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ideas needed for my keiki experiment

This is a discussion on ideas needed for my keiki experiment within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I recently killed a phal by misdiagnosing and treating it for crown rot; I've chalked ...

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  1. #1
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    Default ideas needed for my keiki experiment

    I recently killed a phal by misdiagnosing and treating it for crown rot; I've chalked it up to the learning curve. But, it had a nice spike with one bloom left, with plump healthy nodes, so I cut it and put it in water. I read on another forum that someone had luck with a keiki forming under the same conditions.

    Any ideas how to encourage this? I've got powdered rooting hormone, but no paste to apply to the nodes. Can I make my own paste? Put the powder in the water?

    ~Liz

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    A while back I heard of someone getting keikis to form by sticking spikes (with the node bract removed) into water. I tried it; it failed. I am sure it may work, but the percentage is probably low. I know Jim Brasch sells keiki-grow paste; he's on orchidmall. I've never used it, but have purchased "stop rot" from him, which is bordeaux in lanolin.

    I have also heard of pulling the bracts off phal spikes and placing them on a small dish of moist sphag (and covering the top). Again, I think the percentage is low but may be augmented by hormones. This method might be more compatible with powdered hormone.

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    Liz, you can try Jason's method (which is sort of a modified stem propagation). Cut the spike into two inch long pieces, one inch above and below each node. Use a razor blade or tweezers to removed the node's bract. Mix your rooting hormone powder (or some keiki-grow) with a little water to make a paste, and rub that over the exposed node and spike ends. Wrap the spike piece loosely in moist sphagnum, then put it into a sanitized jar that you can seal. In a few weeks, you should begin to see leaves and roots.

    Like Jason said, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Other than that, the only sure-fire way is to do a real stem propagation, but that requires sterile agar, sterile jars, etc.--just about all the stuff you would normally use to flask seeds.

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    Ooooh, this takes me back to high school science class! This should be fun... I even happen to have a jar that'll be perfect! Thanks, Louis, Jason; I'll report back on my results.

    Liz

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    Hey Louis: where should I put my little experiment jar? Under the 250W supplemental Argo-Lite? A lower light window? Under the shade cloth?

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    And another thing. Should the sphagnum lightly cover the node?

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    where should I put my little experiment jar?
    In a lower light window that gets absolutely no direct sun, otherwise, the spike in the jar will cook.


    Should the sphagnum lightly cover the node?
    Yes, lightly only, like one thin strand across / around it. The ends of the pike piece should have more. The idea is to keep the thing damp, and the humidity way up. If you want to go an extra step, wash the spike pieces in a 5% bleach water solution before you cut the leaf axils away. That will help keep fungus and bacteria from invading while the keikis develop.

    This is the "quick and dirty" method of stem propagating, so don't feel bad if all of the pieces don't grow. But they just might, so have fun and good luck! Definitely update with your results!

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