Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dendrobium Orchids

Dendrobium Orchid
This is my most favorite house plant ~ a Dendrobium Orchid.

Not to be confused with the Phaleanopsis Orchids you see for sale in most supermarkets, these days. Though, I have a bunch of those beauties, too. ;)

Phalaenopsis (Butterfly) Orchids
The Dendrobium is totally different. More sensitive, kinda thirsty, a super slow bloomer... I waited an entire year to enjoy her second round of flowering.

And, may I just say? She was absolutely worth the effort!


She hangs in my kitchen window, above the sink, stretching her little stems toward the sunlight, on the other side of the curtain.

And, she lives in a little wooden box. Those long thready things, stretching out of the box are her roots.

Every Orchid on the planet requires great drainage. They're heavenly beauties ~ in the wild, they grow high up in the tree canopies, far above the damp, damp ground.

To properly water a Phalaenopsis Orchid ~ soak her roots for 30 minutes once a week.

Be twice as nice to this little cutie. Dendrobiums need more water. She gets a 30 minute soaking twice a week. Which is what she's doing in the picture below... soaking, on my kitchen counter, in a stir fry skillet.

Curious as to the significance of the stir fry skillet? What secret powers does this pan possess?

Well it just so happens.... That was the only clean pan left in the house. :)



THREE HOT TIPS:
  • Dilute 1 tablespoon fertilizer into the water while soaking. Orchid growing mediums are very low nutrient - fertilizer gives them a little boost for re-blooming. 
  • Have you seen that ad campaign claiming all you need to do is put an ice cube on your Orchid to water it? Don't fall for that nonsense.
  • Home Depot orchids don't do so great because their supplier pots their orchids in moss, which keeps the roots too damp. Bark medium is better.
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3 comments:

Sandy Freeo said...

Thanks Kate, I have two orchids both I beliece are the Phalaenopsis variety. The original blooms have gone and they now are trying to bloom again, so I am going to give them some miracle grow when I soak them this week. I have never soaked them. I just ran water though the pot until it ran out the bottom and then let them drain until no drips came out the bottom. I guess I have been lucky and they continue to grow!

troutbirder said...

I would like to try these sometime but am basically chicken. Not much for windows and very shady here on Oak Hill....

Anonymous said...

Love this. Love orchids even more! Soaking the roots - I'll have to give that a try!!
I have one orchid remaining of the myriad that I would plant-sit for my former mother-in-law. Once they grow a shoot, I give them back to her.
Jane