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Basal keikis on phals

This is a discussion on Basal keikis on phals within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I only today discovered that a new spike - a first spike - on my ...

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  1. #1
    JOHNnDC's Avatar
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    Default Basal keikis on phals

    I only today discovered that a new spike - a first spike - on my Phal. (Orange County Bounty 'Midas' x mannii 'Irene' JC/AOS) is now actually a basal keiki. I was just wondering what causes them to occur, is this a good thing I should be rejoicing over, or what? Is this the kind of thing you remove once it grows up, or just leave it there and enjoy two plants? I was a bit annoyed since I was finally looking foward to some flowers from this plant - it grew so well this past year, LOTS of leaves and tons of healthy roots. And now this?!

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    From what I understand, it CAN be a normal occurance (sp?), especially on species phals. I have a phal leud. that is trying desperately to grow onw off of the spike, but this plant is known for it. Have you examined the roots lately? Are they happy & healthy?

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    I'm a bit afraid to take the plant out of the pot, but the roots on the surface are looking quite good - pulled a bit of the bark away and looked. Through the bottom I can see some good roots, some bad. Just that I have such a bad track record with phals - up until this one - I'm afraid to even move the thing....

    Ok, I got the nerve to check the roots. They're ASTOUNDINGLY good. I'm actually shocked. They're gorgeous throughout the entire 6 inch pot. Like I said, I kill phals, can't believe this thing has been good for a year now. So, it ain't the roots.

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    John,

    I have never had a healthy phal grow keikis, except the species.

    My brother in Philippines have only phal schilliriana and phal amabilis, and they don't flower every year. The reason I was told is the temp during winter. His phals only bloom when the month of Dec.to Feb were unusually "cool".If they get the usual hot winter, they get keikis. According to him there was even a time that his phals didn't bloom for 10 years!!

    Maybe you are giving your phal too warm living condition. My phal schilliriana sprouted a spike 3 weeks ago but it sulked when I moved it indoors. After 3 weeks its still 1cm tall, and now I'm afraid that spike will turn into a keiki.

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    I have a basal keiki growing on an Everspring King "King." The plant was at one point pretty sick with bad root rot, but it was well on its way back to health when the keiki started, just under the lowest leaf. It now has a good root system and it looks like the momma plant is trying to spike (but it may have gotten too cold one night and the spike may actually be black and not green, but it's still too hard to see it well.)

    I think it's a good thing. I may or may not separate the keiki; I haven't decided yet. It may look great with two blooming plants together.

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    [QUOTE=Liz It may look great with two blooming plants together.[/QUOTE]

    You are right Liz ..More plants.... more spikes...

    Now ,sometimes phals do basal kieki when stressed(dying)...but some also have that tendancy in their background.

    I would leave it be and hope for 2 plants with 2 spikes !

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    I agree with Gilda, just leave it be and just because you are getting a keiki doesn't preclude you getting a spike as well. There is still plenty of time for that.

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    I agree as well. Keikis are your friends! Seriously, though, if the roots are good, and the plant is throwing a keiki, that just means you'll have more spikes when it's blooming time. Hang in!

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    I talked to Al at Al's Orchid Exchange about this, and he said that one of the many factors affecting keiki growth is that crown or whatever of a phal puts out some hormone or something that inhibits keikis from forming. The farther away you get from that crown, the greater the chance of a keiki forming. My crown is getting decently high as I have about 10 leaves on the plant, so perhaps that was a factor. Anyway, more plants, and all growing in the same pot, so they conserve space - who's complaining?!

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    I'd love to get a real keiki on one of my phals.
    I did have 2 keikis on a rescue phal with bad roots.
    The phal recovered nicely but the keikis died

    And I recently received a new phal with again 2 keikis, no roots yet, only tiny leaves. I checked the plant's roots and they look good, I'll change the media as soon as it's done blooming since it stays a bit too wet for my taste.

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