The wonderful thing about growing a range of orchid species is that every week old favourites come into flower and you get the chance to wonder at their beauty afresh.
One of our favourite dendrobiums is this small growing but spectacular species from Laos, Vietnam and Southern China. Dendrobium loddigesii is semi deciduous and grows pseudobulbs no longer than 10cm The growths grow quickly each summer and then drop some of their soft leaves in the winter. Flowers appear from last year’s bulbs in late spring. We find that this species needs a distinct summer and winter to flower well as it can tend to just keep growing if kept warm all year and forget to flower.
We grow the species bright, wet and warm in the summer – Warm Asia seems to suit it best. Then cooler and dryer in the winter when the roof of Cool Americas seems to be its favourite spot. This may seem like a bit of a faff but it is definitely worth it for the sweet little flowers appear in May.
We have tried the plant mounted and potted, and it definitely works best for us mounted where it can develop into a mass of little growths. We have just received a new pallet of virgin cork bark and the next month is going to be dominated by mounting lots of orchids. A great way to grow beautiful orchids and support the cork forests of Portugal.