These orchids are very hardy and quite easy to grow and flower. Most like warm humid conditions with bright light. They will grow equally well in pots in a shade house or on trees in the garden given they prefer broken sunlight when located outside of a shade house. When acclimatised some will grow well in full sunlight. Most of the Australian native dendrobiums and their hybrids will thrive growing in the garden attached to trees. Some of these seen in gardens are the ‘King Orchids’ ( Den. speciosum ) with their large sprays of yellow to creamy white, the ‘Cooktown Orchid’ ( Den. bigibbum ) is another favourite with its sprays of mauve flowers and the smaller ‘Rock Orchid’ ( Den. kingianum ) is commonly seen.
Hybridising of dendrobium has seen them displaying long racemes with colour from white, mauve and pink through to dark purple which looks almost black. Added to those many now display stripes and contrasting flaring on the flower segments.
Growing conditions for these are very similar to cattleyas but they should not be overpotted as they prefer to be tight rooted in the pots. Watering in summer can be every day or two but should be quite meagre in summer as they do not like wet feet in winter. Potting medium should be finer as generally the roots are thinner except on the large Den. speciosum. Fertilising should be reduced in winter during their dormant period, a lower potassium ( Phostrogen ) is preferred till the new growths appear in the spring.
Refer to the General section ( Pest control, Sanitation, repotting and bacterial rot prevention ) for good housekeeping.
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