Dendrobium Farmeri is a beautiful epiphytic orchid found growing in tropical jungles near the river streams across various parts of Southeast Asia. It has stunning shades of white, yellow, and mauve.
We have prepared this holistic cultivation guide to help you grow this beauty.
What Is Dendrobium Farmeri?
Dendrobium Farmeri is native to the deciduous forests of northeast India, Thailand, and some parts of China. It belongs to the Callista group of orchids under the Dendrobium genus. The Callista group is famous for its spectacular but not long-lasting blooms.
It is commonly also called Farmer’s Dendrobium, Callista Farmeri, Callista Densiflora, Dendrobium Densiflorum, and Sentinel orchid.
– Size and Growth
The Farmer’s Dendrobium is a medium to large-sized orchid reaching a height of 4 to 12 inches. It has hard, square, four-angled stems that are 8 to 16 inches long. The middle of the stem is 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Each stem bears three to four leaves at the top and 10 to 15 flowers.
Its distinctive feature is the shape of the canes. The hard canes have an angle of 90 degrees on all four corners. The canes start quite thick at the bottom and then swell up on top. Unlike Dendrobium Aggregatum, Dendrobium Farmeri does not have a winter rest period.
Dendrobium Farmeri has two to four leathery, dark green leaves towards the apex. The leaves are 3 to 5 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. Like other Dendrobium orchids, its leaves grow all year round and do not shed in the dry rest period.
Dendrobium Farmeri has beautiful white, yellow, and pink blooms that face slightly downwards. The flowers bloom from spring to early summer. The flower is not long-lasting compared to other Dendrobium orchids.
They can last for two to three weeks if cared for properly. The flowers are less in number when compared to Dendrobium Lindleyi. Each flower is 1.5 to 2 inches across. Usually, the flowers have white petals with yellow lips, but some also have light pink petals. The inflorescences bearing flowers can droop as low as 12 inches below.
Dendrobium Farmeri Care and Culture: Its Growth Requirements
– Light Requirements
Dendrobium Farmeri needs bright, filtered sunlight to grow well. It will not produce flowers if kept in the shade for too long. If the sun is too harsh, you need to keep it in the bright morning sunlight and shift it in the shade during noon. Avoid placing it in the afternoon sun if the sun is too intense.
If your orchid is not producing flowers, it might be the case of less light. Shift your plant to a spot receiving brighter light and see if flowering occurs. Part shade and part sun is the perfect condition required by the orchid to bloom.
– Water Requirements
Dendrobium Farmeri needs moist soil at all times. Water your orchid frequently but maintain good air movement around it as waterlogged conditions without air circulation leads to root rot. If your canes look shriveled, it could be an indication that your orchid is under-watered.
In the wild, it grows high up attached to the trees near water, indicating that it prefers high moisture and humidity levels. So water your orchid more frequently if it is mounted. In summer, water it every day, and sometimes, you might have to water it twice a day to keep the moisture level high. If your orchid is in a pot, watering one to two times a week works well for its growth. Increase or decrease the watering frequency depending upon the conditions in your area.
Do not keep the soil mix wet for too many days in the winter season as wet, soggy conditions can cause root rot. Keep it as dry as possible during the rest period. It is susceptible to root rot. So let the soil mix dry out for a while in between the waterings.
– Soil Mix
Dendrobium Farmeri grows well in both pots and when mounted. But it does better when mounted. If you are planning to grow it in pots, use coconut husk chips or bark chips mixed with perlite to make a loose, well-draining soil mix.
Use medium-sized bark chips to prepare the Dendrobium potting mix. Add charcoal at the bottom of the pot, so that excess water gets drained quickly.
When mounted, use sphagnum moss to keep the roots intact and tied to a cork slab or tree bark. The showy flowers look gorgeous when in bloom and hanging down from a basket or when mounted on tree branches.
Dendrobium Farmeri is a warm to hot growing orchid. It needs warm temperatures to bloom. It lives comfortably in temperatures between 55 and 65 F. During the short winter rest period, it needs average temperatures between 53 and 57 F. Temperatures below 50 F can be harmful to this orchid as it is a tropical plant.
In the wild, it grows in a place where it has two distinct growing seasons – warm or hot summer season when it receives copious amounts of rainfall and fertilization and the cold, dry winter season (around 53 F).
Dendrobium Farmeri is not too fussy when it comes to humidity. A humidity level between 60 and 80 percent works well for its growth. If the conditions in your area are too dry, keep humidity trays and humidifiers around the plant to keep the humidity level high. Humidity should be less during the winter months as excessive humidity can cause root rot. It is only during the summer and spring months that you need to keep the humidity levels high.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Dendrobium Farmeri needs regular fertilization during the growing season of spring and summer. Do not fertilize your orchid during the winter months until new growth or shoots appear. During the active growing period, fertilize your orchid once in a week or two with liquid orchid fertilizer.
Proper fertilization helps the plant to initiate flowering. Sometimes, over-fertilization leads to salt accumulation in the soil mix. Excessive salt in the soil causes the roots to burn and die. To avoid salt accumulation, regularly give your orchid a dip in rainwater or freshwater.
Repotting Dendrobium Farmeri
Dendrobium Farmeri does not need frequent repotting. Repotting is only required when the soil mix has started to decompose, or the plant has outgrown the pot. When your orchid has outgrown the existing container, it is time to repot. Bark chips do not decompose too fast. So repotting may be needed every two years or so according to plant and soil conditions.
You can use Dendrobium Farmeri seeds or canes to propagate the plant. There should be at least three canes or seeds in the new plant for it to grow properly.
Dendrobium Farmeri Problems
Dendrobium Farmeri is generally disease-free. But keep an eye out for spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Some pests such as thrips have become resistant to most pesticides. So prevention is the best solution to keep such diseases at bay.
If the plant is heavily infected, it is better to remove the infected plant and prevent the disease from spreading further. It is also prone to root rot. So keep the watering and humidity under control. To prevent pest infections and diseases, use a neem oil spray to protect the plants. Mix one spoon of neem oil in one-liter water and spray the mix on all your orchid once every two weeks. It will keep your orchids healthy.
Dendrobium Farmeri is the perfect orchid for you if you live in a warm, frost-free area. If you are someone whose orchids do not bloom every year, this orchid is the one for you. It is a reliable bloomer that blooms consistently every year around spring.
- We have summarized below all the points you need to keep in mind before growing this orchid.
- Dendrobium Farmeri is a medium to large-sized epiphytic orchid native to the Himalayas, Thailand, and Indochina.
- It has beautiful white, yellow, and sometimes lilac flowers that bloom during the spring season.
- It needs bright, indirect light to be healthy. Low light prevents it from producing flowers.
- Use a mix of bark chips and perlite to make a well-draining soil medium for your orchid.
- It needs warm to hot temperatures to bloom successfully.
- It prefers a humidity level between 60 and 80 percent to bloom.
- It needs to be fertilized regularly during the active growth period of spring and summer.
- Repot Dendrobium Farmeri when its soil mix has started to decompose, or it has outgrown the container.
- Be careful about pests and insects like aphids, mealy bugs, and thrips. Use pesticides or neem oil to treat the plant.
Add Dendrobium Farmeri to your garden if you are looking for a low-maintenance and pretty orchid. We hope our care guide has helped you find all the information you needed; go get one of these lovely orchids for yourself!
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