Friday, December 14, 2012

Leaf loss on Dendrobium Burana Sundae

Leaf loss on Dendrobium Burana Sundae

     Two months ago, my Dendrobium Burana Sundae arrived as a deceptive mess. It had many thick, tall canes promising a vigorous and fast growing plant, but the roots were a broken, rotten mess.  I ended up trimming most of them away, which is why I needed to add a stake to the pot just so the canes wouldn't topple over.

     In the past two months, the orchid has shed all of the leaves from its older two canes.  Since the dendrobium arrived with 3 generations of canes bearing leaves, I highly doubt that this is normal for this hybrid. Some dens are deciduous and regularly shed their leaves in the winter season as part of their growth cycle, but I don't think this is one such.

     In addition, all the older canes have developed shriveling, and the oldest cane has taken on a ghastly orange-yellow color. I have no way of seeing what's going on with the roots right now (I don't want to disturb the plant yet), but I suspect that the rest of the old roots have died off in the last two months.  It's likely that only the cluster of newish 2-3" long roots from the newest cane remain.  I'll probably check up on them in a few more months.

     In the meantime, the orchid lives in my terrarium, where it's hopefully benefiting from raised humidity.  I water it whenever the humidity tray on the bottom of the pot dries out, which is about every 2 weeks.  I've also been giving it followup treatments with systemic fungicide, because its roots were in such a damaged state, and because I am generally so suspicious about the orchid's health.

     The orchid is currently planted in "dendrobium" mix from rePotme.com, but I'm wondering if maybe I should move it to coarser bark to help it dry faster.  Regardless, I won't be changing anything until after I return from the holidays.

3 comments:

  1. My first impression is that there was nothing really wrong with your dendrobium as they drop leaves and have bare canes waxing and waning as part of their growth cycle, but you are obviously concerned. I am growing a small den. victoria reginae and it lost a bunch of leaves, leaving bare canes, only to produce flower buds on these same canes. I wouldn't rush to fix your plant with another mix although I can see no harm in inspecting the roots. If they look bad, then act. My plant is growing in a net pot in spaghnum and I can see its roots quite easily. I use spaghnum and net pots as the combination seems to prevent me from overwatering.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would agree with anonymous on all points. I've found as a general rule dendrobiums are pretty hardy. Try to avoid disrupting the roots as much as possible as there may not be any new ones growning until the next cane forms.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'll hold off on doing anything unless either the newest cane starts shedding leaves, or a new cane starts growing.

    ReplyDelete