AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Dendrobium - Intermediate-growing species

 

Mentioning intermediate-growing orchids and Dendrobium orchids in one breath can never be complete without mentioning the stunning nobile Dendrobium orchid. The nobile Dendrobium orchid originates from the mountainous areas in Asia, more specific the Himalayas. These orchids are well known for their abundance of flowers in spring after they have been left to dry throughout the cool winter months. What is even stranger is that the old canes and old bulbs on Dendrobium orchids in this group can also produce flowers.

 

During the latter part of spring and throughout the whole of summer the Dendrobium orchid, has a growth spurt that is second to no other orchid. New growth emerges from the base of the plant and matures in no time. It thus does not take a rocket scientist to realize that during this growth spurt, the orchid plant needs constant watering and feeding to ensure that the canes or pseudobulbs are kept fat and succulent. Usually the stems are quite heavy and should be secured and supported.

 

During the fall, when temperatures begin to fall you should apply a high potash-based fertilizer and place the orchid plants in a dry part of your greenhouse if you are cultivating your orchids in a greenhouse. You will notice buds appearing from almost every node along the swollen canes. If you water the nobile Dendrobium orchids at this stage, it will commence its natural growth cycle and the little buds would develop into little plants with very few or even no flowers. Thus if you want the Dendrobium orchid to flower, you should refrain from watering the orchid plant at this stage. Wait until the orchid flowers open. Very important in cultivating nobile Dendrobium orchids is bright light which in turn will maximize orchid flower production.

 

After the orchid flowering period it is important to repot your Dendrobium orchid to ensure that your orchid plant will experience an active growth period. You may even have to remove old canes where necessary and lay them ion damp, washed river sand where, over the summer, the bulbs will develop new keikis that can be removed at the end of the growth season to be planted. Obviously you will then be cultivating orchid plants that will be identical to the parent plants, but what a great way to increase your collection.