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Conservatory Greenhouse

Dendrobium teretifolium

cylindrical-flowered rock orchid

The Thin Pencil Orchid is named after its distinct, long and thin, terete leaves. Each leaf is leathery, bright green, up to 50cm long and only 0.6cm wide. Branching stems are thread-like, often over few metres long. Flowering stems appear from the axils of leaves. Upside-down flowers, measuring up to 3cm are usually pale cream or white, with few thin, dark maroon markings in the centre.

Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Cream White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Cream White Green
Position
  • Partial shade
  • Full sun
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1C
Botanical details
Family
Orchidaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen or Semi evergreen
Habit
Trailing
Genus

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

Correct

Plant range
Australia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Plants are best grown mounted on cork bark or wood if sufficient humidity can be provided. Alternatively, grow in a basket 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 bright light and sufficient humidity by misting regularly throughout the growing season. Reduce watering and feeding in winter until warmer temperatures initiate flowering and new growth in spring. See indoor orchid cultivation

Propagation

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
Pruning

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 enough, younger, thick, leaf-bearing canes on the plant.

Pests

May be susceptible to scale insects, aphids, mealybugs and red spider mite.

Diseases

Generally disease-free.

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