Today, when we bought a couple Sarcochilus orchid plants in the Orchid Farm in Langwarrin, the generous owner gave us two more Sarco orchids in smaller pots and a small Dendobrium as a bonus. One of the Sarco bonuses and the Dendrobium are mystery, it means that he will not tell how the flowers will look like/what colours. I cannot wait until they bloom!
So far, the only Dendrobium that I have is Australian native (D. delicatum) which obviously has hard canes. Only today I learned that basically there are two types of Dendobriums: The Hard Canes and the The Soft Canes. The dendrobium bonus gift is the soft-caned one.
These are my notes about Dendrobium Orchids :
Hard Cane Dendrobiums have tall pseudobulbs/canes and they are evergreen. The flower spikes grow from the top of the canes. Examples of these type of Dendrobiums are Dendrobium Phalaenopsis (Den Phal) or also known as Dendrobium bigibbum and some Australian native Dendrobiums.
Soft Cane Dendrobiums/Dendrobium nobile/Den nobile
- It is terrestrial (grow on trees) or lithophytic (grown on rocks) from the Himalaya, Assam, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, found in lowland, mountain forest or rocky areas.
- The plant is deciduous, will drop leaves in cold weather.
- Flowering time is mostly in winter through spring. The blooms grow from the upper nodes of both leafed and leafless canes.
- For growing in Australia, the plant need some shade from sunlight (50 – 60 %) during hotter months (spring to summer). During the autumn and winter the plants may be kept completely out under full sunlight. If the canes are too green with very luscious leaves, the plant may need more sunlight.
- Best temperature is not lower than 4 deg. C and not higher than 32 deg C. To help flowering night low temperature about 10 deg C is needed.
- Watering is done only during the growing season after finished flowering in late Spring through Summer time (November – April). Reduce watering in autumn when the weather has started to cool down. In the winter watering is only needed when canes start to shrivel.
- The plant will need a reasonably high humidity, can sit the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water.
- Fertilizing ‘weakly weekly’ during growing season from November to March with liquid fertilizers with high potassium content, fish emulsion, seaweed extract etc. and stop it completely during winter time.
- Den nobile prefer relatively small pots, and as the plant can grow pretty tall, little stones can be put in the bottom of the pot. The most common potting media that is used is pine bark or coco bark chips.
- Repotting and division can be done when the plant has become overcrowded.