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Old 12-19-2009, 03:20 PM
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Dendrobium aggregatum rest????

I have a Dendrobium aggregatum (I call it aggravate-um) and have not gotten it to re-bloom since I purchased it in the spring (edited from fall) of 2008. I am sure it is because I don't have the winter/water rest skills perfected. The grower told me not to water it AT ALL after Halloween. So, for three months, it didn't get a drop as the grower instructed. Needless to say, it was dying so I went to OG and got some 'how to save it now' information. It has made a pretty good comeback and made it through the summer but I don't quite know how to treat it at this point.

So here's my question: Does a 'rest' mean a little bit of water all the time or a lot of water more infrequently??? Does resting involve less light as well??? I am amazed at how many books tell you to 'rest' an orchid but I have yet to find an actual definition.

Enter the Orchid Geeks!!!!! Please help guys....this little orchid has been my challenge and I am ready to give up on these special needs types. Cymbidiums are much less demanding and oh so rewarding.......
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Last edited by PhalPal; 12-19-2009 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Wrong season!!!!
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:45 PM
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Phalpal, I don't have that one, but here is how I grow my species Dens that require a winter rest.

When I water them during their rest, I water them thoroughly, but less often, letting them get completely dry in between. If I notice excessive shriveling of the p'bulbs, or lots of new root growth, that tells me they need water a little more often than I was giving them.


Typically these kind of Dens actually require more light in the winter, a lot of them are from deciduous type forests. So I give them as much light as they can handle, balancing the light with the amount of water.

I don't fertilize when they are resting.

Temps - I have them segregated as warm/intermediate/cold growers, and they are put into the appropriate temps. Right now, inside my house is warm, my back porch is intermediate, and outside is for the cold guys. It just works out that way for me.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Sorry, wanted to add that most of my Dens that need a rest are mounted, so it easier for me for me to control the watering. And the ones that are potted, are really underpotted, so even when watered, they still dry out relatively quickly - two - three days.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:14 PM
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I have rebloomed mine (mine is actually jenkinsii) and what I've done is I hang it high on a hook in my west facing window, so it gets quite cold (in the 40's at night, high 60s/low 70's daytime, it's right against the window pane and gets a bit of a draft, my humidty ranges from 25-65% depending on the day/heat).I do water it every now and then, maybe once every 2-3 weeks by soaking it for about 5 min. If i don't give a little water every 3 weeks or so, it starts to lose leaves. Very occasionally (maybe 1-2 times a month) I also mist it a bit, so it gets watered a bit, but not too regularily. During summer I waster it every day or 2 by soaking for at least 10 minutes or longer. I was pretty surprised it bloomed for me last year, bc I wasn't sure if what I was doing was the right thing, but it seems to like this routine.
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:09 PM
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I'm happy to know that it likes cool temps because I grow mine outdoors all year, just about the conditions in your windowsill sruane. I must have known that somewhere along the line and forgotten why it was out there??? It went down to 30! (-1 celcius) a week ago and I had to bring it in my garage for a spell. I grow it in a wooden basket with coco husks so it does dry out quite quickly especially on days like today, it's almost 80. (27 celcius)

The pbulbs have always been shriveled on mine, even when I bought it (but remember this is the grower who told me not to water it at all). My instincts told me to water less often but give it a good drench when I do, just wanted to make sure.
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:38 PM
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Glad you asked that question, Connie. I have a crapload of Den. aggregatums due to buying a compot before I knew what a compot was. I just thought I was buying a very healthy miniature...doh! So my purchase yielded 15 or so in little clay pots...and three mounted on cedar, cork, and coconut husk, and one on a hunk of lava rock. They are so little, most of them, that I've gotten rather bored with them and tend to ignore them completely...which, in SoFl seems to be the very definition of 'winter rest'. Not sure how many more years before they are blooming size but as long as they hold their own we can live a peaceful co-existence.
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:49 PM
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In the wild, Nov, Dec, Jan, and Feb (Northern Hemisphere) are very dry months for this orchid receiving only about a half-inch of rain per month, so very dry. Those same months also see cool nights, 45-55F.

I suspect you have not had it long enough to see it though one flowering cycle since it's peak flowering season is after the cool dry spell, about Mar-May.

In short, treat it like a nobile-type. Assuming it is a flowering size plant, and given good culture, I expect it very well could flower for you in the spring.

I have to double check this one but I believe that Den aggregatum is an obsolete synonym for this orchid. I believe the correct name for it is Den jenkinsii.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:09 PM
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Kevin, sorry to disagree with you, but I think aggregatum is now called lindleyi. jenkinsii is a very similar but different species.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:30 PM
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....aggregatun....jenkinsii.....lindleyi.......no wonder I cant find any good information in any one of the dozens of orchid books I have!!!! I will research nobile dends and get some more insight. Thanks for that tid-bit!

Kevin I bought this in the spring of 2008 and it was in bloom. I originally posted I bought it in fall but that is incorrect. I have had it for one blooming cycle + but this was following a waterless fall and winter. With your help I was able to save it (mostly with a lot of soaking). I will need to lay off of the watering just a bit more than what I have been giving it. We have had a week of hot and dry (relatively speaking, 75 degrees and 35% humidity) and it's sooooo hard not to water it when our weather is dry and windy. I will be absolutely shocked if this baby blooms for me this spring!

Happy....but shocked!
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Old 12-20-2009, 01:33 AM
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I wish they would quit messing around with names.
Anyway, I have a couple or three. The one I bought mounted at a show last year and did not get a bloom. I've not done well segregating the "dry period" orchids and they have still been watered. Just last week I tried to group them together in the greenhouse to avoid hitting them with the hose. I'm hoping I can "catch up" on that and get some results.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcb View Post
Kevin, sorry to disagree with you, but I think aggregatum is now called lindleyi. jenkinsii is a very similar but different species.
We sorted this all out on the forum once, I think about a year ago it was quite ago, and now I'm ashamed to say I have forgotten the results of that investigation. I'll look it all up again when I get the chance.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lmartiny View Post
I wish they would quit messing around with names.
This instance isn't a case with "messing around with names." Let's see at risk of oversimplifying things, here's a bit of orchid history: In the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a flurry of investigation into orchid species (as well as other plant and animal species), into describing them and getting them all scientifically classified. Many different taxonomists were working at the same time often not knowing what each other was working on. It was very common in those days that 2 or 3 different taxonomists would describe the same plant but assign it different names. That's exactly what happened in this case. In the mid-to late 1800s, three different taxonomists described a plant which they named Den aggregatum. Three!!!

One of them we now know today as Den lindleyi (thanks you for the correction rcb).

Another one we now know, not as a dendrobium at all, but as a Maxillaria, Maxillaria aggregata.

And the third one, a variety which was described as Den aggregatum var. jenkinsii was elevated to species status and today we know it as Den jenkinsii.

All of the "messing around" with these names took place 150 to almost 200 years ago. As I've said before, our knowledge of orchids is constantly changing and the way we classify them has to reflect what we know about them, therefore, the classification of them changes as well. You can see form this story that people who have loved and grown orchids, just like us, have been dealing with name changes for nearly 200 years, and that not all name changes are recent. The nature of the science suggests this isn't going to change. I dont' mean to say that as a chastisement but rather as an encouragement that it's normal and just part of the nature of the beast. And also again that this particular name situation is a very old one.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PhalPal View Post
....aggregatun....jenkinsii.....lindleyi.......no wonder I cant find any good information in any one of the dozens of orchid books I have!!!! I will research nobile dends and get some more insight. Thanks for that tid-bit!
I really like the Baker & Baker Orchid Species Culture book on Dendrobiums. That's where I learned about the culture of this particular orchid. This book also contains all of the synonyms and references you to their currently used name. Very useful stuff!
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:08 AM
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Connie I don't have the one you have but what I do with similar types is IF it is sunny, I give them a misting in the morning but if it is cloudy and dark, nothing. Most of this type do get dew over night and minor amounts of rain during the "dry" season. If I am going to get multiple days of sun in a row (a rarity in KY during the winter) I give them a good soaking and don't "dew" them the next day.

In your climate with bright sun, wind and dry I would think some moisture from you would only help the plant. Growing orchids is always a guessing game. What you tried last year didn't work, time to make another guess for this year

Brooke
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