Dendrobium kingianum winter care
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  #1  
Old 11-28-2022, 05:49 PM
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Dendrobium kingianum winter care Male
Default Dendrobium kingianum winter care

Hello all, I have a small (2 ish years from blooming I would estimate) Dendrobium kingianum growing in a 3 inch slotted plastic pot. I know a few things like that you should reduce water and fertilizer and expose the plants to more light and colder temperatures, but I also want to know what works for other people and especially what works for other people in my climate (Mediterranean). Next growing season I plan on growing it outdoors.

Edit : Thought I should clarify that I have two divisions of the same plant (Came apart while repotting), One has bigger canes but only four in total, while the other smaller division has around nine or ten canes although half are leafless back-bulbs.

Last edited by Lil Duck; 11-28-2022 at 05:58 PM..
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Old 11-28-2022, 06:06 PM
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In the past (20 yrs ago or so), I had a kingianum that only grew vegetatively (no flowers), though vigorous. It was in a box window facing SW, so plenty of light. It should have gotten a fair amount of cooling. I watered somewhat irregularly and seldom fertilized.

I have a kingianum I got in March, which showed buds in August, which are very very slowly getting larger. I kinda forgot it in July as far as watering went. It's in a 2 1/2 inch pot and it has at least five stems that have buds swelling, so I wouldn't say yours is too small if appropriately potted.
I can only conclude that the dry spell caused the buds to start developing, because August in Arkansas isn't very cool at all.
So it's more what I don't know I guess? I also remember reading that some kingianum clones are more reluctant to flower than others.

Last edited by dbarron; 11-28-2022 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:14 AM
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Greetings from further up the left coast Lil Duck [Portland here]. I grow a number of kingianum and find that there is no hard & fast rule of thumb as to how big plants need to be in order to bloom--any cane that is mature is capable of doing so; this holds whether the plant is in a 2" pot or a 12" pot. There's also tremendous variability in the size of mature kingianum canes, on some cultivars, a 4" tall cane is a giant, on others, 12"+ is the norm. Most produce their heaviest flush of blooms in late winter on throughout spring; the odd few will bloom off and on year round. I've not found mine to be too picky about winter light levels [*don't take this to mean put it in a north facing window...], restricted watering [and suspension of feeding] helps to initiate blooming, in situ, winter lows run in the low-mid 40s. For best blooms, feed plants heavily from about the end of April through to mid October, then stop feeding and decrease water--my collection is in an unheated greenhouse and gets no water from mid December-mid February. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2022, 01:15 AM
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Just put it outside. Let it get winter rain. Don't fertilize after August.
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Old 11-29-2022, 03:25 PM
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For those of us who live in areas that don't get winter frost (or at least very little), ES is spot-on. Mine don't get dried out, but the chill seems to work fine as a trigger for blooming. Den. kingianum can easily tolerate winter night temps in the mid-30's F, with the occasional dip below that being no problem. The better light outdoors is beneficial.
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:52 PM
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Should I put it outside in full sun or part sun, I have a eastern facing balcony with more shady parts and more bright parts
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:04 PM
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Depends on what you've been giving it (sunburn). If you look up the native habitat, it's commonly known as rock orchid and occurs on crevices in rock, this typically means direct sun and heat.
It seems to me to prefer maybe a bit of midday shade in my climate, but otherwise the more sun the better I think.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:15 PM
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I have found that Den kingianum does need some shading from summer mid-day sun. (I have toasted a few of those and the related Den speciosum) In winter it doesn't matter that much. But to save moving it around, find a good spot (indirect sun) and stay with it.
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:47 AM
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The Den kingianum might have gotten a bit of frost last night, will it be fine?

Edit : to further clarify I saw no frost on the plant or on the railing it was on but the surrounding cars and grass all had frost on them, temps went down to 36-37 f.

Last edited by Lil Duck; 12-02-2022 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 12-02-2022, 11:49 AM
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It should be able to take very light frost (I think..never actually tried it), but you should be able to tell as soon as temps get above oh..50 or so, from visual inspection and/or feel of the leaves.
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