Repotting a rather LARGE Den. kinginanum and I have some questions...

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Jun 6, 2006
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Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
I decided not to abbreviate my title this time. :rolleyes:

I inadvertently inherited a large Den. kingianum from our Executive Director at work. Which was amusing, cause I was going to buy one three weeks ago. Glad I did not! It's keiki-ing like mad and was the talk of the office today - it is in bloom and nicely fragrant. Bill Cullina (who has written several books for us including one on growing orchids) was in today and was literally pulling pieces off and handing them to people, which is fine with me, it's way too large for my space as it is. However, none of these people grow orchids. It is certainly a good beginner one to grow and because of the cool rest, great for my conditions but I've offered to provide people with mix and pots and I'm not sure what it really likes. I don't have a lot of options to share. The small bark mix that I used for the Mex. and some sphagnum (not much).

What's the best mix to pot this in? Gwen also said she thought a clay pot would be better than plastic. Any thoughts on these two issues and the best way for me to help these poor new orchid fools out?
do you have any s/h medium lying around? I've seen it grown very well by self-described brown thumbs in s/h. I also recommend clay, as most people water too much ;) I can tell you that you can't kill it from underwatering... I grow mine in clay pellets (but not s/h) and it doesn't seem to care. Blooming is another question, however. Damn apartment.
That obvious, eh? I think they'll grow on/in anything except a bowl of soppy mud.
You could tell them to hang it on a string and dunk it now and then?

Name? what name? :confused::confused::confused:

Hey, funny you should mention this, I got a little kingianum last Sunday at my society meeting! I also found the culture link above by googling, and found it very helpful. Mine is a former keikei, now potted, and maybe 4 inches tall. Do you think it should bloom next winter or will it take more than one year to get it to blooming size?
I have seen individual keikis bloom but a year or 2 later is when they get really nice.. Wilford Neptune got me started on kingianums quite a few years ago. He sent me established keikis of some of his awarded clones. I have a collection of about a dozen kingianums
At the moment mine seems quite happy to grow pot bound in a plastic pot filled with comercial orchid medium. It's not the sort of thing I'd use on any other orchids other than maybe Cyms because it's quite...well, earthy but the kingi appears to be doing just fine in it. I let it dry out, it lives on a south facing window so gets plenty of light and the room is an unheated spare bedroom so it gets a cooler winter rest.

It recently finished blooming on the canes that it grew last spring and it still has some which developed later in the summer so I'm thinking it might get second wind (it did last year).

Seems to be an easy, cheerful little plant and I love the scent. It appears that so do the cats because it had teeth marks all over the leaves :mad::poke:
That obvious, eh? I think they'll grow on/in anything except a bowl of soppy mud.

Good point!

I like to take mine out of the pot in February, just before growth, and beat it against the wall to loosen up the rootstock. Then I hang it upside down until it starts to spike at which point I pot it up again and give it a healthy dose of hot, strong coffee...:rollhappy:

I guess the point is, this is one tough plant. Any free draining compost is fine. Any pot or mount is fine so long as you can keep the humidity high in summer. One thing, especially in the winter, don't baby it with fertilizer and water. In winter I keep mine cold (between 35-50 F) and I never water or fertilize it. Even now it is trying to grow its flower spikes I am not obliging it with water, but pretty soon I'll have to relent. In summer it goes in almost full sun, I water the hell out of it, fertilize it weekly, and it goes bananas!!!
Pot them up in straight CHC. While I have totally soured on CHC as a paph medium, its still the best epiphyte medium I have used. My kingianum keikii's like crazy, but rarely buds up and even more rarely blooms...despite torturing it with low fertilizer, strong light, drought, and cool temps...however, this year my nobile's have finally given me a great display....well, at least Utopia Messenger or whatever its called..lost the tag years ago....Take care, Eric
Mark, your kingii is more than flowering size. The 2 biggest problems with kingiis making keikis is A. the type of kingii ( inherant problem ) and B. not drying it out properly between waterings in winter. Too much water keeps them in the growth cycle. Hybrid Dends don't seem to suffer the same problem.
Good point!

I like to take mine out of the pot in February, just before growth, and beat it against the wall to loosen up the rootstock. Then I hang it upside down until it starts to spike ....

I like how that sounds! :clap: Maybe I'll try it. One more day left in February!
I know, I know... I can tell you're trying.

man, I should go do something productive. like water plants! :p