Dyakia hendersoniana is an epiphytic orchid native to the island of Borneo. It belongs to the Dyakia genus and the Orchidaceae family. It grows on trees in the swampy forests of Kalimantan, Sabah, and Sarawak.
Our care tips will help you grow this unique orchid correctly and successfully.
What Is Dyakia Hendersoniana?
Dyakia hendersoniana is a miniature orchid species found in the island of Borneo and parts of Brunei. It falls in the Vanda group of plants, which means that it needs high humidity to survive. It is usually grown in baskets.
It is also called Henderson’s Dyakia, Saccolabium hendersonianum, and Ascocentrum hendersonianium. Eric Alston Christenson discovered it in 1986.
– Size and Growth
Dyakia hendersoniana always remains miniature to small in size. Its length varies from 2.75 to 4 inches. It typically grows in riverine, swampy forests, and hilly forests at the height of about 1640 to 2624 feet.
The leaves of Dyakia hendersoniana are bi-lobed and can grow up to 5 to 6 inches in size. They are oblanceolate, which means they have a more pointed end at the base. When the plant matures, it has four to eight thick, leathery leaves.
Dyakia hendersoniana blooms in spring and summer. It has crimson pink flowers with white lips which grow on spikes. They are about an inch in diameter. The flowers are intricate and have a sweet fragrance. They can last a couple of months.
When the spikes develop, they look pointy, and you can see the beginnings of the buds on the sides. The plant can produce two to four spikes at a time. Each spike or flower stem produces 15 to 30 pink flowers. Before the buds develop, inflorescences (clusters of flowers on a branch) develop. Do not cut these inflorescences off, thinking that they may never bloom.
Dyakia hendersoniana has aerial roots, which are called keikis. These give rise to baby plants which can be propagated by root division.
Dyakia Hendersoniana Care
This is a standard care guide that you can refer to and adjust accordingly.
– Light Requirements
It is a shade lover and does well in medium light with part shade. It also grows well under artificial grow lights. Do not expose your plant to direct sunlight, especially the afternoon sun, as it can burn the leaves.
– Water Requirements
Dyakia hendersoniana is grown in baskets, and like other vandaceous plants, it has to be watered daily. If your plant is growing on a slab, spritz it daily to maintain moisture.
Don’t let the roots dry out completely because it is a tropical plant and needs rainforest-like conditions to thrive. Like other plants belonging to the Vanda group, it also loves to be watered frequently, with the roots slightly drying out in between.
Water your plant abundantly during its active growth period. The roots must dry out quickly, and there should be no water logging in the soil mix.
Reduce the watering if your plant is in a dark place or colder area. But never let the plant completely dry out. In winter, reduce both the watering and the fertilization.
– Potting Mix
These plants like to be grown in a well-drained bark mix and are usually grown in clay pots. Use larger bark to grow these and mix the bark with perlite for aeration. The bark should be firm and hard and not soggy. Allow the potting mix to just dry out in between waterings.
Instead of using large pieces of bark as substrate, you can mount your plant on tree fern or cork. But this is a high-maintenance method as it requires high humidity. It is possible by daily watering and spritzing the plant.
It grows in warm and hot conditions and cannot bear colder climates. It is a thermophilic plant, which means that it thrives at relatively higher temperatures.
Dyakia hendersonianas grow the best at an average day temperature between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and an average night temperature between 64 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A daily difference of 15 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit works well for this plant.
An ideal humidity level for Dyakia hendersoniana’s growth is above 80 percent. It can manage in slightly lower humidity levels, too. But keeping the humidity around your plant high works great for it to bloom.
Mist your plant once a day early in the morning to maintain humidity and keep the leaves from getting shriveled. Also, ensure strong air movement around the plant.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Fertilize Dyakia hendersoniana every week with one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose for orchids. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in spring and summer to enable new growth and a phosphorus-rich fertilizer in late summer and autumn.
Repotting Dyakia Hendersoniana
Ensure that you repot the plant once every year using sphagnum moss. If you are growing Dyakia hendersoniana on a slab, repotting is not required unless the slab develops a salt coating.
If your Dyakia hendersoniana is in the bark mix, then ensure that the bark is firm. It cannot tolerate old soil mix; hence repotting becomes essential. Repot the plant when new roots begin to develop. It helps the plant to adjust easily to its new environment.
Dyakia hendersoniana can be propagated by the root division method. It is important to repot the plant every year because bacteria can develop if your plant sits in a pot with the decomposed orchid substrate for too long.
Choose a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom as well as on the sides so that ventilation is maintained for this air-loving plant. Because Dyakia hendersoniana loves aeration, it is a great option for hanging baskets. Net or clay pots also work fine. If you are using hanging baskets, make sure to water several times a day, especially during summer.
Dyakia Hendersoniana Problems
Dyakia hendersoniana is known for being too demanding when it comes to humidity levels. It becomes problematic for some of us to maintain the proper humidity level. Still, it can be done by keeping a humidifier, regularly misting the plant leaves, and using the pebble tray method.
Given below are some common problems faced by Dyakia hendersoniana.
– Bud Blast
Often, when you order your plant online, it is prone to bud blast. Bud blast happens due to stress. It is a natural process of orchids adjusting to their new environments. Bud blast does not mean the plant will die; it simply means it is taking some time to adjust to the new surroundings.
– Plant Not Blooming
Some people complain that their Dyakia hendersoniana is not blooming, even after regular fertilizing and watering. In such cases, do not lose hope and wait for some time. If the plant looks healthy and all is well, it will eventually bloom. They are slow to bloom. We would recommend you to have some patience with the plant spikes.
– Plant Drying Out
Dyakia hendersoniana drying out is a common problem. It happens due to underwatering and not maintaining enough moisture around the plant. If you notice your leaf tips getting crisp and dark, it probably needs more moisture. Water your plant thoroughly and keep it around other plants. After some time, new roots will develop.
Dyakia hendersoniana or Ascocentrum hendersonianium can be a great windowsill plant.
Now that we know all about this beautiful orchid, let us take note of a few important pointers to remember:
- Dyakia hendersoniana is an epiphytic orchid native to the island of Borneo and parts of Brunei
- It always remains miniature to small in size, hardly reaching a height of 4 inches
- It has ligulate to oblanceolate, bi-lobed leaves which can grow 5 to 6 inches long
- It has crimson pink, fragrant flowers which bloom in spring and summer
- It grows well in diffused and scattered light; direct sunlight can burn the leaves
- In summer, it loves to be watered and misted daily
- Keep the humidity level around your plant high by spritzing it daily early in the morning
- Fertilize weekly with a nitrogen-rich orchid fertilizer in spring and early summer, and use a phosphorus-rich fertilizer in late summer and autumn
- Repot your plant when its soil mix starts to decompose, and the new roots start to develop
- Sometimes, it faces problems like bud blast while in transit and drying out of roots when underwatered
Dyakia hendersoniana can be a challenging plant to grow, but you will get better at growing this beauty with these tips in mind. Visit your nearest garden center and grab one for yourself!
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