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  #1  
Old 02-20-2018, 06:02 PM
gangof4 gangof4 is offline
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Ok, so I just received my dendrobium pierardii from Orchards.com and it came in a clear 3-4 ounce thin plastic cup (it would be a stretch to call it a pot.). There is some moss in the cup, but it's very dry and hard. The instructions say to wait until the next day to water it, but not to pot it for a month. So, do I leave it in the small cup for the next thirty days before mounting it, or do I remove it from the cup tomorrow but then just leave it bare for a month watering/misting it as it needs it?

I just got off the phone with Orchids.com and they said there was no one there to answer my questions, but they would answer my e-mail shortly. I got a reply, but they completely ignored my questions and just sent more or less a history of the species. Can anyone tell me how to care for an orchid just out of the box.
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:36 PM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Pierardii, also called Aphyllum or Cucullatum.

You are to water during the growing season. You will see roots growing (with "live" green root tips), and new growth starting. Many of the dendrobiums have a winter rest. I guess this is one of them.

Look here for a nice summation of care.

Dendrobium aphyllum – The Orchid Society of Karnataka

As you can see in the "water" section, in fall the water tapers off and it becomes dry in the winter. Specifically, it says "Water the plants regularly when they are actively growing."

So the big thing is to look for "active growth."

Further down the page, it tells more about the resting period, and how to tell when that is. In most orchids and all species, getting the culture very close to their natural environment will lead to success.

(P.S.) Norman's orchids (Orchids.com) is very respectable and knowledgeable, and I doubt they would try to pull your leg.

Happy growing!
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:50 PM
Tony Meola Tony Meola is offline
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I would water it then I would let it adjust to your environment. It may take several weeks to do that. Depending on how healthy the plant is, it can sometimes be potted up pretty quickly without any issues. I usually try to wait a few weeks unless the plant comes through bare routed.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:28 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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This group of Dendrobiums requires either a cool or a dry winter rest, or both, to flower. In this one the dry rest seems to be important. Is your plant supposed to be blooming size, or is it smaller?

It is winter now, and the plant is dormant. I would not water your plant at all until it begins to make new growth at the base. If you water a blooming-size plant too soon, you might lose this year's flowers. The moss should remain crisp dry until then.

You don't say where you live. What is the weather outside your house? What is the coolest you can keep it indoors, if you can't put it outside?

It is fine outside down to nearly freezing, but do not let it freeze. If it's too cold outside now, put it in the coolest spot you can, and give it the brightest light you can.

When it begins growing in the spring, keep the moss always moist to wet. You can fertilize plentifully until about mid-summer. The care sheet probably talked about this.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:41 AM
gangof4 gangof4 is offline
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The longest canes are 20 inches, but they are pretty thin and there are some dead canes present, too. The "pot" is about three times the size of a 30 oz medicine cup you see in the hospital, and the moss in the cup is bone dry. I mean, desert dry lol. I live in North Texas, but will keep it in my sunroom except for brief excursions outside when the temp and heat are fairly decent.

---------- Post added at 12:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:39 AM ----------

Care sheet did not mention fertilizer. What do you recommend at this point in the season, and would you spray the fertilizer on the canes and leaves as well or focus on the pot?
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:52 AM
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I have a Den aphyllum var. latifolium, and it is totally leafless. When the humidity is really really low (like 15-25% mid day) I'll give it a rapid spritz every couple of weeks but that's all. I have it tied to a piece of coconut husk, no media. In a couple of months, I'll see buds start to develop, and will start watering lightly, but not until then. Leaves and new growth will come later. Until a cane is shriveled and light brown all the way down, it may not be dead. Don't be in any hurry to cut. No fertilizer until after new growth starts. But for now, just let it sit, maybe spritz a little if it still has leaves but the crispy dry moss is fine for this time of year.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:58 AM
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Good idea, Roberta. It's weird how you can get emotionally attached to a plant, like it's a member of the family or somthing, lol.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:04 AM
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For what it is worth, many of these Dendrobiums do most of their blooming on dead-looking leafless canes. The ones with leaves probably need another year (by which time they'll shed leaves in the fall too) before they bloom.
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Old 02-21-2018, 01:09 AM
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Your plant is flowering size. With a little good care it should bloom for you in a month or two.

Where it comes from in India it is dry and without rain through the winter. One of the hardest parts of orchid growing for many people is learning not to water things when they should not be watered. A lot of tropical areas have rain only during the summer.

The canes are without leaves, but not likely dead. They grow for a season, then drop their leaves in the fall. They are leafless through the winter. The old leafless canes remain on the plant for several years before dying. They turn brown and completely dry when they die. I never cut them off until this happens so I don't make a mistake and cut them off too early. I think it's unlikely Norman's would have sent a plant with truly dead stems. They would have cut them off.

Sometimes growers keep them warm and watered all winter. This way they look pretty, with leaves, when they are sold. But normally they are leafless in winter.

How cold is it outside? If it's not freezing right now, that will be a good place for it. I have had my Dens like this outside all winter, except on the three nights we got near freezing. And tonight, when we will again get near freezing. My aphyllum just might be starting to make buds. I see a little purple bulge at one of the nodes.

Fertilizer is only during the growing season. If you fertilize it during dormancy, or too late in the summer, it might not bloom the next spring.

Edit: This group of orchids with long canes, winter rest, and spring flowers, is called the "nobile" group, after Dendrobium nobile. There are a lot of hybrids among species in this group.
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Last edited by estación seca; 02-21-2018 at 01:23 AM..
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