Delightful Diplocaulobiums

by Ian Walters

A genus of some fifty species extending from Malaya thru the Indies to New Guinea and Fiji, with the centre in New Guinea. Allied to Dendrobium, small pseudobulbous plants either clump or spread out in mats, thus each species is potted or mounted on a slab depending on its growth habit. Small slabs of treefern or cork bark with extra watering, suit the scramblers, while a small pot of fine media should be used for those that clump. 

     When in active growth lots of water and fertiliser produce large specimens like Diplocaulobium kirshianum photo above above left.

     A smaller grower that also forms a large mat on a slab is Diplocaulobium chrysotropsis, photo right. It is a compact grower  developing into a showy specimen.  





Another compact plant  Diplocaulobium Copelandii, photo left.

 Plants need maximum sunlight, short of leaf burn, to ensure prolific flowering. The flowers are short lived, but appear regularly, probably after a drop in temperature when it rains. Growing them on slabs provides good drainage and plants will wrap around the slab. One local grower has grown spectacular plants on tubes about 4 inch (10 cm) diameter made from plastic gutter guard, filled with scoria or bark or orchid potting media.

Diplocaulobium obyrnei grows well on cork bark or treefern and develops into quite large plants even on a small slab. Photo right and below showing the mounted plant.




  Small growers can hang on a wall where space is short, and provide a showy mass flowering with simple rules. A sunny spot, short of sunburn, keep damp but not wet, a little fertiliser and a little appreciation of the unique flowers of the Diplocaulobiums. Above species from New Guinea.  Ian Walters Burleigh Park.

Diplocaulobium plants