Care for Orchid - Dend etc.

LEARN at UCRVMS.BITNET LEARN at UCRVMS.BITNET
Thu Jun 18 14:10:00 EST 1992


AJ,
  My name is David Jarrell, a student in the same lab as Jerry Learn whose
account I am writing on.  Your friend must know orchids because Dendrobium
aggregatum is not your general florist pot plant.  This species is a native of
India and possibly other parts of southeast Asia.  There are at least two
varieties grown by orchid hobbyists, majus and jenkenii (sp.?).  Var. jenkenii
has smaller flowers.  I've had a specimen of var. majus for 4 to 5 years.  For
most of that time, it has been happily growing mounted on a horizontal piece of
cork oak (tied on with fishing line).  Also for the first 3 years, it grew
under a home built fluorescent light system.  The plant flowered for the first
time about a month ago.  The flowers (if you haven't seen them) are on a
pendulous spike and are a golden-yellow with orange-yellow center in the lip.
It is now in a bright spot in the greenhouse and is watered every 1-3 days
with diluted (1/4 strength) low nitrogen fertilizer (DYNA grow 7-9-5).  This
species and many other Dendrobiums undergo a "dormant" period in the wild with
little rainfall and it is this that signals them to flower. This past winter,
from about mid-Nov. through April, I cut back watering to once a week (or more,
enough to keep the pseudobulbs from shrinking "too" much).  If your office has
a bright window, fine, if not, get it some place that does.  Place it above a
tray of gravel with water for humidity and provide some air movement for gas
exchange.  This plant increases in size slowly but I have seen specimen plants
a foot wide (50-100 growths) with 200-300 flowers.  It can be one of the most
spectacular orchids a person could own.  Please don't think of this as a throw
away plant.
                                        Good Luck, David Jarrell



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