of the month
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Dendrobium spp. (den-DRO-bee-um)
Bamboo orchid, Singapore orchid
Dendrobium plants are varied, but most varieties bloom in sprays
with delicate florets that are 1 inch to 2 inches across,
blooming along a central sturdy stem.
Dendrobiums are available in an array of colors including
purple, pink, fuchsia, white, yellow, green and bicolors.
Purples and whites are the most popular and available.
The plants can last from weeks to months.
Dendrobiums are available year-round.
IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Bright, indirect light
is recommended. Inadequate light levels can result in spindly
stems and thin leaves with few or no flowers. East or west
windows in the summer and fall, and south windows in the winter
and early spring will give plenty of light to grow Dendrobiums
well. Extended exposure to strong light or abrupt exposure of
plants to high temperatures in the presence of strong light can
quickly cause permanent sunburn.
WATER For best flowering,
regular watering is needed. Let the plants dry slightly between
waterings, or root rot can result.
plants are tropicals and require warm conditions. Consumers
should maintain daytime temperatures of 70 F to 90 F and
nighttime conditions of 60 F to 65 F for best results. The
plants should never be exposed to temperatures lower than 55 F
for extended periods of time.
HUMIDITY Humidity levels
should be high. Humidity can be increased by placing the plants
on pebble trays.
FERTILIZER Use an orchid
fertilizer at each watering when there is active growth. When
there is no active growth, fertilize at every other or every
third watering. Always allow the excess water to drain freely.
REPOTTING Do not repot the
plants unless new growth has come out of the edge of the pots or
the medium has decomposed. Potting medium can be a mixture of
medium-size bark, volcanic rock, hardwood charcoal, coconut husk
chips or sponge rock. Press the medium tight during repotting.
GROOMING Remove individual
flowers as they fade. If lower leaves turn yellow, they can be
removed without damaging the plants.
SENSITIVITY Dendrobiums show low sensitivity to
PESTS Spider mites, aphids
and mealybugs all can infest Dendrobiums. Control them by
washing them off with insecticidal soap. You also can dab
rubbing alcohol directly onto mealybugs with cotton swabs.
MEANING The name
“Dendrobium” comes from the Greek words “dendron,” which means
“tree,” and “bios,” which means “life,” referring to the plants’
habit of growing attached to trees.
FAMILY These beautiful spray
orchids come from the largest family of plants, the Orchidaceae,
which has hundreds of thousands of genera and species native to
all parts of the globe. The genus Dendrobium has more than 1,000
species and is among the most commonly encountered orchid in the
retail trade today.
ORIGINS Dendrobiums are
native to many parts of the world, including the Pacific
islands, Asia and Australia.
UNUSUAL PLANTS Dendrobiums
are “epiphytes,” or air plants. They grow on other plants and
elevated supports. They get water and nutrients through a spongy
covering on their roots and are not parasites.
BLOOMS Check for signs of
discoloration on petals, which indicates old flowers and/or
flowers grown too cold. Avoid plants that show any blackening.
Some information provided by:
The Chain of Life Network®,
Flowers and Plants Association,
The North of England Orchid Society,
Texas A&M Agricultural Research & Extension Center,
You may reach “Blooming Plant of the Month” writer Steven W.
Brown, AIFD, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
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