Once a seed pod is formed, the seed is sown, the seed germinates, the mother flask is replated, the seedlings are removed from the flask, and the seedlings are potted up, it is time to decide how to grow this seedling into a mature plant.
Over our years of growing Dendrobiumsection Rhizobium we have experimented with many different pots, medias and environmental conditions.
Many growers have used gutter guard poles, pots cut in half and then joined back together with a strip of gutter guard, recycled rubber coir, mesh pots, hardwood, cork, and tree fern. However, we have found a quality ‘squat pots’ achieves the best results in our conditions.
In saying that many Victorian growers have equal successes by growing Dendrobiumsection Rhizobium species and hybrids on large cork mounts with a small amount of bush or sphagnum moss. While in Queensland it seems mesh pots are still favourable. We believe the plants drying out very quickly to be the reason mesh pots and mounts were not always successful.
We prefer to use various sizes of ‘squat pots’ manufactured by the Orchid Pot co. These quality pots come in an extensive range of sizes and are made of durable plastic. The free draining design is the reason these pots have been so successful.
We recommend starting with a quality treated Kiwi Pine Bark, Size 2 for 50mm-80mm pots and Size 3 for anything above. Pine bark makes up around 70% of the media, the remaining 30% is 10mm scoria rock. A mixture of chopped sphagnum moss and perlite may also be useful in growing cuttings with minimal or no root growth.
Avoid high Nitrogen fertiliser; it leads to soft, fungi prone growth and few flowers. We use a high Potassium fertiliser with a N: P: K of 8:5:25, at a rate of one gram per litre of water fortnightly, all year round. We compliment this by using Amino Grow, as a drench or foliar feed, this helps the uptake of Potassium (k) whilst also maintaining a high