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Dying Dendrobium

This is a discussion on Dying Dendrobium within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I re-potted this Den a few weeks ago, it looked okay in the beginning and ...

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  1. #1
    orchid lady's Avatar
    orchid lady is offline Senior Member
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    Default Dying Dendrobium

    I re-potted this Den a few weeks ago, it looked okay in the beginning and even started sprouting a new growth and a spike, but later on decided to slow down. The old canes are still firm but they look like they are going to die soon. I water 2/week just like the rest of my chids and keep them inside next to a window where they get indirect afternoon sun. Temperature is probably between 60-85. The only thing I can think of is the potting mix which looks finer the the medium fir bark that I used on my other Dens.

    Any thoughts, suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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    jkhom is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not an expert but I've been told by the orchid grower near me that dens like to be planted with the media real tight in the smallest pot possible and let the media completely dry before watering again.
    To me, yours looks like it's sulking, I don't think it's going to die...
    Lots of patience is needed. I had a den that lost all of it's leaves (I'm still not sure why) and looked much worse than yours. It took several months before new growth appeared. I think yours will recover much quicker.

  3. #3
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    I agree with jkhom. My Den. phals want to be very root bound and completely dried out before they get watered again. You seem to be giving too much attention.

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    It is not uncommon for dends to lost their leaves - it might've just been a little shocked from the repotting. I've had dends lose all their leaves and resprout new growths AND bloom from the leafless cane all at the same time!! So do not be discouraged, dends are just wacky! I woul repot it into a smaller pot, however, I believe that is a unanimous piece of advice

  5. #5
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    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkhom View Post
    I'm not an expert but I've been told by the orchid grower near me that dens like to be planted with the media real tight in the smallest pot possible...
    I would have to disagree with that. That is not a rule set in stone.
    All my hard cane dendrobiums are in wood baskets where the roots are free to roam. Some baskets dont even have a substrate - the den's roots are just attached directly to the basket.

    They do like to dry out between waterings.
    After a heavy drenching, a 6" clay pot indoors it could take up to a week to completely dry out.
    In a plastic pot indoors, it could take as much as two weeks to completely dry out.
    Watering again before the substrate dries out will cause some problems with the roots.


    This is the explanation for the "smallest possible pot":
    Smaller pots dry out faster than larger pots. When you have a dendrobium potted in a small pot, then it will most likely dry out before you water it again - thus satisfying its "drying out" requirement.
    A larger pot filled with substrate will retain water for a very long time and will eventually cause dendrobium roots to rot if watered too frequently.

    As to the "very tight packing of the media":
    It is only a means to make sure that the tall dendrobium cane does not fall over.
    Tall cane + small pot footprint + loose potting substrate = canes falling over and out of the pot.

    So eventually, those two "rules" went hand in hand, as potting in small pots will require you to pack the media tight enough for the canes to remain stable.
    Nurseries also want to maximize bench real estate so they try to grow orchids in the smallest pots possible.


    If you are a frequent waterer, I suggest you try planting them in wood baskets with very little to no substrate at all.

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    Thanks everyone. Everything helps as I know very little about orchids. I know I have a long way to go, and I'm glad I found this site which helps me a lot. I will keep you guys posted.

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    When I repotted my dendrobium (the one I'm asking about in another thread here) I taped some stakes to the outside of the pot and used some twist ties to fasten it to help support the orchid, due to the fact that it had a very small root ball and also it's almost three feet tall. I have it in about a four inch pot with medium that drains quite well. When I repotted mine it was kinda shabby looking for a while and then it perked back up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbiegrenthumb
    When I repotted mine it was kinda shabby looking for a while and then it perked back up.
    Thanks for the encouragement. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I guess I'm comparing it to my other dens where the growths are growing faster than this one. I know it's not fair as this one I believe is a mini (can't remember anymore as this is one of the first one's I had)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchid lady View Post
    Thanks everyone. Everything helps as I know very little about orchids. I know I have a long way to go, and I'm glad I found this site which helps me a lot. I will keep you guys posted.
    Glad you are here, Marissa. You have the right attitude about your plants. Orchids demand patience from us as much as our care.

    Cheers,
    BD

  10. #10
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    I think I see new cane growth on the picture . I think it will be fine . Gin

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