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Den. unicum keikis

This is a discussion on Den. unicum keikis within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm trying to stretch my growing abilities with some Dendrobiums similar to ones I, um, ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Den. unicum keikis

    I'm trying to stretch my growing abilities with some Dendrobiums similar to ones I, um, killed off quickly when I first got into orchids. Here's one that arrived yesterday:



    I didn't know this was going to be a keiki monster! Is this normal for this species? It seems like it will make a strangely-shaped, unruly plant if I just let it grow like that, but I think I'd rather have one decently-sized plant than three little ones. What would any of you do with it?

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    I would let that dendrobium grow and the keikis mature a bit more and then remove them to their own pots.

    cheers,
    BD

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    Btw, Victoria, you probably already know this but unicum is well known for looking like it is totally dead (drops all its leaves and canes shrivel) when it really isn't. They generally require a very dry winter rest if I recall correctly.

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    orcoholic is offline Senior Member
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    Unicum will keiki if it's watered and fertilized during its winter dormancy. It looks like one of the keikis has the same problem your Aerangis does. If they are from the same vendor, i'd try to get replacements or refunds.

    They look like they could use a little more growth and then you can take them off and plant them separately. I wouldn't recommend leaving them on and trying to grow one large plant, as the keikis will drain strength from the mother plant.

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    Different vendor, different part of the country, and this one came out of the box looking like that, where the Aer. showed up looking somewhat damaged and then got worse a couple weeks later. I wondered about those leaves, but didn't quite follow the thought through that if they look sick they might be sick. Boo on that. I'll get my Physan-in spray bottle out when I get home, treat it and move it away from my other plants.

    Thanks for the explanation on what causes this -- one of my challenges will be not watering it when, yeah, it looks dead. But knowing that watering it will encourage it to keiki will be good motivation to keep from doing so.

  6. #6
    paphioboy is offline Senior Member
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    Most species dends grow keikis when kept too moist during the dormant season. Another possible factor could be damage to the main basal growth, as seen here (leaf tip looks burnt/rotten?).

  7. #7
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    The leaves on the main cane are yellow, but the cane feels really firm and it's green under the dry leaf sheaths. When I got this plant, I thought "deciduous, it's shedding those leaves," but someone on here pointing to the condition of the leaves made me realize it's probably the wrong time of year for that. (Correct me if I'm wrong. I fell in love with a few deciduous Den's blooms a while ago, but killed them all with low humidity, so what do I know.) It does seem to be growing a new shoot on the main plant as well as the keikis, so I'm thinking (hoping) sunburn.

    I feel like I should say that I got 3 others from this grower, a Den. goldschmidtianum, a Zygo. Advance Australia, and a Liparis nutans, and those all look great, plus I specifically asked for a Zygo that wasn't in bud (which is how this grower sells those), and they not only found me one but gave me a break on the price, which I hadn't even asked for. I think this was a mostly-good online-ordering experience and it's just this one plant that surprised me.

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