Epidendrum Orchid: Home Care, Species, Transplanting And Propagation

The most numerous genus in the orchid family is Epidendrum. Thus, this genus unites more than 1100 various plant species, among which there are epiphytes, lithophytes and terrestrial species of sympodial orchids. In nature they can be found in subtropical and tropical regions of South and North America.

The species of this genus usually have obvious differences from each other, which consist in both size and appearance. However, each species has branched short rhizomes (an above-ground modified creeping shoot), and they also have stiff, rather thick, almost succulent sheathing leaves.

These leaves may be arranged at the top of small pseudobulbs in pairs or in pairs on erect, thin stems. Some species have linear-lanceolate leaves with pointed tips, and they are also somewhat folded along the central vein, while other species have broadly oval leaf blades with a concave, boat-like or scoop shape. The apical pedicels are most often multi-flowered and bear dense inflorescences in ball or brush form, but some species have monoflowered inflorescences or loose spike-like ones with just a few flowers. The richly colored flowers can be both large (up to 14 centimeters in diameter) and rather small (diameter from 1 to 4 centimeters). The 3 sepals (sepals) and 2 true petals (petals) are usually similar in color and shape.

The rather large complex lip (3rd petal) near the base is curled into a tube.

Home care of the epidendrum orchid

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

Epidendrum is not yet very popular among Russian florists. However, in foreign flower stores there is a huge choice of such orchids as different hybrids and species forms. This plant is recommended for cultivation by experienced florists, while beginners may have many problems with it.


Needs bright light all year round, but the flower should be protected from direct sunlight.

A window sill facing west or east is recommended. If the flower is on a window facing south it should be shaded from the scorching sun during the midday hours.

With the window in the northern part of the room it is not recommended to place epidendrum, because there is very little light even in summer. However, the flower will normally grow and develop in such a place, if he ensure extra light phytolamps, the light level should be 6000 lux, and the light day should have a duration of 10 to 12 hours. Also phyto-lamp doping is recommended in autumn and winter (especially in the evening).

Temperature regime

This plant needs a moderate or moderately warm temperature regime. Make sure you have a change in temperatures during the day. The best temperature difference will be from 18 to 25 degrees in the daytime and from 12 to 16 degrees at night. The room temperature difference must not be less than 6 degrees.

From spring to autumn it can be kept outside (in the garden, on the balcony) if there is no risk of frost at night.

It should be protected from direct sunlight and precipitation. This is the easiest way to get this orchid to the right temperature.

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation


How an epidendrum grows depends directly on the species. Thus, large species (such as the rooting epidendrum) should be potted, while compact species (such as the sickle-shaped epidendrum) should be grown on blocks. A suitable earth mixture consists of medium-sized pieces of pine bark, peat, sphagnum and a small amount of charcoal.

A large piece of pine bark is used as a block, on the surface of which the rhizome and the root system of the flower are fixed. In order that the liquid does not evaporate very quickly, it is necessary to cover them with a not too thick layer of sphagnum.

How to water

For watering use well-drained soft water, which should be between 30 and 45 degrees. It is recommended to water the plant by dipping the pot or block into a basin filled with water. After 20-30 minutes, take the orchid out, wait for any excess water to drain off and return it to its place.

Water when the bark is almost completely dry (do not allow the plant to dry out completely).


No too high a humidity is required, best at 50-70%. To achieve this humidity, it is recommended to put some expanded clay material in the sump and pour some water in, while moistening the leaves with a sprayer twice a day.

Perfect transplanting

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

Perplant once every 3 or 4 years, after the substrate (block) becomes very sour or has decomposed. Repotting is recommended as soon as the plant stops flowering.


Fertilize once every 2 or 3 weeks. Use a special orchid complex fertilizer. Dissolve the fertiliser in water for watering (for the concentration see package).


The plant does not have a dormancy period.

Transfer methods

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

Transfer methods depend on the species.

For example, it can be propagated by offspring, by rhizoma division or by rooting the apical part of the flower, which must have aerial roots.

Splitting the bush, you must remember that each offspring must have at least 3 developed pseudobulbs or shoots. The offspring should be separated from the mother shoot only after it has grown several roots big enough.

Pests and diseases

Resistant to pests.The orchid is most often diseased due to a breach of care.

For example: rotting of the pseudobulbs and root system if watered too much, burns on the leaves due to direct sunlight, no flowering if the light is poor, etc.

Main species

The following are descriptions of the main species of this orchid, but the most popular among florists are the various hybrids.

Epidendrum radicans)

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

This lithophyte can be found in nature in the humid forests of Columbia as well as Mexico. This plant is characterized by having many aerial roots growing on the entire surface of fully foliated, thin shoots, which are often longer than 50 centimeters. The leaflets, pointed at the tips, are narrowly elliptical in shape and about 10-14 centimeters long.

Multi-flowered peduncles hold ball-shaped inflorescences consisting of bright red flowers, which reach 4 centimeters in diameter. Oval-shaped sepals are one and a half centimeters long and 5 millimeters wide. Wider petals are almost diamond-shaped. The pronounced three-lobed lip resembles a flying bird; it has fringed lobes, which are almost rectangular in shape, while the one in the center is bifurcate at the tip. In the central part of the lip, in the yawn of the tube, there is a rich yellow spot.

Epidendrum cross or ibaguense (Epidendrum ibaguense)

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

This land species can be seen in nature in South and Central America. Similar to Epidendrum rooting, but this plant has aerial roots growing only at the base of the shoot. And it also features a variety of colors of flowers, such as: red, yellow, orange, and light purple.

Epidendrum ciliare (Epidendrum ciliare)

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

Wild is found in tropical areas of Central America. This plant is a medium-growing epiphyte with club-shaped pseudobulbs that are single or double-leafed.

The oblong-elliptic leaves can reach 15 centimeters in length. The multi-flowered peduncles have apical inflorescences in the shape of brushes. The fragrant flowers are quite large, with a diameter of 9 centimeters. The yellowish-green sepals and petals are very narrow, lanceolate and filiform. The pronounced three-lobed lip is colored white.

At the same time, its fringed broad lateral parts are strongly cut and resemble ruffled feathers, while the long lobe, which is in the center, is narrow, elongated and pointed, resembling a lance to a spear.

Epidendrum ivory (Epidendrum eburneum)

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

This epiphyte can be found in nature only in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. The rounded upright shoots reach 20-80 centimeters in height. They have tubular membranous sheaths on their surface, which are left over from fallen leaves. The narrowly elliptical leaflets are 11 centimeters long and 2-2.

5 centimeters wide. There are 4-6 fragrant flowers of rather large size (about 6 centimeters in diameter) on small, short peduncles. The narrow-lanceolate, almost filiform sepals and petals are ivory (light ochre) in color. The rather large, heart-shaped full lip is about 4 centimeters wide. It is colored white and has a yellowish spot near the pharynx.

Epidendrum sickle-shaped (Epidendrum falcatum)

Epidendrum orchid: home care, species, transplanting and propagation

This lithophyte is endemic to Mexico. This species is quite compact. The single leafed, slender pseudobulbs can reach 4-8 centimeters in height. The drooping, linear-lanceolate leaflets can measure 10 to 30 centimeters in length. The single flowers are 8 centimeters in diameter.

The whitish-green sepals and petals are narrow-lanceolate. The three-lobed, snow-white lip consists of broad, diamond-shaped lateral parts, which are slightly curved along the outer edge, and a narrow, belt-shaped central part. There is a small yellow spot in the yawn of the tube.


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