Friday, February 13, 2009
That's right, yet another 'in bloom'. :)
This time it is a first bloom Dendrobium (Himezakura x Super Ise) seedling. Recently I've been having a mild love affair with dendrobium species, so I just decided it was time to give the Nobile's a shot. For a very long time now I have coveted noblie type dendrobiums, but somehow got it into my head that they were hard to grow. They really aren't (see below for culture information). I bought a batch of these Himezakura x Super Ise seedlings almost a year ago and they've been doing quite nicely so far. This is the first of the seedlings to bloom, but a few of the others also have buds starting. Very exciting - maybe we'll get to see a few more soon if they don't get bought up (they're listed in my shop, in bud goes first!).
Growing Nobile hybrids:
These are dwarf nobile type, reaching perhaps a height of ~18 inches (currently ~10 inches tall in 2.5 inch pots). Nobile group plants are deciduous, meaning they generally shed their leaves every year. Don't worry when the leaves start looking a little blah in winter than fall off as long as the canes look good.
Grow like a phalaenopsis in summer for light, temperature, and water, but decrease temperature somewhat in winter. If they don't flower for you they're not cool enough at night - especially if they make keikis instead of flowers. I keep my plants on a screened porch in summer, leaving them out in the fall until it is quite chilly at night (perhaps 50F at night), then put them in my unheated basement under artificial light. Some of them had already started to initiate buds when they came in for winter. They would also be great for rooms with drafty windows or little to no heat in winter. You'd be surprised how much cooler it is in your bay window than your house in the winter.
I also increase light in winter in accordance with recommendations from other growers, but given that they drop their leaves I'm not convinced that even matters. Also be aware that cooler temperatures in winter means a less frequent need for watering.