My little Dendrobium is killing it this year!
I have two orchids that I will keep even if they decide not to bloom for me.
Both are dendrobium types. Both produce very nice, fat canes and very stiff, thick leaves. I like the plant itself even without flowers. One still didn't bloom, but I know it has to be bigger and much older to produce flowers (Dendrobium speciosum - google it if you want).
The second one is right here :)
Dendrobium jenkinsii x aggregatum
Yes, it is a cross between Dendrobium jenkinsii and Dendrobium aggregatum. Both are very similar with the same shape of canes and flowers. Aggregatum one is larger one though and likes to produce cascades of flowers. Jenkinsii is a true miniature with short flower stems with usually just one bloom on, smaller canes and I think I read somewhere it is more fussy.
The cross created a medium size (though it is still considered a miniature orchid) plant, but with many flowers. Yay!
You can see below one of the long spikes hanging down. I do not stake them - I like them this way. But I had to build a little tower to make sure they do not touch the floor.
There were two of those long spikes this year and a few shorter ones (comparing to the previous blooming that had just one short one). One of the big ones already dropped the flowers. This was the last moment to photograph the remaining flowers.
I know it is a lot of yellow, but I couldn't stop shooting. The flowers are just adorable! Not very big - maybe 2,5 - 3 cm across. And if you know African Violets flowers (which are a lot more common than this plant) and know, that texture on the petals is about the same. They are very thin and delicate.
On the photo below you can also notice some little drops on the stem. This is very sticky sap that they produce. Nothing to worry about though...
Professional orchid growers refer to this clear, sticky sap as “happy sap”. The sap that is naturally produced by the flower itself is thought to do so in order to attract pollinators, which results in sticky orchid leaves which can drip a lot. If this is the case, the sticky stuff can easily (but gently) be washed off with water and is no cause for concern.
Newley open flowers are light yellow. I didn't catch that as they were already starting to fade now. As they get old they change colour to this intense yellow with dark egg yolk center.
No fragrance. But I don't care :)
This is the whole plant now. The leaves are super thick and stiff. They do not bend or wiggle. The canes are short and fat as I mentioned. It does tend to shriver when it is not watered enough, but they can plumb back. They will also look like rasins during the winter rest. This one does require the cooler winter time with very little water in order to bloom. A bit like cacti :)
This is how it looked in 2020.
Much smaller plant and one, not too long flower spike. I was still very excited to finally see it as it was blooming for me for the first time.
It was growing one of the smaller posts - 10 cm I think. Last year I repotted it to the regular 12 cm. It skipped blooming, but was growing like crazy. Multiple new canes and it filled up the pot again. I will wait for next spring to see if it needs repotting and maybe splitting. It is getting pretty big (for its small size).
Shot with Nikon D5500 + Sigma 105mm and Nikkor 18-55mm lens
All photos and text are my own.