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Orchid Keiki care

This is a discussion on Orchid Keiki care within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi all in June a friend gave me several phals she no longer wanted as ...

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  1. #1
    SusanLee is offline Member
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    Default Orchid Keiki care

    Hi all

    in June a friend gave me several phals she no longer wanted as they hadn't bloomed in over 4 years. One now has a small flower spike as well as, oh my goodness, a tiny Keiki sprouting on the old flower spike. Its about an inch long, a tiny tiny baby.

    I realize it has to have good roots before I can re-pot it, and that can take several years, but in the meantime, how should I care for the keiki?

    Also, the mother plant really needs to be re-potted. It has beautiful roots but it is very crowded in the container. Is it safe to re-pot it at this point? I don't think it can spend the next 3 or 4 years in its current container!

    any pointers or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    regards

    Susan

  2. #2
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    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    You may totally ignore the keiki. At this point it is just more vegetative tissue that's part of the mother plant. Once it gets about 4" of total root length (4 roots at 1", 1 root at 4", etc.), you may safely pot it up separately.

    It's usually not wise to report a plant that's in bloom, but if leaving it and waiting puts it at risk, by all means, go for it!

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    SusanLee is offline Member
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    Thank you raybark. its hard to ignore tho I just have to keep looking at it 'cause its so tiny and cute! I don't think the mother plant is necessarilly in any danger, its just so crowded in that pot. But the roots look really really good. And the bark doesn't seem to be breaking down, so far.

    would it be a good idea to cut off the other stem that is growing a new secondary spike? so more energy could go to the keiki?

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    I am a believer in letting the plant decide for itself.

    If the plant has the energy stores to sustain multiple spikes, let it. As long as it's green, it's adding photosynthesis support.

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    As Ray says, anything green and growing is contributing to the plant, not just taking resources. In particular, a keiki is really no different than growing a small new leaf or 2. Unless a plant's health is already seriously compromised a keiki or a spike is just growth, a healthy thing, and the plant will not try more than it can support. A dying plant is a different thing. It may desperately try to produce a keiki before it is too late, perhaps accelerating the mother's decline, because that is the only way to survive. There is no evidence your plant is unhealthy.

    Do plan on repotting sooner rather than later - in spring at the latest if your plant has no active root growth now. A keiki or a branch spike is no reason to delay repotting a healthy plant that needs it. And most likely your keiki will be ready to go independant by late spring also, though there really is no need to ever detach it if the connection to mother stays green.

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    SusanLee is offline Member
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    thank you, PaphMadMan, that's good info and reassuring. The mother plant is really healthy with an impressive, strong and healthy root system.

    ---------- Post Merged at 12:06 PM ----------

    Thanks Raybark.

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    moniluhum is offline Senior Member
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    In regard to a keiki that has 4" root, what is the best way to pot the keiki. I have done a couple of large den keikis in seedling mix in small plastic pot and not sure they will make it.

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    If a keiki isn't damaged removing it there's really nothing special it needs. It is ready to be treated as a mature plant that has just been repotted. Use an appropriate small pot with your usual potting mix for the type, perhaps slightly finer. For a few weeks give it the slightly gentle care you would give any healthy repotted plant that needs to get established - a little extra humidity, a little less light, careful attention to watering until it shows new root growth, a kelp treatment if that is your thing.

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    SusanLee is offline Member
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    Can you tell me more about a kelp treatment? What is it?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    There are a wide variety of products, but KelpMax is the one I have heard most about. The biggest effect is probably from the hormones it provides that promote rooting especially, and from micronutrients, but organic compounds, macronutrients and other things may contribute to a growth boost. Other products can be quite different as they are made from different kinds of kelp and processed in different ways. I haven't used any of them myself, but they have some strong advocates who may chime in.

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