Our experience is from growing the following
species: cucumerinum, lichenastrum, lichenastrum var. prenticei, linguiforme,
rigida, striolatum, teritifolium and wassellii. All do well in our
The Royal Botanic Garden, KewWorld Checklist considers these to
be Dendrobiums. The genus Dockrillia was created to separate out a group
of plants [often endemic to Australia] sometimes called pencil orchids.
The name Dockrillia commemorates Alick Dockrill, an Australian orchidologist
and author. We label our plants as dendrobiums, but often think of them
as dockrilliathis group of fleshy-leaved dendrobiums.
Light and where we grow them:
In our greenhouse they hang on screens against the east wall. Theyre
somewhat sheltered from the bright, late afternoon sun. They seem to like
near-cattleya type light, with the morning and mid-day sun being the best.
Water and seasonal variation:
When theyre growing (spring to early fall) we provide lots of water
and regular fertilizer. Even with lots of water, they still get a wet,
dry, wet, dry treatment. Do not keep them overly wet. Theyll rot!
Those fleshy leaves are little water storage devices. Theyll start
to shrivel if yourre underwatering them...you just need to listen
to themtheyll tell you how youre doing! In the late
fall and through the winter, we cut the back water by 3/4. Less water,
Get them to bloom:
Ours dont seem to bloom unless they are cooler during their dormant
period. Since ours hang against the wall of the greenhouse, and it gets
cold here in the winter, they naturally get a cooling period with temperatures
in the low 50s. Maybe even cooler. Our mature plants of D. cucumerinum
bloom repeatedly from May through September.
The only Dockrillia weve ever tried to grow in a pot is D. wassellii.
It grows beautifully, but the potted ones dont bloom for us. My
opinion on this is because theyre in plastic pots and despite the
lack of water provided in the winter, the increased humidity in our greenhouse
in the winter probably keeps them a bit too moist. Terra cotta would be
a better choice for them when grown in pots.