Dendrobium × gracillimum
An epiphytic, semi-evergreen orchid with long, upright, cane-like stems. Each stem (pseudobulb) is up to 90cm long and 1cm wide. Three to six dark green, leathery leaves are alternately arranged near the top of each cane. Each lance-shaped leaf is 13cm long and 4cm wide. Flowering stems emerge from the leaf axils at the top of mature canes and bear clusters of small, scented flowers. The flowers of this naturally occuring hybrid are pale yellow, sometimes bearing dark maroon markings of the lip.
Ultimate height0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height5–10 years
Ultimate spread0.5–1 metres
Colour & scent
- Partial shade
- Full sun
East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing
- Native to the UK
- Evergreen or Semi evergreen
- Columnar upright, Clump forming
Dendrobium are epiphytic and terrestrial orchids with elongated, stem-like pseudobulbs bearing linear to ovate leaves. Racemes or panicles of showy flowers are produced from nodes along the stems mainly in spring
- Name status
How to grow
Plants are best grown in a pot in an epiphytic, medium grade, bark-based potting mix with added perlite, moss, or coir. As with many orchids, they grow best when the roots are slightly restricted. Therefore, avoid over-potting or frequent root disturbance. Provide dappled shade and higher humidity in spring and summer, then move the plant to a bright, but cool room in autumn and winter. Cool growing Dendrobiums require longer period of winter rest. Reduce watering and feeding until warmer temperatures initiate flowering and new growth in spring. Average temperatures are 16-24°C in summer and 10-16°C during winter. See indoor orchid cultivation
Propagation by seed is only possible in controlled laboratory environment. Mature plants may be divided when the plant overgrows the pot. Sideshoots (keiki) may develop on older canes -remove and pot them into sphagnum moss when the new roots are at least 2cm long.
Suggested planting locations and garden types
- Conservatory and greenhouse
No pruning required. Remove spent flowers as necessary, but do not cut the whole cane unless completely shrivelled. Oldest canes may be removed as long as there are at least three, younger, thick, leaf-bearing canes on the plant.
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