Some of our summer flowering orchids have very short lived flowers but Dendrobium cuthbertsonii starts flowering in June or July and will still be in flower at Christmas.
This beautiful miniature species is native to New Guinea where it grows as an epiphyte or lithophyte in mossy high mountain elfin forests. We find that the secret in cultivation is to replicate this habitat and so grow plant cool, wet and windy. We also find that plants prefer to grow mounted where their roots can establish on cork bark and plants can grow into impressive specimens.
The species is bird pollinated and comes in a wide range of colours including pink, orange (below), red, yellow and white – why not grow several different clones?
As I have said, the flowers are extraordinarily long lasting and we have had flowers last nine months or more however we find that the plants benefit from the flowers being removed after a few months to allow the plant’s energy to into producing new growths. It is worth keeping an eye out for woodlice that will eat the roots or red spider on the leaves as either of these can cause a plant to go down hill and not recover.
We have two new clones that are not flowering yet but when they do flower we will post those photos too.