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Old 09-24-2014, 11:41 PM
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Unhappy Dendrobium hollow dry roots - what to do?

Hi,

I bought two dendrobium orchids (not sure exactly what kind of dendrobiums) in May this year and when I bought them, they had white, firm, healthy roots and a few weeks after they bloomed. The blooms lasted a few weeks then fell off one by one, sometimes two in one day.

I watered them every other day as instructed by the vendor and I always allowed the water to drain out, I never let them sit in water. Now I have noticed that the roots are not white and firm like before, instead they are beige and hollow and kind of almost papery. Three of the stalks with no leaves on them have become soft and feel kind of hollow too. Also, the new stalk with leaves seems droopy...is this normal?

I live in Jamaica so it's like summer all year round here. I live in an apartment on the third floor and keep my orchids on a shaded verandah. They do not get direct sunlight. I have attached pictures of them.

What is happening to my orchids? What did I do wrong? What should I do to fix it?
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:34 AM
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Under watering maybe? I don't know much about dendrobiums so I could totally be wrong but.. if it's always summer and your medium is basically rocks it seems like it would need more moisture? Is that a normal dendrobium medium? Sorry if I'm totally off! Just the first thought that came to me.

Hopefully someone more knowledgeable about this will let you know whats up!
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:54 AM
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Dendrobium rock potting medium

Well the place I bought them from had all the dendrobiums potted with rocks so I assumed this was normal and they said water every other day so I did that. I feel very confused.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:02 PM
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What are your temps like? Also, is it in direct sun whole day? It loves the light but I notice in my area, because it is really triple digit hot here and dry, it appreciates dappled sun during the hottest part of the day.

Blooms normally drop too once a plant is brought home as it tries to adjust to your own environment.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:57 PM
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The temperature here is around 88 to 90 degrees then drops to low 80's like 82/83 in the nights.

It rarely gets direct sunlight. It's mostly in the shade. Is this the problem?
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:58 PM
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Well you certainly got better summer temps than we do here...we get triple digit higher and drier & no rain during summer, so I end up giving it frequent watering too. I grow my Phal-Den in clay rocks and marble, similar with you growing it in rocks.

The leaves may go lanky if it wants a bit more light.

Not really sure what's up with your plant, unless there are some critters below the media that is affecting your plant, draining the life away of your roots, eventually weakening the plant.

Or, maybe the plant is still adjusting..you just never know how much adjustment it needs to really like your growing area.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:04 AM
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I think I will try to give it some sun and continue to watch it.
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Old 09-26-2014, 08:37 AM
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The plant yo me doesn't look bad. I grow a lot of dens. You have a phal type den and these I do keep on the moist side also. So if you're growing in rock, maybe your plant is drying out a bit too quickly. Maybe add some bark to the rock so some moisture stays in the pot longer. Mine also get direct sun. The leaves on mine are much lighter than yours, so I would also try to give your plant either brighter conditions or some direct light( do this gradually do you don't burn the leaves). Overall your plant doesn't look bad, just tweak your culture a bit and I think it will be fine.


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Old 09-26-2014, 10:43 AM
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Thank you so much syndywindy. I'll do that.
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