Dendrobium bellatulum

Dendrobium bellatulum – mounted

Dendrobium bellatulum is a fascinating dwarf Dendrobium species from one of the world’s orchid hot spots, South East Asia. In particular the mountainous regions of eastern India, through northern Myanmar, northern Thailand, southern China, Laos and Vietnam where this species grows on trees and experiences a tropical wet and dry climate.

I bought my Dendrobium bellatulum as a young seedling at the St Ives Orchid Fair in August 2013. I promptly mounted it on a piece of cork bark in time for the spring growing season (Sept/Oct/Nov is spring in Australia). I read somewhere it was unnecessary to use sphagnum moss unlike most of my other mounted orchids. The plant is located in my little shade house where humidity can be very low, down to 20% on hot, sunny days. I was worried the plant may not cope with such low humidity. I keep a tray of water under it but am not sure if this achieves much. The plant is watered daily now it’s spring and seems fine with this routine. I have not noticed any apparent shrivelling even during unusual 38°C (100°F) October weather. The plant is more robust than I imagined.

Dendrobium bellatulum – close up

Two months in my care and a run of warm spring weather I’m happy to see the plant has started a new pseudo bulb and a new root snaking along and exploring the contours of its new home. I’ve started feeding it weekly with a weak liquid fertiliser. I look forward to watching it grow over the coming months (and years). The mount is certainly a large one for the current size of the plant so I’m hoping the plant will carry on growing for many years.

*UPDATE September (spring) 2017*

It’s now four years after the original post. The plant is pretty slow growing. Either that or my mount was a bit too ambitious (large?) for the plant. But I hope the plant will continue to grow and spread out over the mount. It grows one pseudobulb each summer. I was happy to see this spring it has flowered for the second time although only two flowers (same as the first flowering back in spring 2015.

Dendrobium bellatulum – flowering

Looking at the above image, it does appear there are several sunburn spots. Perhaps it is getting slightly too much sun. It’s located in my shade house with 50% shade cloth and two large Eucalyptus trees overhead. The trees provide sparse shade only in summer. Of course they also drop about a million leaves throughout the year, especially when it’s hot and dry. The plant sits in the end of the shade house along with some mounted Aussie Dendrobiums and Vandas.

8 thoughts on “Dendrobium bellatulum”

  1. I’m really curious if you have an update about this orchid, I can’t find much about it online. How has it been growing since you got it and have you noticed anything else about it? 🙂 Thanks.

    1. Charissa, thank you for your comment. It seems to be growing OK although it is quite slow growing. It has only flowered only once in October 2015 (spring) with two flowers.

  2. Where can I buy cork bark? I iust have this orchid I ordered online, its from Thailand. For now I just watered it till I figure out how to take care if it.

    1. Ally depending on where you live, specialist orchid nurseries usually sell it. Otherwise, find out if there are any orchid shows or fairs are on. There usually are many different orchid nurseries that attend those events. Some will surely have cork bark for sale. That said, not all orchids are suitable to mount on cork bark so you need to do your research first.

      1. Thanks. I found piece of small tree trunk (old) on the wood back of my house. I mounted them with sphagnum moss, since I just got it from package and pretty much too dry. Can I send you picture and tell me if I did it right? I really dont want them to die. Im waited for 2 months for that pretty orchid.

        1. From my experience, it doesn’t need any sphagnum moss around the roots as the roots are adapted to just being exposed to the sun and wind. It just needs some fishing line wrapped around to secure it while it grows new roots. After a year when it’s firmly connected, you can cut the fishing line off.

          I water mine generally every second day in summary (every day when it’s hot) and dropping down to once or twice a week in winter. I use a weak liquid fertilise weekly in summer and monthly in winter. The good thing it does not seem to be affected by any pests here. Mine has flowers coming, I shall update this page when it flowers.

          1. Thanks for the tips. I will keep that in mind. I would love to see the update of your orchid.

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