Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hard cane Dendrobiums

Dendrobium Emma White - Photo by Richard Lindberg

My first orchid was a hard-cane dendrobium hybrid named "Fiftieth State". My new wife and I visited a nursery on Oahu and had them ship two plants to us at home.

Dendrobium Blue Violetta - Flower photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium Blue Violetta - Flower photo by Richard LindbergAfter a weak rebloom they died and from then on I killed Dendrobiums one after another. First I rotted all the roots by over watering. Later I overcompensated and I dried them out WAY too much.

Here is the secret of keeping them wet and dry at the same time. Take them out of the pot, clean them really well and put them in a pot that is a bit too big with big chunks of granite as the medium. Put them in fairly warm temperatures and very bright light. I water daily in the summer and feed them regularly.

Dendrobium Blue Violetta is the only Dendrobium of this type I have as part of the collection. I have several others in the greenhouse but they are mostly there as part of the decor. A lot of my plants are species that bloom once a year or have small flowers. There are many times standing at the greenhouse door you can see very few of these blooming. The Dendrobiums give visitors something to see. Also, at least in Sonoma, I have all the blooming orchids arranged as a display in the greenhouse window.

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