Dendrobium Stardust 'Firebird' (3.5" net pot blooming size)
New! We were thrilled to be able to buy plugs of this newly cloned colorful form of a great and desirable hybrid that came out over three decades ago. Until now, you would pay a handsome price for a division of someone's cherished specimen plant. We have been holding these back until this growing season where they are putting on some mature size canes for good flowering this coming bloom season.
Den. Stardust is a mix of Den. unicum, which is resembles except for larger, flatter flowers, Den. moniliforme, and three species in the Den. nobile group. It is mainly deciduous, with a distinct growth and rest period in order to flower well. But the mix of species allows for a wider range of conditions that Den. unicum itself, which many growers find challenging.
We have put these plants in 3.5" net pots with holes added to accommodate a 3 wire hanger, potted in New Zealand sphagnum. When actively growing they need plenty of water, regular feeding and moderate light. Growths will top in in the 6 to 12 inch range by fall, at which time you should begin to water less often and move the plant to a brighter spot. The sphagnum allows the roots to stay moist when growing, but in the net pot lets it dry out more rapidly and helps keep the plant from desiccating in the rest season. Nights in the low 60's to mid 50's are beneficial to stimulate blooms, though they may still flower if kept warmer as long as there is a swing in day/night temperatures.
Buds usually form in winter or early spring, and clusters of flowers appear up and down the previous year's canes. In a few year's time you can have a showy specimen as shown in our inset photo. The flowers open sunny yellow, then mature to a slightly deeper shade. The exact hue can vary with the light level and temperature. Blooms last for about a month, and occasionally a few out of season flowers are produced.
While this orchid requires different care with the seasons, it is worth the trouble for the beauty and abundance of the flowers.
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