Dendrobium Nobile keiki – update

A while ago I posted about orchid keikis. A family member kindly gifted one of their own Dendrobium Nobile keikis to me, as she had two growing on her mother plant, and I’m pleased to say he is doing well. The keiki itself is strong and happy, the presence of sap suggests he is getting plenty of water to help sustain him.

Dendrobium Nobile keiki
My Dendrobium nobile keiki that was gifted to me by a family member.

However, compared to the keiki that I didn’t take (I picked the smaller of the two), he is not producing any new growths yet. Normally, I’d consider myself to be a patient person, but it’s difficult when all you want is to see your orchid thrive. There is an available eye for the new cane to grow from, but it is not doing anything – and hasn’t for some months now.

Dendrobium Nobile keiki
The triangular point poking above the roots on this keiki is an ‘eye’, which is available to produce a new growth.

Now, I like to know what can be changed to help an orchid do the best it can…so let’s look at the potential factors that may be affecting this orchids’ growth pattern:-

Water & Fertiliser – This orchid is left to soak in water for about 10-15 minutes once a week. The presence of sticky sap on the underside of a few of his leaves suggests he is getting an ample supply of water (I have already checked for pests, so I know the sap isn’t being caused by them!). Could it be a lack of water? Unlikely. Once every two weeks now he is given growth fertiliser. His roots are green and healthy, with no odour coming from the pot after watering. Perhaps a lack of nutrients? I don’t believe so.

Humidity – Every day, all of my orchid collection is misted to help increase the humidity around them. The humidity so far has not dropped below 55% which is a marked improvement from my previous home. Humidity does not appear to be a problem for this orchid.

Temperature – As the year progresses, this orchid will naturally have warmer temperatures which will encourage the new growths to develop. He is kept in a home environment which means the room temperature currently doesn’t get below 17’c. Again, unlikely to be the temperature but it could be having an effect.

Light – Dendrobium Nobile type orchids enjoy light, the more the better. He is only given direct sunlight first thing in the morning to avoid burning his leaves. But, is the room bright enough for him when the sun disappears over the house during the day? This factor could be contributing to the lack of growth.

Now, it’s worth considering whether there are any factors outside of its current environment that could be impacting on its growth. As I’ve said in a recent post, we moved home. That means transportation and adjusting to a new environment. The other keiki has not had to go through these changes and is in a place where it is getting lots of sunlight – that keiki has a growth about 1.5inches tall already.

In order to help increase my keiki’s chances of producing a new growth this year, I will increase the amount of light he receives to see if this makes a difference to him. The current grow space will need to be re-evaluated in the coming weeks to ensure that all my orchids are receiving sufficient light.

Sometimes, our orchids can be frustrating. They can be slow to do anything, and given the amount of attention they get from their humans, you can find yourself questioning whether it is worth the bother. But, we do need to consider whether the care we are providing is right for them. In this case, I believe it is down to low light levels and a recent move that has upset this orchids’ growth. Making adjustments to this could help improve things, bringing with it some positive results at the end of it – we will see!

Happy growing.




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