Orchid News # 34
XIX WOC


Seldom seen Dendrobiums and their cultivation
                                                      by Roland Schettler

My interest in the Genus Dendrobium lasted around 30 years now. Even when most of the Dendrobium species are not easy to grow and have flowers for only 10 to 20 days a year they are form me most beloved orchids in a hobby collection.
Here I like first to show you some details of several Dendrobium growing forms, just to teach you what you may derive from plant size and form and structure of leaves for cultivation. Dendrobiums with terete leaves live for example in Australia, were they have long times of the year without any rain. They have to store water or live only with the humidity at night or early morning. Plants with week and pale green leaves which seem to be very thin are from Elevations with warmer temperatures and longer periods of tropical rain, were they grow very fast during this time. Most of these loose their leaves in the dry season. There is a third group of Dendrobiums has dark green thick leave, the stems have dark black hairs. They must cultivated warmer and without any resting period. Most of these orchids are from tropical rainforests without any change of weather during seasons.
All Dendrobiums have to be grown in small pots in a well drained substrate with pinebark, Perlite and coconut pieces for example. But please do not change your compost every year and do not repot the Dendrobiums every year. They don't like such a treatment.
During growing period I fertilize the compost and the whole plant with Orchid Focus grow fertilizer every two weeks. In autumn I do this with Orchid Focus Bloom every 4 weeks which means I use it 3 or for times in autumn. This depends on the weather, sunny weather more fertilizer, normal European weather no fertilizer. But I think it is not necessary to change the fertilizer to get flowers. Most Dendrobium plants will flower after a short dry period with lower temperatures and as much light as possible.
I cultivate all my orchids in greenhouse with lowest temperature of 18°C at daytime during winter and 15°C nighttime during winter. Sometimes in very cold winter night temperature falls to 12° or 10° C. This is ok for Dendrobiums, but they have to be very dry in pot during that temperature. And water at leaves or in the shoots will lead to rot of them.
I grow Dendrobiums of several sections, most of Pedilonum, some of Callista.
I will start to show Dendrobiums which are seldom seen with two recently of Leonid Averyanow in Vietnam discovered species, first is Dendrobium trantuanii and second is Dendrobium vietnamense. After that I like to show you Dendrobiums which are flowering in my collection. Some are from Australia but most are from Thailand to Papua New Guinea.
List of cultivated Dendrobiums with flowers
D. trantuanii
D. vietnamense
D. xanthophlebium
D. chrysanthum
D. lindleyi
D. chrysotoxum
D. harveyanum
D. pulchellum
D. devonianum
D. wattii
D. christyanum
D. lichenastrum
D. prenticei
D. rigidum
D. linguiforme
D. tetragonum
D. spectabile
D. cucumerinum
D. bracteosum alba
D. bracteosum or tanii
D. laevifolium
D. alaticaulinum
D. pseudoglomeratum
D. cerinum
D. faulhaberianum
D. mohlianum
D. findlayanum
D. smilliae
D. formosum
D. albosanguineum
D. glomeratum
D. tapiniense
D. cariniferum
D. schrautii
D. anosmum
D. closterium.
D. hellwigianum
D. aurantiflammeum
D. histrionicum
D. limpidum
D. heterocarpum
D. microbulbon
D. victoriae reginae
D. falconeri
D. loddigesii
D. singkhawagense
D. unicum
D. lamyaiae
D. dickasonii
D. chrysocrepis
D. subclausum
D. cochliodes
D. lawesii pink
D. lawesii red
D. linguella
D. violaceum var. cyperifolium
D. purpureum
D. porphyrochilum
D. draconis
D. wardianum

Dendrobium smilliae
Dendrobium spectabile
Dendrobium tanii



Roland Schettler after studying theology, philosophy and biology, works as scientist at the field of biotechnology in the Institute of Plantbreeding, Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft in Braunschweig, Germany and also works as a high schoolteacher in Halver, Germany. He is one of the founders of Vereinigung Deutscher Orchideenfreunde and their president since 1995, since 1994 the Editor of Journal für den Orchideenfreund, author of several articles and Editor of two books in the field of orchids. Last edited The Dendrobiums which won the Engler medal for best taxonomic book worldwide in 2007. He is a speaker and judge at WOCs and EOCs and advertiser of judging the WOC in Dijon, France.

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