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Orchids/dendrobium anosmum

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QUESTION: Hi there, I've had this dendrobium anosmum for 8
years or more now, it has good growth and good root
system and my growing media is charcoal, has indirect
sunlight and watered daily with tap water, never used
fertilizers. for 8 years it only bloomed once with
a single flower. never really paid much attention to it
until i saw that single flower just last week and smelled
it. that sweet scent made me realize how terrible i was
as a owner/grower...

educate me please. was it the tap water? do i need to fertilize?
what did i do wrong?

Rocky

ANSWER: Rocky, D. anosmum (aka superbum), during its summer growth period, likes warmth, frequent watering and heavy feeding.  Start this routine as soon as the roots appear and continue until the top leaf appears on the canes.  After that, give high light, little to no water, no fertilizer and cool nights (ie 55 degrees F).

Tap water is fine but I recommend an occasional flush with rain water to dissolve the salts that accumulate from the tap water.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thanks for the fast reply sir. umm, how do i flush?
what is your recommended plant food for this? i bought
20-20-20 just last week should i use it?

Answer
By flushing is meant to pour water into the pot and let it drain freely out off the pot.  After it drains out you may want to repeat that procedure.  This process is especially dependent upon the amount and type of minerals in your tap water.  These minerals may include calcium or magnesium salts which make the water "hard".

A balanced plant food such as 20-20-20 is fine.

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Wayne King

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Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.

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