suggestions on NOID Dend

karmenMarch 13, 2007


I recently picked up a NOID Dend (at least, based on the pics on these forums I have deduced as much - actually a Phal-type dend) that is basically a "rescue". 5 bucks, spikes totally degenerate (I cut them right down), little turgor, essentially no intact medium left in a very very small pot for the 2 canes. There were literally more roots that had burst through the drain holes at the base of the pot than were in fact IN the pot. I repotted in sphag with a little bark and foamy pellets, after I trimmed the roots - there were almost no rotting roots - in a slightly larger clay (unglazed) pot it went with a wicked good soaking. Placed it near a partially-blocked south window, ~2 hr unobstructed light and up to 6 with filtered/indirect sun; only been able to manage ~40% humidity.

Since then, the leaves have become very firm, the canes have tightened up and it seems to have taken well because it turned a very bright, emerald green color (canes and leaves) over a week or so. Based on numerous posts here I gradually upped the sun to SE exposure, corner window, getting up to 5-6 hrs of direct sun/day (maybe 2 feet back), at no more than 80F and no less than 66F. Having checked the leaves at the brightest of times, they NEVER got hot; you couldn't even reasonably call them warm. The medium is kept on the dry side of moist; maybe 1 cup (yep, think the meauring cup size) of water every 10 days so far (pot is an ornamental one; has a volume of perhaps 5 cups) and the surface sphag is dry and crispy inside of 3 days while deeper in is cool and moist for maybe 4 more days. The turgor on the leaves is still very high. After this past weekend, the leaves have turned a very deep red; no evidence yet of sunburn (ie no spots etc) but I gather that his is a sign of upper limits of light tolerance and perhaps beyond, so I have moved it to a spot of very bright though mostly indirect light. The plant appears otherwise very robust now but I'm curious if this is on the right track overall (in general) or is there something blatant and obvious that I am missing in terms of basic care??

Sorry for the length but I thught it prudent to include as much info as possible.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions!!



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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

You do not say if you are a newbie but these are orchids that have to be underpotted especially in adverse conditions.
Here, Sydney, Australia they are hardly ever seen at orchid shows, society meetings and the like because they are regarded as difficult. They need a climate like Hawaii or Miami or Singapore.
Now i do grow them. they are seriously underpotted, they are in glasshouses.
First thing, I never fiddle with them till late spring when the newest pseudobulb is starting to grow and the plant is likely to grow a new set of roots soon after repotting. So, you need to check if there growth eyes at the base of the pseudobulbs. If the eyes have all rotted away its good night Irene. Though the plant could throw a keiki or two but its a long road back from there.
You need warmth, moderate humidity, good light and even watering throughout the whole year for them to do well. A slight cooling down and a slight reduction in watering in autumn/winter are OK/Necessary but i think there are some types that might flower all year given better conditions than i provide.
As for growing them in Canada, surely there are easier orchids, especially if you need under lights conditions in winter. Some of these have metre or more length pseudobulbs.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 4:17PM
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thanks for the response Arthur. Yes there are easier orchids to grow in Canada - the 2 phals in the living room are testament to that, without a doubt. This particular plant represents a 5 dollar challenge. Maybe it's overconfidence? haha! The fact that the phals have the same flowers on the spikes for nearly four months, while budding up new ones is highly encouraging, but to face facts, I'm pretty well a noob in this. fun stuff though.

I'd just bothe rwith one thing though: what do the "eyes" look like? When I repotted I was rather surprised at how clean the roots appeared; very little rot evident, and only ot the terminal ends, nothing offside was evident at the "core" of the roots, or where they meet the pb's. Just curious, but thanks again


    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 7:44AM
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Sounds like you are doing a good job. If the plant is over-potted that could present problems but if you are careful to let the media 'almost dry out' it should be fine. I've over-potted dens without problems. Just watch your watering especially since it's potted in sphag.
The only thing which could cause problems is your timing on repotting. I find Dens don't like their roots fooled with. You'll know in the next few months if it will send up a new cane. It will appear from the base of the last cane (usually).
Don't worry about the sun. They love it and reddish leaves are a good sign. Indoor sun is not the same as outdoor. Most of my hard-cane dens start sending up new growths in late April and May.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 12:16AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

From April to August dens grow their best, so water and fertilize generously during this period. Use a fertilizer low in nitrogen, as dens don't like a lot of nitrogen. As Jane says, dens don't like their roots fooled with, so the plant may sulk for a while. Dens also like tight pots, so as Jane also says, if you've overpotted, let the media 'almost dry out' before watering again.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 2:07PM
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thanks for the input!! I have to admit I am unsure of the overpotting bit: I got it in a 4'' plastic pot for 2 pbs that were 14'' and 18'' tall, not including spikes. One cane had 4 leaves, down to 2; the other had 2 wilted, limp and broken leaves and another 8 that have become very firm and solid. There were originally far more roots outside than in the pot. I planted in a clay ornamental pot that is almost 6'' wide, but rather shallow (~3-3 1/2'' deep). I could hold the media I added in one fist, the rest is roots and the plant is now firmly stuck in there, it barely wiggles at all. Having now reduced the light a hair, the leaves are visibly gaining more green but are retaining a lot of the red, still nothing indicating burn. Sounds like I just nee dto keep er ticking. Thanks again all!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 2:50PM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Sounds like you're on the right track. Just make sure it has good drainage. Keep watching the plant and it will tell you how it's doing, and right now it sounds like it's doing well.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 4:50PM
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