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What is wrong with my Dendrobium?

This is a discussion on What is wrong with my Dendrobium? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; So, I've had this semi-antelope Dendrobium since September 2011. It was in bloom when I ...

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  1. #1
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
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    Default What is wrong with my Dendrobium?

    So, I've had this semi-antelope Dendrobium since September 2011. It was in bloom when I bought it, but has only put out canes since. Each cane is always bigger than the last, but it just refuses to bloom! I rotate feeding regimes - sometimes high nitrogen, sometimes high phosphorus (especially in the fall, during what should be its blooming season), have tried fish emulsion, liquid seaweed, plain waterings with nothing added...it just sits there. It's blasted by light all through spring, summer and fall, and I only take it inside for a few cold winter months and it's still in a Western window even then. Did I just get a dud or what?

  2. #2
    pavel's Avatar
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    Many of the dens require a chilling period in order to initiate spiking, Kelly. Can't say for certain that this is the case for yours but that may be the problem or at least part of it. Furthermore, you may be being too nice to your plant. Again, it is common for most dens to enter into a dormancy period before flowering. No dormancy, no flowers. During such a dormancy period watering is greatly reduced (in some cases completely stopped) and no fertilizer is given. Again as I already mentioned, many desire cooler temps during this period as well. If conditions remain "too good" (plenty of water, fertilizer, and warm temps) the plant does not go dormant and instead just continues to put out growths.

    Now that is all "general" tendencies. Never having grown any of the antelope type dens myself, I cannot say anything more definitative. Hopefully someone with more experience in this department will chime in. Btw, do you know the plant's name? That could prove helpful.

  3. #3
    stateless's Avatar
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    I have 2 antelope type dens and they have yet to bloom for me, I'm trying to give them more light, because I thought I read that they like a higher light level, I moved mine up to the vanda area slowly

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Vanda light may be too high for Dends from the Section Spatulata. They are warm lovers that like to dry between watering. There blooming season is usually spring to summer.

    Kelly, what is the name of your Dend? Maybe if I can check parentage I can get a better idea of what the issue may be.

  5. #5
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone!

    It's called Dend. 'dragon five'. I've never been able to find anything on it, so I'm almost certain it had an incorrect label. Who knows.

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    There is a Dragon Lady and Dragon Eye but no Dragon Five has been registered.

  7. #7
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    Well then I don't know what the hell I have.


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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    did it spike for you last summer? A search found this http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...endrobium.html

  9. #9
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
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    Yes, that's it. But that was an old picture even then. I bought it in flower in september 2011, and that's the only time it's ever spiked.

  10. #10
    pipsxlch is offline Senior Member
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    Antelopes don't want a cooling off, but many do have a dry season semi dormancy. Since my climate here in Fla roughly approximates their native wet/dry, I only water mine once every week or two in the dry months then start stepping it up roughly March (a few months before the rains come actually). I don't fertilize at all in the dry time either.
    As far as light, in my experience these guys are sun lovers and I grow mine in vanda light- they do get some noonday sun. My expereince once again is that they will be sparse to non bloomers in dimmer light, even though they may grow well. Maybe it is too pampered?
    Sorry I do see that you have tried addressing both these issues and they didn't work for you. Many of mine are spiking now (if the &@^$^%$# squirrels will stop eating all my spikes). I have one primary discolor hybrid that was in bloom when I bought it 3 years ago and continued to bloom that season, bloomed the following year, but not at all last year even though it hardened a few new larger growths. I moved last year, and for most of the summer it got too much shade- my last yard was sun blasted. It is getting more sun now (not as much as previous yard, trees all around) so I'm curious to see what this year will bring.
    I remember your plant- it is beautiful. I tried to find one, and did see that hybrid name being sold by an Aussie vendor- but only the one place, so don't know that it's a 'real' name. If it drives you too crazy, I'd be willing to buy it from you or trade a vanda for it.

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