Dendrobium gift box and culture questions.
I was given four Dendrobium orchids that with just labels as a gift/challenge to research and take care of them.
From left to right we have a Fancy Angel Lycee, Kingianum, Crepiteferum/Glomeratum, and a Gold Star.
As you can see, they're rather young and won't flower for a few years, but I should get their care sheets double checked.
Fancy Angel likes cool temperature in winter (<50), bright light, watered enough to prevent wilting in the winter and more often in the summer, but I can't find how long dormancy should go or what their summer temps should be.
Glomeratum likes high humidity, temperature between 50 and 60 degrees, and does not want to sleep in the winter.
Kinganum is ground based, does want to sleep in the winter with only enough water to keep it from wilting, and doesn't care about temperature as long as it's between 38 and 105 and has good airflow.
Gold Star likes 50-60 degrees, water enough to keep from wilting, and does sleep. I don't know how much it gets in the summer.
So that's just about it, although I don't know how to put them in dormancy or much about how summer care should be different than winter care. If you guys have any advice, that would be great.
carnivorous plants of the world -- unite!
The first and last are nobile types. They are deciduous so don't freak if/when the mature canes drop their leaves. Don't assume they are too young to flower. I have a NoID nobile hybrid which flower last spring on a 3" tall cane. Not saying yours will flower but they might. A caveat to the following info -- there are some hybrids out there now that do not need a chilly dormancy. The following is assuming yours do.
They can take temps down into the 40's no problem. Many can handle the upper 30s. If you live in an area that experiences an actual winter, you can keep them on a chilly windowsill. Ideally, put it in a room and forget about it. Temps in the low 50s to upper 40s should suffice. I leave mine outside until frost becomes a danger.
Do not water during that time except sips now and then if the canes start to wrinkle. How often will depend on your growing conditions. During dormancy, very little water is needed. The danger of over watering and rot is greatly increased as temps get colder since evaporation is reduced and water uptake by the plant is minimal.
Do not fertilize from about Sept until spring. If you do, you likely will never see a bloom. Feeding during dormancy seems to often lead to keiki formation instead of blooms.
Keep it as bright as you can but a reduced photoperiod is fine.
Sometime in late winter/very early spring, if it is going to flower or keiki, swellings/growths will begin to develop at the leaf nodes along the canes. Resist the urge to move it to a warmer location, to feed it, or to increase watering. Not doing so can induce it to abort the new growths.
Once bud development is far along to the point that the buds are large or even beginning to open, then it can be moved to a warmer area and water increased. Note: Flowers will last longer if kept in a cool (60s- low 70s) location and out of direct sun.
New cane development should begin sometime after bud development has started. Just when depends on your plant.
Fertilizing can commence after flowering is done or nearly so.
Once flowering is done, temps can go into the 90s with no problem. Depending on where you live and the genetics of your plants, they may be able to take full sun over the summer with no ill effects provided you harden them off and keep them well watered.
"Blessed are the cracked….
For they are the ones who let in the light."
Do the other two require the cooler conditions and decreased watering, only without the leaf loss, or should they be kept warm and well watered?
Originally Posted by DragonsEye
I grow most of my kingianum in clay pots with a mix of sphagnum, coarse sand, stalite, and orchid bark. They're not typically terrestrial growers but lithophytes or epiphytes, so make sure the mix stays airy with good drainage. Mine tolerate temperature extremes between 25 F (frost-free!) and 106 F but mostly grow when days stay around 55-85 F and nights 40-60 F, giving two distinct growth periods in spring and fall. I keep them moist year-round, somewhat drier in winter but rarely bone-dry for more than a day or two, and I fertilize with slow-release pellets that I add once or twice a year. Bloom spikes are cued by the drier and cooler winter period. Plants are somewhat variable in size, tolerances, and bloom habit throughout their natural range, plus there seem to be a lot of captive-bred hybrids passed around as "kingianum" so you may need to grow your plant for a few years to figure out how to grow and bloom it to your satisfaction. Good luck, this is a great species!
Kingianum preparing to bloom. Looks like it wasn't too small after all.
Make sure to smell them! They're nice but can be overlookable.
What he said!
Originally Posted by gnathaniel
D. kingianum grows wild around where I live in Brisbane and I see MASSIVE plants growing on the rocks on the edge of a high ridge I go hiking up occasionally. It bakes up there in the summer and we get lows of around 10C in winter, and we do have definite seasons. All gnathaniel's advice is good.
I'll try and take some pictures next time I go up there although it may be a while as I'm working in Darwin at the moment.
With regard to your other Dendrobs - I would recommend you give them a bit more light as they look a tad soft, the hard cane varieties in particular like the sun although introduce it slowly so as not to burn the leaves. Kingianum grows in full sun all day long and appears to love it. I used to have shares in about 15 acres of cut flower orchids, about half of which were Dendrobs (mostly 'Sonia' and some awfully bland white thing that I hated), near Jakarta in Indonesia. We grew them under 60% shadecloth, no real seasons, and they flowered constantly.
They were soft in the picture because they'd just arrived a few days earlier, and were in a box for almost a week. They're a lot better looking now, except for the two nobile types because they've shed their leaves for the winter. I'm just hoping the kingianum blooms, because it has brown nodes on the base of the leaves that look like they might be flower buds, but they aren't developing into buds or turning to keikis.
Originally Posted by fatboy