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Thread: Dendrobium:aerial roots vs. non-aerial roots

  1. #1
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    Dendrobium:aerial roots vs. non-aerial roots

    I bought another orchid. Used the 50% Home Depot coupon.
    Part of my selection process was to gently slide the plant out of the pot to examine the roots. In a big box store, you have to do that--sometimes you find a plant that looks good up top but is rotting at root level. So, of course, I couldn't get the plant back in just right. Now, I am not sure if the roots are too high. In fact, the very top roots were getting dry. The plant had just been watered by the store when I got it. I sprayed the drying top roots to moisten them. Now I am wondering if they are too high up--should they be below the rim, should they be covered with medium ? Does anyone have a photo showing what a potted Dendrobium should look like ? Or advice ?
    Thanks, Cathy
    (Here is my photo--too much flash but you can see the roots)
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    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    You can sometime re-settle a Den by vigorously shaking the pot and gently pushing the plant back down into it. A trick I used to use is to suspend the pot in a tub of warmish water and then wiggle the roots back into plance while raising the pot out of the water. Be prepared to retrieve bark that floats and then keep the plant warm until it has had time to drain thoroughly and dry some. Dens resent cold, wet feet and will tell you about it by promptly developing rot and dying. Best to save this method for summer!

    Actually, since the Dens lick perfect drainage and not a lot of water after they have finished blooming you can just mist the plant and roots a couple of times a day and not even water it.



    Rebecca

    BTW, I also grew my Dens in gravel or lava rock as they seemed to do much better this way and no problems with bark breaking down and staying too wet.
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  3. #3
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    I read about growing in gravel in the R. Northern orchid book that I got from TxByer whe he was reducing his library. I will have to re-read that paragrah. They say Dens are epiphytes, so I would think that they would want their hair blowing in the wind. I mean that they probably wouldn't be thrilled with their roots stuffed way down ito a 4 inch pot and surrounded with bark mix. They want to breathe.
    Makes sense. I think I might have to be willing to experiment as you did.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
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    Dens also do not like big pots, but with gravel or (better) lave rock, you can use a pot big enough to support them plant for many years, as they don't much care to be moved a lot either! I actually like to use some good sized river rock in the bottom for weight and something to really wedge a stake against and then mixed sizes of the lava rock so there are smaller pieces to give some support to the plant and to be able to get in among the roots. Do not use "marble"..

    Here in Indiana I can get a native rock formation called a geode, it has a smooth but textured surface, and come in all sizes, but one has to know where to go to find them as no one sells them. Pebbles and aquarium gravel are too small, but a few chosen stones from nearby fields should work fine. Lava Rock does make a nice, decorative topping for other house plants if you have to buy a whole bag of it instead of nabbing some from a neighbor's flower bed! WM often has broken bags, hint , hint!


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  5. #5
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    I have a Dendrobium Speciosum
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  6. #6
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    I use same potting mix as I use on my hippieastrums in the hanging basket. In nature they will grow in rock crevices.

    Abby

  7. #7
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    Abby,

    How long have you been growing this pant? Also, please describe the make-up of the potting mix you are using. Rock crevasse don't hold much, if any soil and I find it very surprising that a Den would grow for very long in a non-orchid type potting mix.

    The bloom on yours is spectacular!


    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  8. #8
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    The potting mix is an "el cheapo" like the cheapest I can buy from the supermarket at the time. To it I add slow release fertilizer and watercrystals as I have to go away for periods of time when public speaking and lecturing etc.

    The plant in the pix is some 6 years old and most probably needs repotting but with the strange autumn we are having I feel a little reluctant to do that.

    I include pix of a pot planted a month ago
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  9. #9
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    I include pix of Dendrobium Speciosum growing in a rockery in ordinary soil
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  10. #10
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    I enclose pix of Dendrobium Speciosum growing on a palm tree with spagnum moss and potting mix
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  11. #11
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    Some 'sod' has been chewing on that poor plant. Nothing is sacred. The fact that the Dendrobium Speciosum is native to the area may account for the variability of growing conditions

    Abby

  12. #12
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    Oh!

    Why didn't I think of that? Water crystals! Everything that I grow in pots do better with water crystals. Yet, I have not been using as much of that in the past year or two.

    I need to do that again. I am the world's worst at underwatering!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  13. #13
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    Yes, I find the crystals useful in all hanging baskets, especially in our hot summers, when the tend to dry out a lot.

    I even use it in pots with hippeastrums, as most of the time I let God do the watering.

    Abby

  14. #14
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    I saw, at some of the Florida trade shows, that some growers were growing Phals and Dendrobiums in clear plastic pots. Supposed to keep the roots from climbing out of the tops of the pots so much.
    John_NY
    USDA Zone 6/7
    Sunset Zone 34

  15. #15
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    That stimulated my thought John

    and so today I went out between the showers and checked my hanging basket. It is over 6 years old.

    There is no evidence of any roots trying/ or growing out of the pot. I will post pix when it stops raining - camera not waterproof.

    The roots are spreading around in the rockery and on the palm tree.

    That makes me think John that perhaps it is not the clear plastic but maybe any plastic that may keep the roots in the pot??

    Then again it may be another of the live's mysteries

    Abby

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