This is so exciting… and I just have to give a hug and a huge plug to a very nice orchid grower for this one. I very recently (and suddenly) lost both of my Dendrobium cyanocentrum orchids and it really, really sucks! A heartbreaking experience since I raised both plants from flask to flower and they were absolutely perfect and thriving until the quick and brutal end – just look at the last two photos below… I had mentioned this to Dick at Equatorial Plant Company (where I had originally gotten the orchids from), and then yesterday I received a package in the mail, completely unannounced, and it was a small vial with 3 new Dendrobium cyanocentrum f. blue babies inside! Thanks a lot Dick, you rock!! The last batch of babies grew to flowering size in about 1,5 years, we will see how these new arrivals do. I purchased the blue color form last time, which turned out white which I actually prefer. I am curious to see what these new babies look like when they bloom. A quick bath and then I mounted them on a piece of cork with a bit of sphagnum moss around the roots. I am so happy to have these new little babies in my warm vivarium once more. If any of you are curious of raising orchids from flasks I can definitely recommend the Equatorial Plant Company, they have a great selection, good quality, and you can buy large mother flasks, smaller commercial flasks or even tiny hobby flasks of 5 seedlings just deflasked and ready for planting out. I will keep you posted on the development of these new babies.
Well… I did not get the actual flask to flower, that would have been quite a trick, but rather the orchid seedling in it and I am so excited! This is a very big day for me as an orchid grower. The very first flask baby that I have raised all the way from a flask to a flower is now blooming! It is a Dendrobium cyanocentrum that I bought as a very tiny seedling from Equatorial Plants in August of 2008. D. cyanocentrum is beautiful little miniature epiphyte from New Guinea where it grows in mountain forests at altitudes of 100 to 1300 meters. It was sold to me as the blue variety, but I am wondering if it is not the alba form I have since it is clearly not blue. I wrote Dick at Equatorial Plants and asked him, but have not heard back from him yet, but I will let you know what he says. In either case, it is absolutely gorgeous little thing. I think the flowers look like some sort of a bird with a yellow beak and blue eyes. It has an amazing root system and it grows very vigorously and forms into a tight ball. The leaves have a red or purple tone to the edges and undersides. I got three flowers this first time and they measure about 1,5 cm across. The whole plant is no more than 8 cm. I grow mine mounted on cork in the warm vivarium so it really likes it nice and warm with high RH and fairly bright light. I grow mine about 20 cm from the lights and keep it evenly moist all year. Equatorial Plants has a pretty good deal where they will deflask the seedlings for you and then send you a “hobby flask” of 5 freshly deflasked little seedlings. This way you you don’t have to order a whole flask at a time. Good for us with limited space who still want to give babies a try. This is what I did in 2008, and I have kept 2 of my 5 babies and sold or traded with the rest. From what I read this plant is not very common in cultivation which is hard to believe. It is sooo beautiful and does not take up much space.