Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dendrobium in bloom

One of my unlabeled Dendrobiums is in bloom.  It has had buds for a long time and I kept thinking "any day."  Finally it decided to open the first two of eight buds just a couple of days before we headed out of town.  I snapped a couple of pictures and I'm hoping it will be in full bloom when we return home.

Dendrobium plant
Since I have been reading several orchid books lately, I am learning more of the lingo.  A Dendrobium is known as a sympodial orchid, because it blooms on the new growth stalks.  After it has finished blooming, it will send up a new stalk, which will bloom next year, if the plant has adequate energy.  You can see the other stems from previous years' growth.  My plant shows the trend well since each successive stem is taller than the previous.  It might be hard to pick out in the picture above, but there are 5 stems in all, with the tallest one currently in bloom.

The other major type of orchid is monopodial, where all growth takes place on the same cluster.  A great example of this is the common "moth orchid" Phalaenopsis.  Occasionally a Phalaenopsis will produce offset plants, but generally it will just produce new leaves from the same rosette.

Dendrobium buds
I can't remember exactly where I got this orchid, but I think I bought it on a major discount because it had finished blooming.  Recently I purchased an orchid like this from Lowe's Home Improvement store and the cashier was trying to talk me out of it, telling me that it would probably die.  Knowing orchids, I could tell the plant was perfectly healthy.  I wasn't even going to have to nurse it back to health.  It had just finished blooming.  That was all...

Dendrobium bloom
As soon as Lowe's gets a new shipment of blooming orchids, they will mark down all the older orchids that are finished blooming.  Assuming they haven't been in the store for too long, they might still be in pretty good health.  I like to buy them at this point.  Few of these plants still have tags in them, so I have to bring them to bloom again before I know what color they will be.


  1. AWESOME pictures. You are such a great plant photographer!

  2. Beautiful! Nice to hear the tip about Lowe's. I might have to see if I can be successful with an orchid. ;)

  3. Congratulations! I never had any luck with orchids. Show us more pictures!

  4. How long did it take for your blooms to begin to open after the buds? I have a similiar orchid and it seems like the buds have just been hanging out, not doing anything, forever....

  5. Allison-
    Congratulations on your Dendrobium going into bud!
    I don't remember exactly, but I think it can take about a month for the buds to develop before they open. As long as your plant looks healthy and happy, I wouldn't be too worried. If buds start to fall off, then I would be worried.