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Old 12-20-2013, 03:20 PM
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HELP needed with a rescue (and with a rough ID)

A co-worker's husband told me about an orchid that he had that was struggling (one of several plants given to him by a friend). I agreed to have a look at it, see if I could help.

First off, what is it? Here's a couple pictures:


From the plant morphology, I am thinking some type of Dendrobium. Longest cane is roughly 6 inches (15 cm), longest leaf roughly 4 inches (10 cm), widest cane about 0.5 cm (0.2 inches) near the top, narrower toward the base. There is no indication that this plant has bloomed any time recently.

I know a species determination is not possible, any idea what category to place it in for cultural purposes?

OK, on to cultural concerns. First thing I plan to change, it appears seriously over-potted. I will re-pot into a much smaller pot, as soon as I have a recommendation for new potting medium. Right now, it is mostly in fine hard charcoal, with some fir bark and a little perlite; bark does not seem decomposed at all. Should I stick with any/all of these in the medium? Or switch to something else?

There are very few live roots right now. Here are the only ones I see:





I have some Dyna-gro KLN, would a periodic soak (say, for 15 minutes every couple of weeks) be helpful for getting the few existing roots to grow? Other suggestions?

Finally, one of the newer growths has some leaf issues, which I think look fungal:


I was planning to clip off the affected leaves a cm or so below the diseased tissue, allow to heal, treat periodically with Neem as a first line fungicide, switch to something like Cleary's if needed.

Any other cultural suggestions (watering, rest periods, etc) would be appreciated. Thanks!
Je suis Charlie
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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I agree with the Dendrobium theory. I'd stick that in some sphag in a much smaller pot and wouldn't fertilize it too much. if you have something that boosts the roots, then go with a weak formula of that. I wouldn't worry about a rest period either, I think its beyond that. Its going to need a lot of TLC to bring it back. Good luck!
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:27 PM
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It looks like a dendrobium to me, also. I have a couple of plants that have been severely compromised, and I have been giving them a squirt with a spray bottle of root stimulant, daily or every other day, as they lay on their bed of sphag (in one case) or bark mix (in the other). Both are sprouting new growth and roots, so it is working. I like the idea of using the medium that I will be using if the plant actually survives, to make an easier adjustment for the new roots.

Personally, I would use new medium regardless of the type, just in case there is a bed of fungus in there. I am using a seaweed fert in my spray bottle, but I have used KLN before and got good results from that too. I just like to change them out occasionally.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:09 AM
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Definitely a Den and my money's on a hybrid in section Dendrobium (aka 'nobile-type'), I'd guess one with a high percentage of moniliforme ancestry. Looks like you have two nice healthy clumps, I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of roots or condition of leaves as these will do well kept pretty dry for the winter.

I'd suggest holding off on KLN for now, better to keep them dormant until spring when new growths will normally push out large flushes of roots anyway. My method for reviving these would be to put them bareroot in small clay pots, with just a couple large chunks of quartz or granite to hold roots (live or dead) in place. Keep the stones well below the base of the canes, water every 1-1.5 weeks (I like the pot to be pretty crispy-dry for 2-4 days before watering again this time of year), and keep in a coolish, airy, and moderately bright location for the winter. Once you see new growths in the spring, push some sphagnum into the top of the pots for roots to grow into, still staying away from the base of mature canes, and when you see the first flush of roots then start watering to stay constantly moist through the warm months.

Stick mounts and wooden baskets also work well, I have a nice Den. Kokomo on a stick just coming into bloom. I'll try to get a decent photo and might be able to take a division this spring if you're interested, it's an easy grower in our climate and the fragrance is outstanding.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:57 PM
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Thank you!

I have been meaning to post a big "thanks" for all of the suggestions received. I blame the holidays - it just kept slipping my mind.

After posting about this here, and on another forum, I re-potted into a small terracotta pot with some quartz pebbles. I am keeping it mostly dry, only watering once every week to week and a half. In reality, it probably catches a little unintended over-spray as I water some other nearby plants.

So far, so good. Some leaves are yellowing, but I was expecting that. I just need to keep it alive until spring, then hope for some new growth. It will go back to its owner once it is healthy again.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:31 AM
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looks like a couple i have growth wise Den annosum and Den parishii the canes and leaves look similar but it could be any variation of a hybrid if is the annosum these get a winters rest google the blooms for your friend if they got it in bloom this may help determin its one of these or a hybrid to confirm winter rest period (mine are mounted)

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