile

Keep it under moderate to cool temperatures and avoid direct sunlight or scorching heat. Water it regularly or whenever the soil seems dry. Make sure you plant it in well-drained, peat-based soil. You can groom and prune the plant according to its needs and your taste.

Water Requirements

Try not to keep its soil dry for long periods. If the weather is not humid enough or is too dry, keep checking the soil and water it whenever you feel like the soil is dry. The Dendrobium Spectabile orchids need a moderate amount of water all year round to grow up to its maximum potential. You do not need to water it every single day. Water it 3-5 times a week, or only when you feel like the plant’s leaves are looking a bit too dry. Moist soil is what this plant needs. So don’t go on flooding it every time you think about watering it. Go easy on it.

Soil Requirements

Well-drained breathable soil is great for these orchids. An equal amount of potting mix and peat or moss can make a suitable environment for the plant to grow in. Just pay extra attention to the drainage of the soil and make sure it is not water-clogged.

Sunlight Requirements

The Dendrobium Spectabile plants are different from most other Dendrobium plants. They love sunlight. They need much more sunlight than other Dendrobiums and will not flower without sufficient amounts of sunlight. Quick tip, you might want to keep them away from late afternoon sunlight for the leaves to look better. It keeps them looking healthier.


As mentioned earlier, these orchids love to live in a warm, summery environment. But too much of extreme temperatures can make your plant sick. Make sure you protect it from unnecessary and frequent temperature changes.


Unlike temperature, these creatures love moderate to high humidity in the air. If your area lacks moisture in the air, you may get an indoor humidifier installed. If not, you can group a couple of water-loving plants. This is a good trick to increase humidity around a moisture-loving plant. Misting may also prove to be beneficial if done right. You can also place the pot on a pebble tray and add some water at the bottom. The water will evaporate and create humidity in the air around the plant. Just make sure the pot is sitting on the pebbles and not directly on the water.


You can fertilize your Dendrobium Spectabile plants once a week or fortnightly, especially during the growing seasons of spring and summer. Use good quality plant food with an average amount of nitrogen in it. Too much nitrogen can be dangerous for your plant’s roots.


You can repot these plants every few months or years, or whenever you start to feel like the plants have outgrown their current pot. Just make sure the new pot is two to three inches bigger in diameter than the last one.

Grooming and Pruning

Every once in a while, you can groom and clean these plants to make them look healthier and neater. Simply remove any dead, dried up leaves from the plant and from around the plant, dust, and wipe it clean. This not only makes the plants look cleaner and better, but it also stimulates healthier new growth and keeps them protected from pests and diseases.

How to Get Dendrobium Spectabile to Bloom

If you want to put some extra effort into making your orchid plant bloom, the blooming phase is the right time to do that. These are the seasons of spring and summer and this is when taking good care of the plant pays off. Water it more efficiently, but stay clear of overwatering the plant. You can fertilize the plant more often during these months and even mist it now and then to boost the humidity around the plant and help it bloom. So, when you are worried about how to get your Dendrobium Spectabile to bloom, remember that spring and summer are the peaks of their blooming phase and a little extra care goes a long way during this time.

Propagation and Cultivation of Dendrobium Spectabile

The most common way to propagate the Dendrobium plants at home is by seeds and pseudobulbs.

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


Day 1-30: Plant the rhizome and mist it to keep it moist under the right conditions.

Months 1-3: Roots will finally start to grow at this point. You can now shift it to the bigger pot.

Months 3-5: It takes about 5 whole months for the plant to adapt to the new pot and develop to its full, mature self.

Displaying Dendrobium Spectabile

These plants are very versatile and easy to display because of their unique appearance. Their environmental care needs make them ideal to be grown indoors, so putting them behind sheer windows, against a plain wall or in an empty corner of a room will instantly brighten up your area. However, avoid putting your orchid plant in a colorful room because it might not be as visible as you would like. The color would simply blend into the surroundings and not pop as much. But, if displayed correctly, it brings an instant colorful, aesthetic look to your monochrome interiors. Plus, its small, adorable size makes it easy for you to put it on a shelf, in small corners, hang it against a wall or move it around the house to whichever place you think it looks best in.

Dendrobium Spectabile for Sale

When looking for an orchid plant for sale, make sure you thoroughly examine it for any diseases, spots, or unnatural growth. Look under and behind the leaves to make sure the plant is perfectly healthy. Ask for the age of the plant and make sure you are comfortable with it, as baby plants tend to be needier as compared to mature plants.

Final Thoughts

Dendrobium Spectabile alba is a beautiful, unique plant with interesting foliage. Not only is it pretty, but it is also very easy to take care of. You can display them anywhere in the house where it is not too warm and is preferably moderately humid. Even though we do not know for sure whether it is safe to be eaten or not, you might not want to risk it and should keep it away from your pets and children

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