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dendrobium Gatton Sunray Photo Credit: www.OrchidPlants.info

Dendrobium Orchids

There are many types and varieties of dendrobium with many different colors and sizes available.

The variety pictured here is Gatton Sunray FCC/RHS. This specimen is over 8 feet tall and produces hundreds of 3 to 4 inch flowers with a distinctive chocolate colored center - all opening at about the same time.

Interestingly enough, this plant flowers on old growth only. It has at present about 25 canes and takes up much needed space in our greenhouse. But we have had it since 1985, and can not part with it and so it remains. In addition, it also bears numerous kikis which are welcome gifts and grow very quickly to blooming size - usually within a year or two.

This hybrid dendrobium requires no special care and flourishes in the same environment as cattleyas, except that we reduce watering during the colder months. Repotting is the REAL bummer which requires heavy tools including an ax to divide the clump and/or remove old dead canes if necessary.

Not all dendrobiums are so prolific or grow to quite this size. There are several types or groups of dendrobium which require different handling and growing conditions. But for the most part, remember to cut down on watering after growth stops to encourage the setting of flower spikes for the coming blooming season. Resume normal watering when you see signs of new root growth - usually begins in March within our environment.

With the possible exception of dendrobium phalaenopsis which is often available at your local garden center, this genus in general is not as widely known and popular, but very well worth while if you have the room and appreciate a splendid display of bloom. You will need to hunt around to find a supplier for this and others of the more rare species of dendrobium and their hybrids.
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