The Dendrobium Velvet Melody is a sympodial epiphyte orchid hybrid. It was registered in 1994 by Hawaiian Fl.Nurs., created by D.Sugita and is a cross between Dendrobium Nicole Camelot and Dendrobium Red Butterfly. This orchid is special because of its unique dark purple color, making it one of the darkest Dendrobium orchids available on the market.
The blooms are very similar in appearance and display with the Phalaenopsis orchid flowers, thus this type of Dendrobium is commonly referred to as a Phalaenopsis type. Although there is no relation to the Phalaenopsis orchids themselves, the Dendrobium produces rounded petal flowers that remind of moths or butterflies. They are displayed on a long thin flower spike that does not branch. The species related to this orchid is the Dendrobium bigibbum.
This orchid produces stunning dark purple flowers and the color is very tricky to catch on camera. Sometimes it can appear so dark that it is hard to observe the intricacies of the flower. The lip of the bloom is short and much smaller than the rounded petals, but presents a fuzzy throat that is even darker in color than the rest of the flower.
The 4-5 cm wide blooms are displayed on a long, think flower spike, that emerges usually from the top of the canes or from in between the leaves. Each spike can measure up to 30 cm in length and can hold up to 8-10 flowers, depending on the maturity of the orchid. Old canes can bloom in following years and can produce multiple spikes at a time.
The flowers are not fragrant, but the effect of the flowers is mesmerizing. For dark colored flower lovers this orchid will surely be a delight. This Dendrobium can bloom each time a new cane matures and this usually happens once per year.
The pseudobulbs, also called canes, can reach 30 cm in height and are about 2 cm in width, making them look rather tall and slender. The normal color for this orchid is medium green. The leaves are displayed on each side of the cane and are about 1-2 cm in width and 5-6 cm in length.
The roots are thin and healthy roots are white, but as they age, they can turn green when wet. When in active growth they have bright green tips. New growths usually appear at the base of older canes, but this orchid can produce keikis from the nodes opposite to each leaf. A cane can mature in 6-8 months.
Propagation of this orchid can be done through division, each division should have at least 3 fully grown pseudobulbs for a fast growth further on.
Soft spots: spider mites, fungal and bacterial infection of leaves if water gets trapped in the new growth, or even rotting of the new growth
Overall the Dendrobium Velvet Melody is an easy orchid to grow. With basic orchid knowledge and basic Dendobium Phalaenopsis type care, it can be grown successfully in a home.
Dendrobium Velvet Melody Basic care:
Light: Bright to very bright
Temperature: Intermediate to warm
Humidity: Tolerant to low humidity, over 40% ideal
Water: When the media becomes dry
Growth cycle: not deciduous, does not require a winter rest, does not regularly shed leaves, although it is not uncommon for older canes to lose leaves at some point, usually blooms in the fall