Tips on Mounting and Growing Nobile Dendrobiums

Mahalo to Ellen for providing this information in the minutes from the February meeting.

Tips from Grace:

  • You can take the older stems and lay them flat onto sphagnum moss and they will start shooting and rooting, or you can cut them into four- to five-inch pieces and they will grow.
  • Yamamoto Orchids recommended laying them down as opposed to standing them up.
  • In Hawaii, if you want blossoms, stop fertilizing in October and start again after blooming (around April).
  • If you continue to fertilize and water after October, you get lots of new rooted shoots but few blossoms.
  • In Mountain View, they water once or twice a month; it may be different in the Kona area.
  • You can grow them on trees and on rocks; snail bait is required for the ones on rocks.
  • They are really easy to grow above the highway in Captain Cook.

Tips from Nancy:

  • If you can’t grow them in pots, take a cutting (old stem) and tie it on hapu’u and shoots will come out.
  • There is no need to fertilize as they can get nutrients from the air.

Tips from Betty:

  • Cut down on watering and fertilizer from Thanksgiving.
  • If you give them lots of room, they will get lots of shoots.
  • Cutting down on water seems to stress them so that they drop their leaves and make flowers instead.

Tip from Dick:

  • At lower elevations (e.g., 600’ elevation), they will grow and bloom profusely if they are kept dry for two months.

How to mount on coconut husks (by Cheeta):

  • Planting on coconut husks allows the roots to eventually grow into the husks. The hairy fibers in coconut husks keep the roots moist.
  • Take a drill and make a hole to allow a hook to be put into the husk. This will allow it to be hung (e.g., from a tree).
  • To fasten a plant to a husk, take a staple and place it into the coconut husk. Wiggling the staple will make it go in easier. Push the staple into husk to hold the plant. Make sure the staple is at an angle.
  • An article on using coconut husks for growing orchids was published in the July 2011 American Orchid Society magazine; the club has a copy if you would like to read it.

Mahalo to Grace, Joyce, and Nancy for supplying the cuttings for the activity.

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