One of the many orchids readily available in the garden centres is Dendrobium bigibbum hybrid; it’s a dream orchid for the seller and has exact qualities required.
- An upright growing habit
- Good flower count with a gorgeous colour
- Multiple spikes
- Challenging to keep after the flowers have faded
With the right care it is ideal for windowsill growing but were as Phalaenopsis grow throughout the winter, it require a very dry warm rest till it starts to regrow in the spring.
Its growing requirements; Warm growing conditions, watered with care and given a warm dry winters rest, resuming water with the spring growth. The orchid will need feeding as any nutrients in the compost will have been used up. The typical coconut fibre compost it’s sold in can remain wet for quite a while and if you are not careful will aid rotting of the roots and at its base.
This orchid had two flower spikes and a new keiki, quite happy, clinging to its mother. The plant was loose in its pot with the roots no longer clinging to the pots side; this is often a sign of deteriorating compost and roots. The orchid needed repotting into fresh compost and the keiki dealt with.
The keiki was carefully detached from the older cane without too much damage.
Due to the plants growing requirements I wanted to achieve optimum drainage with the pot and growing media I chose. The compost was a mix of pine bark and charcoal with several pieces of large Alfagrog, porous ceramic filter media placed in the bottom for weight as the pot would be top heavy and again to aid drainage. The young orchid has short roots requiring staking until the roots grow and anchor it firmly in the pot.
The rest of the orchid was potted up in a similar fashion.
After re-potting it will be placed into the humid greenhouse but not watered for week till the break from the mother orchid has had a chance to seal. Then watered with care making the roots grow downwards and anchor to the growing media.
With a little care the orchid can grow and bloom for years on the new and older canes.