Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dendrobium Victoria-reginae progress in recovery

Mounted dendrobium victoria-reginae down to one leaf

     My dendrobium has lost another leaf recently, but I am actually optimistic about the orchid's progress.  I am convinced that the best indicator of an orchid's health is in its roots, and the the dendrobium's roots have been growing splendidly.  

After watering, the roots turn a deep green (left).  Wait to water again until the color turns back to white (on right)

     The orchid is mounted in live moss, so that I am able to water it daily and still have it dry out fast enough that root rot cannot set in.  The roots change color from green to silvery as they dry out, giving a clear visual indicator for when it's time to water again.  It's a little demanding since I have to water almost every day, but the roots have thrived as a result.

     I've circled where the roots have grown through several inches of moss and are now peeking out on the other side.  They've grown longer and healthier on this mount than they ever did while I had the dendrobium potted.

Start of a new cane: hard to see--harder to photograph

     With the orchid's roots now well established on the mount, it's also started growing a new cane.  The new growth is hidden behind the two older stems, so I actually didn't even notice it until today.  I think the dendrobium victoria-reginae is generally a fast growing species, so I hope to see fast progress on that growth.  I'm not sure how long the last remaining leaf on the old cane will last, but I really hope to have new leaves develop before it falls. 

     Note: the bud-like growth I had noticed in early February, has developed a purplish tinge and completely dried up.  I am fairly certain now that it had been the start of a flower bud, which blasted because the orchid was under so much stress.  I am not much disappointed, since I am much more excited by the promising growth as the orchid returns to health.

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