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Dendrobium senile

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by KellyW, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Finally a flower. I have had this division since 2012 and this is it's first blooming. I am not too pleased with the flower shape but I am thrilled to have flowers. Perhaps it will open further but it has been like this for a few days.

    I watered it a few times this winter vs. no water in past winters. Not sure if that was the factor to entice the flowers. I think next winter I will move it to a location where it gets frequent water.
    Dendrobium senile plant-900.jpg Dendrobium senile1-900.jpg
     
    GaryYG, wpinnix, rico and 3 others like this.
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Last summer I was told to water this species all year. No water retentive material at the roots so it is a very quick dry. I haven't flowered any of the plants I have, but they are no longer going downhill. I can't tell you how many I have tortured and kill over the years, but it is a considerable number. Usually I give up at a certain point, but I want this plant!
     
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  3. Bernard McDonald

    Bernard McDonald Active Member

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    For my part, once the leaves start to shrivel I stop watering.
    The flowers which are 2” across occur in ones or twos from the nodes on the bulbs. Requires a dry period (normally 2 months) after the leaves drop.
     
  4. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    I tried the dry cycle treatment for several years. The result was no blooms and the plant getting smaller every year. This past winter, I watered a little more (once a week, maybe twice) and it grew and stayed looking healthy...but still no blooms. Oh well, starting to look nice as a foliage plant .

    E7A081C6-AE12-48B6-A7F3-EBED2951C5F6.jpeg
     
  5. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all of the advice. I truly appreciate it. However, as is typical with this species, the advice varies greatly. Historically I have grown it as Bernard suggested (and in bright and intermediate conditions) but have been disappointed and without flowers. Temperature, humidity, light levels and watering regime probably all play a factor. The degree of watering may be somewhat dependent on the other factors. Either that or it is just a very picky plant :D.

    Bernard, do you reliably get flowers on yours?
     
  6. Bernard McDonald

    Bernard McDonald Active Member

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    Dendrobium senile.
    I snapped this image 10 minutes ago, to show the current buds on my plant. Dendrobium senile log background.jpg
     
  7. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Bernard, other than the dry spell, what are your other cultural conditions?
     
  8. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you, Bernard.
     
  9. Bernard McDonald

    Bernard McDonald Active Member

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    Dendrobium senile, one of my favourite orchids. Reputedly, difficult to grow. You don’t have to start your own dry period. Given the right conditions the orchid will automatically shed its leaves. When it should not be watered. After a rest period, it will eventually produce flowers.