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Deciduous and dry rest dendrobiums

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Jon, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Ok... so I'm not very well versed in how to do this whole dry-rest thing, so I'm going to ask a few questions about it.

    First: when should I stop watering? I stopped watering a few plants in late October, but only a couple dropped their leaves. Was I too late?

    Second: when should I start watering again? One of the plants I stopped watering last fall has a new growth that started about a week after I stopped watering. It's still growing, and I think the only water it would get would be floating remnants from the misters. It has a bunch of little bumps along the canes that are new. IIRC, the plant is den aphyllum.

    Third: Den senile has a nearly-mature spike, but the plant didn't drop its leaves. Should I start watering again now that a flower is forming?

    I think I've read that I'm supposed to start watering when new growth appears, but wtf? New growth never stopped in the first place...

    Thanks.
     
  2. Eddie729

    Eddie729 New Member

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    Don't know if this is helps but I keep watering so long as the plant has leaves. Probably not the right thing to do anyhow - you may want to check the Bakers' culture sheets for the species in question.
     
  3. DukeBoxer

    DukeBoxer Active Member

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    Jon, I have a dend. senile that I stopped watering for a few weeks in October/November, but then I started watering it again because someone told me (Forrest or TomDE) that they keep it watered all year round and Ron also sent me something that says it stays moist all year where it is from. Plus the thing never stopped growing, when I brought it in this fall it had 4 mature growths and 4 growths still growing, all with leaves...when the new ones matured (were fat) I stopped watering for a little bit, but then 4 more new growths started. Now the 7 of the 8 growths have at least 1 spike, most have 2 and one will have 3. It seems pretty happy to me.
    The aphyllum sounds like it is in bud to me, I have a pierardii that I stop watering when the growths are mature and the first leaves start to yellow. That happened for me in late October and a few weeks later the buds started to pop out...they still haven't done much but I think it's normal, last year it bloomed for me in March so we'll see. I've watered it maybe 2 or 3 times since then but I know last year I didn't water it from the time the leaves dropped till after the flowers wilted which was like 3 months.
     
  4. Clark

    Clark Gator Member

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    I start watering when I see the flower buds.
     
  5. JonP

    JonP all that Supporting Member

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    You were wise when you realized that Dendrobiums can be very addictive...be very, very careful...
     
  6. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Jon, mine doesn't always drop all its leaves either. I resume the normal watering for mine once I see the spikes(normally in early spring for mine).

    Josh, I might be the one who told you about the watering. For this species, I water it often during the growing season but I "reduce" the water in the winter(right after new year)--once every 10-14 days in my condition.
     
  7. kellygreen

    kellygreen Needs an Intervention

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    I'm with Clark and Tom, I start watering again when I see the spikes forming. Not all my dry-rest dends lose their leaves - some lose a couple and some don't lose any at all. This might have something to do with my indoor conditions, but they bloom well enough, for the most part.

    Late October sounds about right for starting to withhold water.... During the dry-rest you can still water them every once in awhile, or mist now and then to keep the canes from shrivelling completely.

    Species dends are RIDICULOUSLY addictive! :D
     
  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think there are some generalizations you can make about dry rest, but there are an awful lot of exceptions. A general rule I was told years ago is from Halloween to Valentines Day, but it doesn't always hold true. The other consideration is what is happening in your growing condition. I always gave Coel. cristata a total dry rest in the winter (no watering, no misting), from Oct/Nov until after flowering. That was great until we had a very dry winter a couple of years ago and I nearly trashed the plant because there just wasn't the humidity of past years. Dry rest can be a total absence of rain/water or an occassional watering, misting now and again, misting every morning.

    Watering once you see roots or buds is sometimes a very bad idea. There are plenty of examples of watering a plant (or just misting it) and the flowers get botrytis or shorten the bloom time significantly or just flat out blast the buds. Watering too early can also rot the new growth on some species/genera. Loris Rose once describe culture for deciduous calanthes as "after you see the new growth, wait six weeks."

    I don't grow D. senile so can't offer any comments on that. I grow D aphyllum mounted, cold and fairly dry until mid-February when I start increasing water. Since it is dry again this winter, I am misting it lightly on bright days. Plants may or may not drop leaves with a dry rest. I used to think that as soon as I saw root growth it was time to water, but the two are not necessarily tied. Sometimes root growth is initiated during the end of the dry season and it forces the roots to go searching for water so you develope a much better root system. I grow a fair number of Himalayan dendrobiums, and many of them bloom before the monsoon season would be starting.

    I find it is a much better idea to try to learn what the habitat is doing. Charlie Baker (my hero) continues to provide some of the most valuable information for orchid growers that you can find. He has charts giving temperature and rainfall (use these as guidelines) by the month so you can see what the plants probably get naturally. His books are great and his website orchidculture.com lets you pick and choose the sheets you need at a really nominal cost. I use his info as a starting point and then go with trial and error from there. I understand that his culture info is also in OrchidWiz, but I haven't personally seen that.
     
  9. Ron-NY

    Ron-NY New Member

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    Not all the dry resters loose their leaves. Many of mine keep their leaves during their dry rest.
    I agree with Marni...I keep a copy of Baker and Baker-Dendrobiums around for reference.
     
  10. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    I agree with Marni. Who wouldn't? Some of the sub-Himalayan dendrobiums are certainly fabulous and probably include some of the best in the genus. However, there also other dendrobiums that don't need a dry, bright, and cool winter rest to bloom and grow well. Today I was admiring D. mohlianum and D. ellipsophyllum. Both do best with even watering and IW temperatures throughout the year.
     
  11. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    I need that book. damnit.
     
  12. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How many Dendrobium species do you have?
     
  13. abaxter

    abaxter New Member

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    Jon, I have a mounted aphyllum and it needs to suffer to bloom. Mine hasn't gotten anything but humidity since Nov. and I'm not watering until the first of March. If I do,
    it won't bloom. It gets no mist, no nuthin'. Sometimes it drops all its leaves, sometimes
    it doesn't, however, it seems to produce more blooms if all the leaves are dropped.
     
  14. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    100% agree! :clap:
     
  15. Forrest

    Forrest Really Neat

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    Maybe 20. But I would have a lot more if I had that book. :)
     
  16. Aceetobe

    Aceetobe Member

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    On my way back from Europe one of my boxes blew out a bottom and I lost all my out of print orchid books. I'm now minus Withners Cattleya series, Bakers books, and Holts Catasetum book. Lame.
     
  17. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    Lame? No. Tragic is how I would label that, Aceetobe. That sucks.
     
  18. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    If I may steer this towards Angs....

    Ok not really because I think my confusion relates to all tropical epiphytes, but it definitely applies to Angs, and probably Dends as well...

    What I can't figure out is when to apply the proscribed 'dry winter rest' vs. when to do what the plant indicates it wants? More specifically, when the roots are actively growing throughout November, December, what do you do? I typically have a ton of plants that are in active growth when they *should* be resting.

    So, should I force them to have a dry winter rest, even if they clearly want to keep growing? Actually, I suspect I could do that with the idea that I'd be more lilely to get flowers. But in some cases i would rather the plant just keep growing. So i wonder if 'forcing' it to keep growing may lead to trouble somehow? :confused:

    Sorry for hijacking but I felt it was important since it was about Angs. :D
     
  19. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Mike, I think you should stop growing Angraecoids:poke:

    I can't tell you what to do with your plants because I have found you always have your special way to do it.:D Oh, well, let me say this--Your plants don't get into the rest mood because you don't gradually reduce the watering in mid/late fall or the temperature in your growing area is not cooling off enough. For the long term health of the plants, Most of Angraecoids need less watering in the deep winter when they normally are not growing much or blooming.
     
  20. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What makes you think that root growth necessarily indicates the beginning of the rainy season or the need for increased water?

    That's OK, the rest of us understand that they are orchids too and concepts of dealing with dry rests applies to them all.