Fragrant Orchids of Maui

living with the fresh fragrance of paradise


Dendrobium anosmum

Fragrant Hono Hono

These orchids are pendulous, with leaves all along the canes that drop off prior to blooming in the spring. After the leaves have dropped off the flower buds will appear and then bloom.

Flowers usually last 3 to 4 weeks and are very fragrant.

At the same time keikis (babies) will start to grow in the pot from the base of each cane. When the keiki gets about 2 inches tall, cut off the old cane. Lay old canes out and water. Keikis will grow on the old canes and when they develop a sufficient root system, remove them and pot in a 4″ pot to start a new plant.

Your mother plant will remain in its current pot for many years and every year the new growth (keikis) will grow longer and produce more flowers. The growth period for the Honohono is in summer; give warmth, water and fertilize heavily until top terminal leaf appears on canes, around November. Then give high light, little water, no fertilizer and cool nights. Around the first part of January, start watering and fertilizing your Honohono in preparation for its spring bloom.


Sufficient light is important for healthy growth and flower production. Provide bright light. In the home, an east, west or lightly shaded south window.

Leaves should be medium olive-green color. Many varieties’ leaves turn yellow and fall off, a natural process.


Provide nights of 60 to 65 F; days of 80 to 90 F. Temperatures up to 95 to 100 F are beneficial if humidity and air circulation are increased. Low temperatures (below 50 F) may cause leaf drop.


Keep evenly moist while in active growth. Allow to dry between waterings after growth is mature.


In the home, place the plants on trays of gravel, partially filled with water, so that the pots never sit in water, or set a bowl of water next to your plants and allow the water to evaporate. In the greenhouse, use a humidifier if conditions are too dry.


Should be provided on a regular basis. A good general rule is to apply a balanced (such as 20-20-20) water soluble fertilizer “weakly.” That is, fertilize every week at one half of the recommended dilution.


Should be done every two to three years before mix loses consistency (breaks down). Pot firmly in a porous medium grade mix, giving aeration and ample drainage, allowing enough room for two years’ growth.

Dendrobiums grow best in pots small for the size of the plant.