Orchid Trees
Q.

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Zone Mesa, Arizona | suengineer added on May 13, 2015 | Answered

Why is my Anacacho Orchid Tree growing leaves only on the ends of the branches? My Orchid Tree was planted as a small seedling, and is growing nicely. Including the upper branches, it's grown about 2' in the year and a half since it was planted. This spring the young tree has grown several new branches; each branch has several "nodes" along its length. However, leaves are growing only on the ends of the branches, no more than 6" from the tip. Is this possible due to overwatering, or do I just need to prune the branches to encourage them to fill in?

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
shelley
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 24, 2015

How long are your branches? A part of me wonders if this is just the normal growth pattern of an anacacho orchid tree. For your reference - here is an example of a young anacacho orchid tree with leaves clustered near the ends of the branches:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tJZqizYTjhg/TZ-TPmVzgaI/AAAAAAAABxE/XdfXRg1v78A/s640/Anaconcho+Orchid_Apr2011.jpg

For more information on the care of an anacacho orchid tree, please visit the following link:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/orchid-tree/growing-orchid-trees.htm

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Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 15, 2015

How thick is the outside of the canopy? Typically when you see this type of growth, the outside of the canopy is so thick that light can't get to the interior of the canopy and the plant simply stops growing leaves on the interior. Some thinning pruning will help correct this. This article will explain more about thinning cutting:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/thinning-canopies-in-trees.htm

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suengineer
Answered on May 25, 2015

Shelley, I think you might be right. Mine isn't flowering nearly that much - only about a half dozen flowers bloomed so far, but I think that's because the seedling is so young. It was planted about a year ago, maybe 15 months. But your the one in the picture does look like the leafing pattern on mine.

Thanks for your help!

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suengineer
Answered on May 15, 2015

The leaves on the end of the branches are thick, but not overly so. Plus I'm asking about a seedling - only about 4-1/2 feet tall. All of the branches get plenty of light!

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