Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Dendrobium Orchid

Orchid plants seem to be readily available at very reasonable prices these days.  I see them at big box retailers, grocery stores and garden centers everywhere.  Have you bought yourself one yet?  I own a dendrobium orchid that is at least five years old.

My Dendrobium Orchid

Now, I don't claim to be an expert on orchids.  This is the only one that I own, but it has been with me for a while and I am attached to it.  It blooms once a year, usually forming its buds in January.  Once the blossoms unfold I am treated to several months of beauty.  This plant makes me happy.  Aren't orchids hard to take care of you ask?  Not this one.  I can't speak for other varieties, but this dendrobium is easy as can be.  I give it a little water once every two to three weeks and mist it when I think of it during the cool, dry winter months.  Its stays in my family room getting diffused light from a southern or eastern window exposure.  A couple of times a year it might get a shot of Miracle Grow liquid fertilizer, but only when the rest of my plants are getting a little shot of fertilizer.

Today I was looking at my much loved orchid plant which is now looking a little less than spectacular. The last of its blooms fell off about two weeks ago and all that is left are the canes. It is growing at a slant in its pot and looks a bit top heavy to me.
Dendrobium Orchid Canes
A close up view of the roots in the pot left me wondering if it was time for me to do something about the plant.  Does it need repotting?  Should I cut back the canes?  How will it grow if I disturb it in any way?  Not knowing anyone who is an expert in orchid care I turned to the Internet for answers to  my questions. (Source

Dendrobium Orchid Roots

Question:  Should I cut back the canes of my dendrobium orchid?
Answer:  No, the canes provide sustenance to the plant even after the blossoms have shriveled and fallen.

Question:  Should my dendrobium orchid be replanted??
Answer:  No, dendrobium orchids like growing in very small pots, even to the extent that the plant may be top heavy.

Question:  Will my dendrobium orchid be upset if I repot it or disturb it?
Answer:  Yes, dendrobium orchid are a bit finicky and will resent potting if not done a just the right time.  The right time is when new growth first appears. 

It seems like now might be that perfect repotting time for my plant.  As you can see in the picture above, new growth has recently appeared.  Do I dare?  I don't want to cause my plant to wither and die from the shock of it all.  Perhaps I'll leave well enough alone for now.

Treat yourself to an orchid plant the next time you see one you can't resist.  Easy to care for and spectacular to look at, an orchid is sure to delight you as much as mine delights me.  If you already own one and have some tips for me, please share. I'm looking for some help.



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