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Dendrobium gracilicaule

Previously known as:

  • Dendrobium piestocaulon var. piestocaulon
Phonetic Spelling
den-DROH-bee-um grass-il-lih-KAW-lay
Description

Blotched Cane Orchid is a herbaceous perennial species of orchid native to Australia with elongated, cane-like pseudobulbs from which the leaves and inflorescences emerge. The flowers are bright, showy, and fragrant. It is epiphytic, meaning the roots of the plant creep over and live on the surface of trees. The plant has cylindrical, yellowish green pseudo bulbs 20 to 40 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, with 3 to 7 thin leaves on the top. The 6 inch long flowering stem bears 5 to 30 colorful flowers.

These plants grow best in bright, indirect light, idealy a west or south-facing window. A partially shaded site providing 2,000 to 5,000 fc light intensity should be sufficient (full, direct sunlight is approximately 10,000 fc by comparison).  They prefer high humidity, around 60%, and need consistently moist soil.  Allow the soil to only halfway dry out between waterings, but never fully dry. Because these plants have small root systems, they MUST be planted in the smallest pot that fits and clay pots work well for maintaining good soil drainage. Blotched Cane Orchid can be grown in a bark-based medium containing horticultural charcoal. Feed weekly during the growing season after first watering thoroughly with tepid water. Use a commercial fertilizer diluted in water to half strength. 

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

These plants have few problems. They are generally not affected by pests, but watch for mealybugs. Insufficient light results in non-blooming.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Dendrobium.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#perennials#specimen#colorful#epiphytic#pet friendly#dappled shade#moist soil#well-drained soil#herbaceous perennials#orchid#cutting garden#partial shade tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#high humidity#container
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#perennials#specimen#colorful#epiphytic#pet friendly#dappled shade#moist soil#well-drained soil#herbaceous perennials#orchid#cutting garden#partial shade tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#high humidity#container
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dendrobium
    Species:
    gracilicaule
    Family:
    Orchidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Australia
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11a, 11b, 12b, 12a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Up to 30 1/2 inch yellow, green, or cream colored flowers (some with brown blotches on their back) in unbranched racemes emerging from the top of the pseudobulb.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Three to seven thin leaves (5 inches by 2 inches) grow from the top 1/3rd of the pesudobulb and are elliptical in shape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Humidity