Australian Native Orchids in particular the dendrobiums hold the greatest fascination. In their natural habitat they grow on branches of trees and rocks to obtain their moisture through the extensive root system they produce.

Epiphyte orchids 

They do not grow in the soil. In general Australian Native Dendrobiums grow well in pots, as long as they have plenty of drainage (for small plants in pots up to 100 mm 5-8 mm bark orchid bark Larger plants 10-12mm and very large plants 25-30mm bark). They can also be grown on a slab of tree fern, melaluca, or cork but they must be ties on initially with fishing line or strips of pantyhose. The plants that are mounted need more attention than those that are potted because they dry out a lot quicker so they need more frequent watering but it is always a good idea to let them dry out before watering.

They grow well under about 50 to 70% shade cloth, providing adequate humidity is supplied during the hot months. A misting of the plants during the warmer weather also the watering down of moisture retaining material under the benches helps raise humidity around the plants. Benches of an open type mesh approx 24” above the ground is good because this will allow adequate air movement in & around the plants.

The best time to repot is immediately after flowering. Do not over pot but you can repot just about any time if the potting mix has broken down and /or has become quite sodden.

The plants require little fertilizer and can be given a weak solution when they are actively growing. If you over fertilize this will mean less flowers and soft foliage.


The main pest is the caterpillar, which seems to like the nice new growths so a solution of Dipel is good as it is a systemic product that only kills caterpillars and is safe to use. Slug & Snail bait is also good. Red Spider can cause a lot of damage as well; a good spray such as Rogor is beneficial but before use, please read the label.