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Dendrobium question

This is a discussion on Dendrobium question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi everyone. I have my first dendrobium phal . It's my first dendrobium and its ...

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  1. #1
    thefastestslug is offline Junior Member
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    Question Dendrobium question

    Hi everyone. I have my first dendrobium phal. It's my first dendrobium and its lovely! Anyway, the flowers are dying off now and I just want to make sure I am correct with what to do. Like with my phals, should I cut off the stem at the node below the lowest bloom? What if the lower blooms died off before the top blooms, do I still cut below the original lowest bloom??

    And just for kicks...how long does it usually take a dendrobium phal. to bloom again? Will the flower stem split off into a second stem like with my regular phals? Thanks.

  2. #2
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Hi Slug, under only very rare curcumstances will a Den-Phal rebloom from an old spike. 99.9 % of the time, the spike will just die back. They can, however, bloom again from an old cane that's dropped its leaves. The general practice is to cut the spike as close as you can to where it emerges from the cane. Keep in mind, though, that you're doing this only for cosmetic reasons. You can leave the spike completely alone, let all of the flowers die, let the spike brown and die, and still not cut it. You won't hurt a thing, but most people don't like the look of an ugly brown "stick" poking out the top of their plant.

  3. #3
    MiddleAgesMan is offline New to this
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    I was about to start a thread about Dendrobiums but saw this one and would like to continue with questions about them, if you don't mind.

    I just bought my first dendrobiums at a clearance sale. I was not aware they were part of the Phal family so I've already learned something. Only one of the three plants had a tag, reading "Dendrobium Thongchai Lai."

    Since I puchased these locally I am assuming they are suitable for the Savannah climate. Do they need similar conditions to other phals?

    I repotted two already and will do so with the third asap. I put one in S/H and potted the other in a common pre-mixed orchid media (bark, charcoal, etc.). One of the plants had been in a combination of foam "peanuts," bark and sphagnum. Those roots looked marginal but OK. They were very tightly balled and difficult to clean. This is the one I put in the orchid mix. The other one cleaned up much easier and is the one I put in S/H.

    Am I going in the right direction? Any suggestions, comments, condemnations?

  4. #4
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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, Middleages,

    I am not an expert on this, but I'll share you the few things I know about Dendrobiums. First, they are NOT the same as Phals. Second, they require a higher light compare to Phals. They prefer some direct sun in the morning.

    I have never tried growing Dendrobium in s/h yet so I can't comment on that one but your choice of orchid mix is ok. Just remember to let the medium dry between waterings. Most of my Dendrobiums are mounted or potted in bark mix.

  5. #5
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    MiddleAges, Dendrobium-Phalaenopsis are only called that because their flowers share a (somehwat vague, in my opinion) similarity to Phal flowers. There is also a Dend species called Dendrobium phalaenopsis which is often found as an ancestor in the hybrids.

    But Tanya is right; that's where the relationship ends. Dendrobiums and Phalaenopsis are two completely different genera of plants with very different growth habits.

  6. #6
    MiddleAgesMan is offline New to this
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    Gotcha!

    And thanks to both of you for the info.

  7. #7
    Ladybug is offline Senior Member
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    I have dends growing and blooming nicely in SH. Actually, if you can get the roots clean enough they should take right to it. Do watch the amount of sun that hits the pot because the clay pellets can get too warm for their roots. You could run your own experiement...one in bark mix, one in sh and report back with which does better for you.

    Good luck with your new plants.
    Maggie

  8. #8
    MiddleAgesMan is offline New to this
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    The two re-potted plants are looking much better already. The one in S/H has a brand new growth coming up out of the lava rock; it may have been there before but I don't recall it. That new growth looks very healthy and is almost 3 inches tall. Based on the above advice I've shifted them around to get a little more early sun. I had earlier placed them with the phals where most of their light was being filtered through moving shade (they're all outdoors).

    The one that is not yet re-potted looks better, also, but it has a disease spot near the base of one of the largest leaves. The rest of the leaf has good color so I'm going to give it a little time before deciding on an amputation.

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