Using Keikis for Orchid Propagation

by Diana
(California)

How and where do I cut the stem so that I can establish a new plant?

The stem is about 10" and four leaves and a 1/2" air root have formed on the stem. The stem has died back from the top down to the new leaves.

The original leaves at the base have died.
So, please tell me how to proceed and create a new Phalaenopsis.

Thank you,
Diana - California

Plant Guides Answer:


Stressed Orchids and Keikis

Sometimes when an orchid is under stress (too dry, starving, etc.) it will produce a keiki. Sort of the way that annual plants will go to seed when they become stressed.

Reproduction is a plant's main mission in life. If anything threatens that plant's continued existence, it will take steps to propagate itself.

It sounds like this is what has happened to your moth orchid.

Under ordinary circumstances, I would advise you to let the keiki grow until it was at least 1/3 the size of the mother plant. But it seems that your original orchid has departed.

If this is the case, it won't really matter where you cut the stem. Just be careful not to damage the new orchid or any of its roots when you separate it from its mom.

Set it into a new pot. A previously used pot may have bacteria on it that can kill the keiki.

Also, be sure to surround the keiki's roots with fresh moss. Keep it in the shade for a few months and never let it dry out.

The following links will take you to pages with more in depth information about growing Phalaenopsis keikis on.

Orchid Propagation

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

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