Yamamoto dendrobiums (updated 25 August 2013)


Yamamoto dendrobiums might not be the correct name for these kinds of orchids, but it certainly tells me what I’m dealing with.

For more than fifty years, the Yamamoto family in Japan have been researching and developing a hybrid nobile type dendrobium. The results have been impressive, and there are now several Yamamoto nurseries all over the world, producing the same types of dendrobiums. One of the largest is in Hawaii. For more information, visit their web page.

Regarding the care, these nobile types have more or less the same requirements as the plant they descend from, namely the Dendorbium nobile.

They need a rather cold winter in order to produce flowers, and they flower late winter to early spring (but in nurseries, this is of course manipulated and the flowering time can be year round). On the Yamamoto web page it says the plants can survive temperatures down to 3 ºC.

They can be grown in a wide range of growth mediums. I have mine in fir bark. It should ideally be free draining, but at the same time hold some moisture. As other dendrobiums, the Yamamoto dens prefer to be in small pots and tend to become top heaven plants that needs to stand in another, heavy, container to not fall over.

The trick is correct watering. Gradually increase watering with increasing temperatures in the spring. Water a lot throughout the summer when temperatures are high and the sunlight is strong. Then gradually reduce watering with the declining temperatures in the autumn, and when the night temperatures reach around 10 ºC, stop watering almost entirely. Only give the plant a light sprinkle now and then to avoid the canes from shriveling too much. When temperatures drop even further, to 5 ºC or so, do not water at all, regardless. If the plant is in a greenhouse where temperatures do not drop below 15ºC in the winter, water the plant occasionally in the mornings so that the growth medium is fairly dry by evening time.

These plants can take a lot of sun and an adult plant might not need any protection against the sun at all, year round. Smaller seedlings should be more protected.

They do produce keikis, as well as new shoots from the bottom of the plant. The new shoots should be left alone, while keikis can be removed once the roots are 7-10 cm long.



26 December 2012: I have two Yamamoto dendrobium type of orchids. They are, for the time being at least, NOIDs. Both have white flowers, I think. My yamamoto dendrobiums have had a bit of a culture shock, the poor things. They were tucked into someone’s suitcase and went from early autumn in Norway to early spring in Namibia. Needless to say, they were shell shocked about this great move and they are taking a bit of time to recover. The result is keikis. One of them is currently having two keikis that are growing well. The other plant looks like it is considering, but have not yet made up his mind.  Both plants are now having tiny new shoots developing at the base of the old canes. Yey!

I’ve got one of the plants in a clear plastic container in fine fir bark, and the other one in an unglazed clay pot, also in fir bark. I decided to go for clear plastic on one to be able to see the roots and keep an eye on them. I really want to keep these plants. I do believe that I can provide them with virtually perfect conditions outside throughout the year.

I see that these dendrobiums, like the maxillarias, accumulate a lot of lime deposits on the leaves, and I will try to use rainwater as much as possible for the watering and misting.

20 January 2013: I had to clean my plants for lime deposits today, and that gave me a good opportunity to have a proper, good look at each plant. In fact, each leaf. I took some pictures showing the growth of the keikis on the yamamoto dendrobiums. The established keikis are both growing well and the clay pot plant has also decided to throw lots of keikis that are still only small shoots. I guess I cannot blame these two plants for acting a bit weird. They had the most insane culture shock coming from summer in Norway to scorching summer in Namibia. They must be in need of a cool winter rest soon, but alas…it’s still going to be months before their wish come true. I’m hoping that the keikis will be better adjusted and happier since they develop here and did not live through the long travel and extreme environmental change.




25 August 2013:

I have not yet killed any of my NoID nobile dendrobiums, but I have come to realize that it’s very difficult for me to provide them with good conditions and meet their needs. The result has been lots of keikis and very little flowers. I also struggle with the roots and I think I provided them with too dry winter rest, thinking temperature and water goes hand in hand. Kind of like what I do with the lindleyi. Apparently though, nobile dendrobiums DO want water during the winter months. They just want less of it.

It was a big surprise when one of my keikis after all decided to humor me and provide me with a couple of blooms. This is a small plant, held in place by a chopstick. I could probably remove it now, but there was a time when this little fellow refused to grow upwards and I eventually forced him to. It’s only three flowers this year, but there are tiny growths developing at the base of the cane and I’m crossing my fingers that I will get the hang of these plants and that the flowering next year will be much better. At least they’re alive and growing. That’s something!

2013-08-25 at 11-58-57

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