Dendrochilum propinquum ‘Mindanao’

The whole Dendrochilum genus has now been sunk into Coelogyne, along with a few other related genera but on this website I will continue to keep them separate to avoid confusion.

Dendrochilum propinquum is a small growing species that is well suited to window sill culture, though I grow it under lights with the rest of my collection. This form of the species was sold to me as ‘Mindanao’, presumably a reference to where it was found. The inflorescences are much longer than my regular form of the species, with many more flowers on them and the blooms are a lovely salmon pink colour. The blooms form two ranks on either side of the inflorescence but the whole thing is twisted to make a lovely pipe cleaner like effect. They are also fragrant, though the scent is not pleasant. As the plant grows, more and more inflorescences are produced, and the overall effect is quite stunning. I find it helps to stand the pot on something tall as the flowers will hang down further than the bottom of the pot.

This species will frequently put out two flushes of growth per year under my conditions, but flowering is usually in winter or early spring. Inflorescences are produced from new growths as they emerge. The whole plant is only around 10cm tall and a 9cm pot can house a mature plant with multiple inflorescenses quite easily.

As with most other members of Dendrochilum, D. propinquum in all its forms does not like to dry out, even when it isn’t actively growing, preferring instead to remain evenly moist. My plants all stand in a growbag tray, and they get a can of water between them at each watering. They are then left alone until they have barely begun to approach dryness and are watered again. Feed for plants grown in this method is applied in liquid form, mixed in with the water no more often than once a month, and hardly at all during winter. This species doesn’t seem demanding on light, but it will flower better if kept bright, especially during winter if you’re growing on a windowsill.

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