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  #1  
Old 11-19-2020, 01:35 AM
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Dendrobium papilio requirements
Default Dendrobium papilio requirements

I've read most of the info on the web so thought I'd check if anyone has experience with this one. It's one of the only den species which is really struggling on me so have to think it has some non-standard requirements.

Since arriving it's been losing all it's leaves and is down to a handful, I initially thought it needed more water than others (as IOSPE says), but now I'm thinking it's the heat it can't deal with being a cool grower, but other similar cool growers are coping fine so this must be really sensitive?

It's got many other Den's growing fine (tiongii, devonianum, miyakei, tobaense, laevifolium, usitae , chameleon, unicum, aurantiiflammeum etc.) within 1 meter of it but this one's floundering on me.

Hoping someone else grows this
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:56 AM
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IOSPE says cool to cold growing. I'm guessing this one really won't tolerate higher night temperatures.
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Old 11-19-2020, 06:16 PM
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Den papilio can tolerate fairly low temperatures (I grow it outside) but it doesn't require them. Losing leaves is natural... it blooms mostly on old bare canes. It might want a bit less water in winter but I don't particularly dry it out... but it's mounted, so it dries out quickly anyway. At any rate, leaflessness, especially this time of year, is normal. In fact, it's habit of blooming on bare, leafless canes is what is sort of magical about the species - the flowers float, seemingly attached to nothing. For those in very warm, tropical climates, consider Den. auriculatum - similar pattern, more floriforous, definitely warm-growing. (Den auriculatum I have to grow in the GH)

It is native to the Philippines, elevations from 1400-2200 m (4600-7200 ft). So a range of elevations that would indicate a wide temperature tolerance. (Charles Baker, in Orchidwiz)
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:08 PM
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He lives in Australia. It's springtime.
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Old 11-19-2020, 09:55 PM
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Missed that... doesn't change the equation much, I treat mine the same all year. In spring, new growth is a good possibility. Still, blooming will be on the old, leafless canes. Mine tends to bloom in summer.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:22 PM
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Ok thanks, yes that was my concern the beginning of spring-summer weather around 35c (if it was Winter I'd be ok with it) and it's responding badly, a couple of Mediocalcars, and Max sophronitis and schunkeana don't seem to be a fan either. I've dropped these down to the ground on the gravel where it should get to max of 29 and will keep them moist, most new Dens drop a leaf or two from shock for me so thought it normal but the leaves have kept falling, it's only about 15cm tall but has a dozen canes - leafless now. Fingers crossed. For anyone else who grows this in future keep an eye on the heat if you have a smaller plant, if I see otherwise I'll come back and edit this.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:56 PM
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I keep my plant at the cooler end of the greenhouse, but in Summer, temperatures here can get quite high (85F/30C). Two things seem to have helped. First, it lives under the mister. Second, instead of repotting, I popped it into a larger pot with no mix and it grew these enormous roots. I thinks the roots sustain these plants and provide the energy for flowering.
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:34 PM
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Thanks for the insight, I'm pushing 32c (with misters, evap cooler and humidifiers running) in the gh but starting to think it's a result of overwatering as looking closely some of the canes have blackened, I thought this one needed extra moisture and my misting system may have overdone it.

I'm now testing it in the kitchen window, a bit drier to see if it stabilizes and am ditching the tropical orchid requirements (along with the Mediocalcar) for a regular approach - at least for now.
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