Win a Stunning Orchid Bowl

We have a stunning Orchid and bowl available to win form Marks and Spencers, this is an easy orchid for most people so you should have plenty of enjoyment from it.

This stylish twin stem multi-floral Phalaenopsis orchid will make a statement in any home. Allow it to cause a stir again and again by displaying by a window that doesn't get direct sun allowing it to bloom for many weeks. With care will re-flower in future.

To Enter all you have to do is answer the following question.

What type of Orchid is pictured above.

a) Phalaenopsis 
b) Paphiopedilum 
c) Cymbidium

Remember we will need to be able to contact you if you do win, so whilst "anonymous replies" can be made to the blog if there isn't a way to contact you then these will sadly have be discounted please leave a twitter name for us to contact you if you enter this way.

Extra entries can be made by sharing this competition on Twitter (include #orchidgardens so we can see your extra entry) or by liking our page and sharing the competition from Facebook. 

An additional entry can be made by "following" this blog via Google Friend Connect

Terms and conditions: This competition closes at 23.59 on 15 April 2014. Any entries received after this time will not be counted. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older to enter. By entering this competition you agree and consent to your name being published and by taking part in the competition, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and accepted all of the Terms and Conditions and agreed to be bound by them. The winner will be selected at random from the correct entries and will be announced here on the blog. Please make sure we are able to contact you if you do win.

How to Care for Nobile dendrobiums

MONDAY, 11 JUNE 2012

Dendrobium nobile

Dendrobium nobile
Nobile dendrobiums are a good orchid that can are happy to grow and flower in the greenhouse or in the home. The do have rather particular needs that need to be met to get the most from them. When the cultural needs are met then you can get an abundance of beautifully fragrant flowers typically in the spring months.

Nobile dendrobiums do well if given some time out doors - once any risk of frost has past, typically just for the summer months i.e. June to September. They are not keen on direct light so should be given some partial shade for best results. If grown in doors indirect light rather than a windowsill is best.

Like many other orchids Nobile dendrobiums perform best when root bound so dont over pot but keep moist in the growing season and water less at other times of the year.

How to Get the Most from your Dendrobium Orchids

Orchids from the Dendrobium family (which is pronounced den-dro-bee-urn) come from a large swathe of Southern Eastern Asia, covering a huge area that stretches as far as Northern India as well as to the small islands just off the East coast of New Guinea and also well into Australia through to Polynesia. To get the best from them it is particularly important to consider the latitude where they are native to as the Equator runs through the middle of this huge growing territory and it should not be ignored that it is always hot at sea level with pretty much no variation in the seasons.
However if you choose to grow plants from north of the Tropic of Cancer and south of the Tropic of Capricorn these are more adaptable to growing in the UK as they encounter to a much wider range of climate variability, with colder drier winters and warm wet summers. It is important therefore to know identify where each species actually comes from.

There are well over 1,200 identified species of Dendrobium , and yet more are being classified from the highlands of New Guinea, an exciting area to plant hunters and an area that does see some cold, expect to see more tropical plants coming from this region for British gardeners. This makes them the second largest orchid genus in the world after Bulbophyllum. The family was established by Olof Swartz in 1799 and in 1981, Briegar reclassified all terete-leaved Dendrobiums from Australia and New Guinea into a new genus, Dockrillia. The Winika orchid from New Zealand was formerly D. cunninghamii, but has now been moved into a monotypic genus Winika. In 1989, Clements upgraded the D. speciosum complex into individual species similarly, the D. bigibbum complex (which contains the well-known Cooktown Orchid of Australia, D. phalaenopsis) has recently been split up.

Whilst the form as well as the shape of the individual stems and leaves vary tremendously beteen species, the pattern of flowers is reasonably constant albeit witha wide range of sizes ranging in size from very small to huge. Generally the bases of the sepals are fused to the base of the column and the lip base forming a mentum or 'chin' which typically houses the nectar of the flowers.

Light requirements
Dendrobiums like good level of light at all times but they should not be kept away from full sun or they can scorch. Keep them in the brightest position during the winter months in indirect sunlight to help ripen the current years stems/canes.

Watering requirements
This is one of the key elements that new growers of Dendrobiums often fail to adhere to, avoid all watering from mid November until February. If the atmosphere in your home is very dry or you keep them in a dry greenhouse then you can mist your plants once a months to avoid over drying them or give them a good single soak every 8 weeks. The Nobile type Dendrobiums must have a rest from water between these dates if you want to see flowers.

There is a fine balance between drying them out completely (killing them) and keeping them alive. This is due to their natural habitat in South East Asia where the winters are cool and the air fairly dry. This winter treatment is stopped in February as growth re starts and water should be applied sparingly until good roots are visibly growing from the new shoots, by June watering can given twice weekly and continued until November. This watering regime is due to the plants native environment where they would be subject to monsoon type downpours during the early to late summer with corresponding higher temperatures and humidity and cool dry winter conditions.

Dendrobium Spring Dream 'Apollon'

Dendrobiums do better when kept in small pots with their roots confined. Bark, perlag and charcoal make up an open mix which will drain easily. Repot when either the compost becomes acid and soggy or when the pot is too full of roots. This often means every year or so. Plants from the mountains of New Guinea like a little moss mixed with the bark or they can be grown on slabs of bark or treefern on a mossy bed. Such slabs need daily misting for most of the year. Repotting and dividing should be undertaken in the spring either immediately after flowering or just as new growth starts.

How to repot
Gently pull the orchid from the pot and shake loose the remaining potting mix. If orchid is difficult to remove, then consider soaking the plant, in water. If that doesn’t work, cut off the pot. A few pot pieces stuck to roots won’t impede growth in the new pot. Better to leave these on that cut roots to remove them.

Trim any dead or rotting roots with sterilized blade. Never use blade on another plant without re-sterilizing.

Add potting mix to within a cm or so of pot rim. Work roots into mix, but do not bury the base of the pseudobulb. Use a rhizome clip if you need it to secure the plant. Stabilize plant with a vertical stake and ties.

Water sparingly until new roots start.

The Dendrobium reproduces by growing keikis or “babies” from the nodes on the stem. After flowers have bloomed, cut stem at the base and lay it on moistened river sand, Dendrobium potting mix or fir bark. Allow keikis to grow until the end of the growing season (August). These keikis should grow roots. Remove at this point and pot them in small pots.

Cymbidium Chelsea Red

Another beautiful Cymbidium hybrid, Cymbidium Chelsea Red.

Cymbidium Chelsea Red 
Cymbidium Chelsea Red