Orchids forum: How BigBill re-pots Dendrobiums

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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jul 19, 2018 9:55 AM CST
I have posted a few images of how I repot my Dendrobiums. In this case a nigro-hirsute Dendrobium. In this instance I tend to treat them a whole lot more like a Cattleya.
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Just as with my first tutorial on slippers I Show a 6" and a 5" plastic pot. I hold the plant into the top of the 5" pot in image #3 and you'll notice that it is a better fit then the 6". I allow for two years of growth.
Image 4 shows the roots splayed out a bit and in image #5 I have it properly positioned. I start to add my media as before: aliflor, orchiata, sponge rock and charcoal. In image #6 it is three quarters filled and I was tamping with my thumbs as I filled in the media.
In image #7 all the media is there in this close up view. You can see the brown base of the left new lead just left of center. Overall it is potted up a half inch below the rim of the pot. In image #8 I added a rhizome clip.
Plant is ready to go back on the bench. It is Dendrobium Judith Nakayama which is Dawn Maree times Formidable.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 19, 2018 9:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Jul 19, 2018 10:13 AM CST
I need to explain a little more.
I grow Dendrobium Phalaenopsis even more like Cattleyas and I prefer to use clay pots exclusively. They should be watered well and dry out.
The Nigro-hirsute types like more moisture, therefore I prefer plastic pots.
Lastly Latouria Dendrobiums have the skinniest roots of these three types so they get a finer mix, less aliflor and more seedling orchiata. Also they get watered more often.
In a 4" pot, I'll water a Phalaenopsis type Dendrobium every week, a nigro-hirsute every 5 days and a Latouria every three days. This is what works for me. The Phalaenopsis type have Cattleya type roots, the nigro-hirsute have thinner roots and the Latouria has skinny roots. This accounts for my differences in watering schedule!
Please feel free to ask questions and again it has been my pleasure! I tip my hat to you.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Jul 19, 2018 3:52 PM CST

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Great tutorial, Bill! This is very helpful! Thumbs up
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jul 19, 2018 4:02 PM CST
I am happy that you find it helpful.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Jul 19, 2018 5:32 PM CST
It is helpful if you know which type you have. To me, this is the most confusing group of orchids. I was told my 'Fire Wings' is a latouria type, and it is in fine bark mix.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Jul 19, 2018 5:52 PM CST
Actually Dendrobium Fire Wings is 3/4 Latouria and 1/4 Phalaenopsis
Type. I grow this hybrid and treat it as a Latouria, water it well and never let it dry out completely.
It has slender roots and should be in a fine mix. Carol, your seedling mix should be great for this type of Dendrobium. Plastic pot might work better then clay.
Fertilizer regularly at half strength. Blooms spring and fall with more flowers in the spring. Never hesitate to ask me anything about orchids. If I don't know the answer, I can get it.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jul 19, 2018 5:59 PM CST
Hi Bill, my only orchid is (Dendrobium Love Memory 'Fizz'). It is beginning to look like it might need re-potting. Would I treat it like you just told us? It seems to like a lot of water.
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[Last edited by plantmanager - Jul 19, 2018 6:22 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 19, 2018 6:08 PM CST
That makes sense, Bill. I was a bit confused when I realized it continues to bloom from the tips of old growths. ...and the bloom life is longer than one would expect from most.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jul 19, 2018 6:51 PM CST
Dendrobium Love Memory is a nobile (No-bill-lay) type of Dendrobium.
I have grown them this way.
They like to be tightly packed into a pot, straight sphagnum moss is the best media due to their high water demand. They enjoy regular feedings at half strength in the spring and summer, not much in the fall to winter months.
They grow tall with equal sized leaflets then all of a sudden, they make a single leaf that is much smaller. It is called the terminal leaflet! That is the plant telling the grower to cut back on watering, I mean really cut back. The bulbs may even start to shrivel a bit.
This usually happens at some point in October. Continue less water through November and perhaps into December until such a time that "little green swellings" are noticed up and down the bulbs. These are the buds forming. Slowly build back up to normal watering. They typically bloom January through April depending upon the hybrid.
Temperature range: try to avoid 90 degrees, they like to see regular lows in the 50's. They like morning sun but shaded from mid-day on. Heat and and excessive sun retards the growth of the plant. Good luck Karen!!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Jul 19, 2018 6:54 PM (+)]
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Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Jul 20, 2018 4:18 AM CST
Well, it is no wonder my Dendrobium nobile croaked. I was doing everything wrong! Blinking
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 23, 2018 6:55 AM CST
Me too, I think I've killed more Dens than any other kind. Thanks, Bill. This has clarified things for me a lot.

Still not sure I'd use a plastic pot growing mine outside in my pool cage, though. Everything I've ever left in a plastic pot has died rather swiftly.

Good to know that Fire Wings blooms in the spring and fall. I did have one spike that blasted in the spring, and I have lots of big, nice new growth on it so hopefully I'll get some more flowers in fall.

I have a little Latouriate growing on a flat cork raft, with some sphagnum and it seems happy and blooms. Probably because I have it hanging near the Vandas and it gets misted every day. Guess I'll check on it and refresh the moss on there, at least.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Aug 16, 2018 4:28 PM CST
As an update talking about the progress of Dendrobium Judith Nakayama that was my prop in this tutorial, one growth today, a month later is about 9" tall and very robust! The other smaller growth in the images is about 7-7 1/2" tall and very stout.
I am interested in seeing how they flower compared to Florida. Nigro-hirsute Dendrobiums like both cooler nigts and cooler days! In Florida the summer days would have averaged 88-92, here in Michigan that would be 84-85. It doesn't sound like a whole lot but we will see when it blooms.
Another hybrid, Dendrobium Lori's Star has 7 buds on it currently ready to open very soon. Normally that plant would have had 4-6 flowers looking like this:


It is not a huge difference, average of 5 versus 7 buds there is a single flower on one cane and then two buds together on a second cane and two groups on two buds on a third cane!!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Aug 16, 2018 4:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Aug 16, 2018 4:41 PM CST

Moderator

Interesting!
I am not sure how our NJ Summer compares to this. We are having one very wet and quite warm Summer this year, with many days in the nineties F.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Aquaponics Hibiscus Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals
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ardesia
Aug 17, 2018 3:39 AM CST
Ursula, how is your Pennsy place doing with all the flooding?

Bill, that color combo is one of my favorites. Seems like some of your orchid are happy in MI.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Aug 17, 2018 6:26 AM CST
So far, pretty good.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Aug 17, 2018 6:30 AM CST

Moderator

Alice, so far so good! But, a few times we gave up driving out to our place due to the constant threat of rains and thunderstorms. Today is such a day, I am just looking at the radar and it looks like we have a window of 3 hours today around noon, where we could be walking around without getting soaked.
Maybe better stay in Fair Lawn and bake some Pfaumenkuchen. Smiling ( Plum cake) But I will miss the place when we aren't going. Dilemma!
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Aug 17, 2018 6:43 AM CST
Oh boy, plum cake. I am running down right now to the airport! I could use some plum cake! I tip my hat to you. Rolling on the floor laughing
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Aug 17, 2018 6:53 AM CST

Moderator

Bill, it is Plum season now and I am always compelled to make it when they make their appearance a the market. Smiling
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
BigBill
Aug 17, 2018 7:11 AM CST
Yes. I bought some the last two weeks, I just love them myself.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."

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