Den Phal care?

whitecat8(z4 MN)March 16, 2011

Hi. The husband of my best friend from 7th grade(!) bought a "Dendrobium Phaelopsis" at a silent auction a few months back. They live in NC. I've been successful w/ this orchid, but cultural conditions may be too different in MN.

Any suggestions for care? It appears to be in alifor but not semi-hydro. He's been watering it by passing it under water from the kitchen faucet x number of times, x number of days/week. He was out of town, and before my friend sent the pix, I told her to submerge it in water for 2 hours. I also said the small saucer won't make an appreciable difference in humidity, and I know people have different opinions on that one.

Perhaps a medium that holds more water? N Carolina's not *that* humid! If he uses sphag w/ maybe 20% bark and waits till the sphag's crispy dry on top before watering - what do you think?

Or a good bark mix, if he's willing to check a skewer periodically?

Something else?

Thanks for any tips you can pass along.

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whitecat8(z4 MN)

That's an East window.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 3:42PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

The 64 dollar question it really Dendrobium phalaenopsis or a so called Phal type Dendrobium with some Dendrobium Phalaenopsis genes in its ancestry.

Just to muddy the waters there are some that are not so difficult, others, that bloom in winter are difficult away from warmer climates.

I hope that the silent auction figure was low because i suspect that the yellow bases on some of the older pseudobulbs mean that they are dead.

As for care? A nicely heated glasshouse would be good, say 60F minimum at night with day temps in the 80sF

Failing the NHGH perhaps standard indoor culture for Phalaenopsis might be the go with a little bit more light.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 5:15PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

It's a Denphal. Botanically that could mean a multitude of things but we're not interested in that. Denphals need warm conditions all the year round (never below 15C,60F) and very good light. Some direct sun is acceptable. They also need regular, but not excessive watering. They can go dry for short periods, but once again not excessive. I'm guessing a bit what it is growing in, but I wouldn't mess with it, whatever it is, until the plant is absolutely climbing out of the pot or ridiculously top heavy. Call us again in 2 years time! Give it a little weak tomato fertilizer when it has new growth.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 12:41AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Here in NJ my phal type dens did well a foot or so back in my south window, or directly in my west window. Ditto what ifraser25 says, warm conditions year round, good light, more than a phal but a bit less than a cattleya. If it's happy let it be. Aliflor lasts for a very long time. It does not need a winter rest, like some dens do, but due to less light, fertilizer can be cut back a bit. Dens grow best from April to August, and during that time need lots of water and fertilizer with low nitrogen. Dens don't like much nitrogen. They also resent being repotted often, and like tight shoes.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 4:03PM
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whitecat8(z4 MN)

Thanks everyone. After checking some other orchid resources on LECA as well, I sent detailed (who, me?) comments and suggestions to my friend to give to her husband.

She called up, just laughing - "That's exactly how I grow African Violets!"

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 12:33PM
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