Dendrobium bigibbum care and culture

Dendrobium bigibbum is native to North eastern Australia. Plants grow on the Cape York Peninsula in the coastal areas between Mt. Malloy and Iron Range. Plants grow in very bright conditions on small trees and rocks in fairly open forests. Normally they are found in semi-arid regions below 610 m above sea level.

 Dendrobium bigibbum, also called as The Two-Humped Dendrobium, The Mauve Butterfly Orchid, The Cooktown Orchid, Callista bigibba, Callista phalaenopsis, Callista sumneri, Dendrobium bigibbum f. compactum, Dendrobium bigibbum f. phalaenopsis, Dendrobium bigibbum f. superbium, Dendrobium bigibbum subvar candidum, Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. compactum, Dendrobium bigibbum subvar. superbum, Dendrobium bigibbum var. albopurpuratum, Dendrobium bigibbum var. album, Dendrobium bigibbum var candidum, Dendrobium bigibbum var. macranthum, Dendrobium bigibbum var. phalaenopsis, Dendrobium bigibbum var sumneri, Dendrobium bigibbum var. superbum, Dendrobium lithocola, Dendrobium phalaenopsis, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. albopurpureum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. album, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. album, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. chamberlainianum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. compactum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. dellense, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. highburyense, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. hololeuca, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. lindeniae, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. rothschildianum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. rubescens, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroderianum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. schroederianum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. splendens, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. statterianum, Dendrobium phalaenopsis var. thundersleyense, Dendrobium sumneri, Vappodes bigibba, Vappodes lithocola, Vappodes phalaenopsis, is a species of the genus Dendrobium. This species was described by Lindley in 1852.


 Dendrobium bigibbum is native to North eastern Australia. Plants grow on the Cape York Peninsula in the coastal areas between Mt. Malloy and Iron Range. Plants grow in very bright conditions on small trees and rocks in fairly open forests. Normally they are found in semi-arid regions below 610 m above sea level.
Dendrobium bigibbum care and culture
© David Stang | CC BY-SA 4.0
 It is a medium to large sized, hot growing epiphytic or lithophytic, which can reach the height of 40-122 cm, with cylindrical, narrow, tapering slightly towards both ends, 40-122 cm tall, green or reddish purple stems carrying 3 to 12, ovate or lanceolate, acute, 8-15 cm long leaves held in the apical half.
 The Two-Humped Dendrobium can bloom in the mid summer through winter on an axillary, to 12" (to 30 cm), arching raceme with 2 to 20, large, long lasting flowers that arise from the nodes near the apex of the leafy or leafless canes. The flowers are 3.5-7.0 cm in diameter with wide, overlapping inner and outer flakes with a distinct texture. The flowers are usually intensely lilac, but they can also be white, pale lilac, crimson or purple. All colors are bright and intense. The lip is usually in a darker hue, which has petals of the perianth, with a more intense color of throat and stripes on a rectangular and pointed middle plot. The sides of the lip are arched. The spur is wide.


 Dendrobium bigibbum grow poorly in areas where in winter there is a low amount of light, this deficiency causes buds to droop. This species is often considered difficult to grow and flower because of the requirements for large amounts of light, high winter temperatures and the period of winter drought, which combination of conditions is sometimes difficult to provide in mixed collections.


 Dendrobium bigibbum needs a light level of 30000-45000 lux and the amount of light in winter is higher. Intense lighting and strong air movement throughout the year are extremely important for plants in cultivation.
Dendrobium bigibbum care and culture


 It is a thermophilic plant. In summer the average day temperature is 29-30 ° C, night 22 ° C, which gives a daily difference of 7-8 ° C. The daily amplitudes differ only by 2 degrees throughout the year.The average winter temperature is 24-26 ° C at night, 17-19 ° C at night, which gives a daily difference of 7 ° C.


 The Two-Humped Dendrobium needs a humidity of about 70-75% for most of the year. At the end of winter and early spring, the humidity falling to about 65-70%.

Substrate, growing media and repotting:

 Dendrobium bigibbum grow well attached to pieces of tree fern or cork, but in the summer it requires high humidity and daily watering. In summer, during hot, dry weather, fogging should be repeated several times.
 When plants are grown in pots, excellent drainage is necessary, so medium-sized pieces of pine bark or cork should be used as substrates, which are very breathable and quickly permeable. The plant has a high center of gravity, so it is better to use heavy, clay pots.
 The best results of cultivation are usually provided by pots, which at first glance seem too small for these plants. Supports should be used to support new pole-like pseudobulbs.
 Repotting is best done when the plant has finished flowering or at the end of winter and at the beginning of spring in the period.


 Water is moderate to strong during the summer and early autumn, but in winter the conditions are drier. During active growth the substrate of cultivated plants should be wet, but in autumn watering should be gradually reduced.
Dendrobium bigibbum care and culture


 Dendrobium bigibbum should be fertilized every week 1/4-1/2 of the recommended dose of fertilizer for orchids. A fertilizer with a high nitrogen content is beneficial from spring to mid-summer, and a phosphorus-rich fertilizer can be used in late summer and autumn.

Rest period:

 The resting period should occur after flowering. Plants should dry out between waterings, but should not be allowed to dry for a longer period, because wrinkled, shrunken pseudobulbs regain their strength very slowly. To prevent excessive drying, plants should be sporadically sprinkled between watering. The watering should be gradually increased only after spring increments have appeared. Since new increments up to a height of approx. 5-8 cm are very susceptible to infection and rot, care should be taken when watering to prevent them from getting wet. Fertilization should be limited or should be completely abandoned until spring, when stronger watering resumes. In this period you should ensure the planted plants as much light as possible, so as not to cause a leaf burn.




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Travaldo's blog: Dendrobium bigibbum care and culture
Dendrobium bigibbum care and culture
Dendrobium bigibbum is native to North eastern Australia. Plants grow on the Cape York Peninsula in the coastal areas between Mt. Malloy and Iron Range. Plants grow in very bright conditions on small trees and rocks in fairly open forests. Normally they are found in semi-arid regions below 610 m above sea level.
Travaldo's blog
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