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Commercial Cultivation of Dendrobium Orchids

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Dr. Sangeeta Soi

The genera of orchids which are commercially important are Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Oncidium,Vanda, Mokara, Arachnis and Cattleya (Hew,1994 and Laws, 1995). Among these genera, Dendrobiums are most popular tropical orchid getting fame as cut flowers in India as well as in the world. Dendrobium (commonly abbreviated as ‘Den’ in horticulture) is one of the second largest genera of Orchidaceae which contains more than 1,340 species (Baker and Baker, 1996) and possibly thousands of hybrids which are distributed throughout the Old World. Dendrobium plants vary in size, some being smaller than a matchbox, others are large, robust specimens measuring over one meter. A few Dendrobiums are deciduous while the others are evergreen. Some have pseudobulbs and the others have jointed stems resembling canes. They bloom from the old pseudobulb or canes or otherwise from the new growth. The flower spikes can be above two feet tall with around twenty blooms on them.

The flowers last for 6 to 8 weeks and they make excellent cut flowers. They bloom in all the colors of the rainbow - pinks, lavenders, reds, yellows, oranges and many mixed color combinations. Lavender or white flowers are borne in profusion on a well-grown plant and are long lasting. 

Importance of orchids in India 

  • Highest selling flower in Indian cut flower industry.

  • Most popular Dendrobium variety

  • Main Import Cities:- Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata

  • Popular Color:- White, Violet, Yellow and Pink

  • Potential:- Good demand in the Indian Flower market. 

Commercial Orchids Varieties of Dendrobium 

  1. White Big Sanam.

  2. AiyaraPink 

  3. Sonia Red. 

  4. Big White (5N) 

Climatic requirements and water requirements 

  • Temperature:- Minimum 15°C & Maximum 33° C

  • Humidity:- 60-80%

  • The EC will be less than 0.5 ms/cm

Orchid Shade Net 

  • The shade net house for the Dendrobium haveflat roofs. 

  • Direct filtered sun is essential for flowering, but provide 30-70 percent shade during midday.

Support system for Cultivation 

  • The support system as per their requirement

Planting Media 

  • Coconut blocks used for planting of Dendrobiums

  • Every time when doing the planting the stems should be erected completely vertically. Little bamboo sticks that are stuck in the coconut blocks may be attached to the orchid stems to help keep them in position.

  • Plants of a height of 10 to 15 cm only just planted in coconut blocks.

Disease and Pest Management 

  • Insecticides or fungicides can be mixed together and should be applied by spraying once every 7-10 days between 4pm and 5 pm on a fine day.

  • Fertilizer should be sprayed in the morning once every 7-10 days.


  • Dendrobium can provide flower spike round the year and flower production.

  • Flowering starts 18 months after planting.

  • It can produce 5-6 spikes per plant per year. The number of flower spikes per pant increases as plants are, reaching a maximum at 3-4 years, and then decline. Spike length reaches a maximum after 3 years.


  • Flower spikes are generally harvested with four to six unopened buds when 70-75% of the lower flowers fully open.

  • This stage of harvesting helps to open the remaining buds. Harvest should be done in the early morning or late evening. Spikes are harvested with sharp sterilized knife.

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