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Lepanthes calodictyon and saltatrix ... recovery from near death

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by KellyW, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Redding, California, USA
    About 14 months ago my wife and I had to evacuate our house (and greenhouse) due to a massive approaching fire. Ultimately, our property was not burned but we were away for 5 days. My greenhouse does not have an automatic watering system so it went 5 days without water during extreme heat. Fortunately I lost very few plants although a number of them were set back significantly.

    The Lepanthes calodictyon and L. saltatrix, which I expected to be total losses, were very dehydrated with wilted leaves and crisp roots. I thought they were total losses, however, I continued to pamper and care for them. As the photos show, the L. calodictyon rehydrated, retained most leaves, and responded with a mass of new growth. I think I will need to divide it to keep it vigorous.

    The L. saltatrix lost all leaves except 2 and those 2 leaves were partly dead. The photo shows all the dead ramacauls which indicates how large the plant had been. It has finally responded with some weak new growth and I think it will survive.

    I was surprised how two similar species growing in nearly identical conditions responded so differently. I also think this is a testament that L. calodictyon is a tougher plant than many people give it credit for.

    FYI, a L. telipogoniflora growing between these two species was very dead.

    Lepanthes calodictyon profile-900.jpg
    Above and below - Lepanthes calodictyon 14 months after severe dehydration
    Lepanthes calodictyon1-900.jpg Lepanthes calodictyon close-900.jpg Above - Masses of new growth on the Lepanthes calodictyon


    Lepanthes saltatrix-900.jpg
    Above - the Lepanthes saltatrix slowly recovering
     
    weeand, DPfarr, wpinnix and 2 others like this.
  2. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

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    Resistance to heat and desiccation can vary wildly among species. In the chaos that followed the hurricanes that passed over my island in 2017, I spent months ignoring my plants. For many months the climate swung wildly between drought and flood, with little rhyme or reason. Dendrobium nobile and secundum didn't show any change, Dendrobium primulinum produced smaller canes, Dendrobium devonianum and all its keikis gave up the ghost.
     
    KellyW and RustyExotics like this.
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great post! I say don't divide it. It will be a wonderful specimen.
     
  4. dex356

    dex356 Active Member

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    Very nice Kelly...I agree with Marni... That will make a great specimen plant!