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Dendrobium antennatum care is extremely easy and is a great pick for novice orchid growers, with some growing it as a hanging plant in their living rooms despite its intricate appearance.
Known for its interesting flowers, this plant is classified as an endangered plant under the Australian Government Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 (EPBC Act). The unusually shaped flowers are not often found in most dendrobium species, and for this reason, many orchid collectors have placed this plant on their most-desired list.
The Dendrobium antennatum is a compact and bushy orchid plant that grows quite quickly with evergreen foliage made up of long and lanceolate leaves, so read this guide to learn how to care for their foliage!
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Dendrobium Antennatum Care
The Dendrobium antennatum loves bright, indirect light almost year-round and may even be grown successfully in living rooms, where sufficient lighting, warmth, temperature, watering, and fertilizing requirements are met.
Plantlets and seedlings benefit greatly from bright indirect light as it prompts them to grow strong pseudobulbs and foliage. When using grow lights, the Antelope Orchid needs an average brightness level of 20,000 to 30,000 lux.
Antelope Orchids have traditionally grown in tropical environments, and as a result, their watering needs can be quite specific. Even though it is an easy plant to care for, it is worth repeating that the Dendrobium antennatum prefers to have its roots moist but not wet.
Water the plant’s growing medium only when it is near dry, but do not soak the plant in water as it could lead to root rot. Misting is recommended during the drier and warmer months to increase the humidity of the plant’s surroundings. In cooler months, water sparingly but not to the point of dryness.
The Dendrobium antennatum is a thermophilic plant, which means it thrives in warm temperatures. It is most comfortable when the temperature it is grown in reaches 86 to 88F during the day and 70 to 72F at night.
Mounted on old tree trunks, cork, and rootstocks, the Antelope Orchid grows even better when the presence of decaying plants and matter is within the range of its aerial roots. Epiphytic plants, or air-growing plants like the Dendrobium antennatum, prefer to use trees and other plants for support.
Similar to other dendrobiums, the Antelope Orchid can also be found growing between rocks or even above them. The plant’s roots are so adjusted to living in small spaces that they are most suited for clay pots that seem too small for their roots.
The ideal potting medium is a mixture of decaying tree barks, sphagnum moss, coconut husks, and other plant parts that decay as time passes by. Orchid poles are also a more modern approach to mounting and giving them a supportive home to thrive in. Porous, permeable materials are the best substrates for the Antelope Orchid to ensure the right amount of moisture without compromising excessive water content, leading to root rot.
Repotting is best once new roots appear, every year, or when the roots start to outgrow the container.
The Antelope Orchid loves a humidity level of 80 percent all year round as it is primarily a tropical epiphytic plant that absorbs moisture through its aerial roots. Rudimentary humidifying systems will keep the Dendrobium antennatum happy and growing in temperate climates, as will frequent mists and sprays under warm, controlled temperatures. For tropical locations, minimum humidity maintenance is required.
Fertilizers soluble in water are highly recommended for Dendrobium antennatum plants, especially during growing seasons and younger plants. In temperate climates, regular fertilization of the Antelope Orchid is recommended during the spring and summer months, with a reduced and diluted amount to be used during the colder winter months. Fertilizers should be applied once a week or once every two weeks during the active growing periods, and a weak solution should be used once a month during the cold season.
There is no real dormant season for the Dendrobium antennatum. However, during the cold wintry months, growth and blooming periods may cease in temperate locations where days are shorter than the nights.
In this stage, the entire plant may experience slower growth, and care should be taken during this stage that watering is to be done sparingly yet at the same time not allowing the Antelope Orchids to dry out completely.
What do you do with Dendrobium Antennatum after they bloom?
After your Dendrobium Antennatum blooms, cut the old flower spike and give it a rest period. Reduce watering and fertilization until new growth appears, and make sure to provide their ideal environmental conditions.
Where should you put your Dendrobium Antennatum in the house?
You should put your Dendrobium Antennatum in a bright area with indirect sunlight and good air circulation in the house, such as a windowsill or a well-lit room. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or in drafty areas.