Home | Contact

How to propagate orchids using the keiki method, usually Phalaenopsis orchids

We have all seen the common 'Spider Plant' which grows new plants along adventitious out shoots. The Phalaenopsis plant does a similar trick but along the flower spike where side shoots or buds may have developed. If you examine a Phalaenopsis flower spike you will notice along it's length approximately 2 to 3 small bracts (nodes) which are held tightly to the main stalk. Under normal circumstances these small bracts will remain just that, small bracts and are often overlooked. When a Phalaenopsis has finished flowering you can cut the flower spike back to just above one of these 'nodes' to induce a fresh flower spike to develop from it.

A keiki is a small plant which grows from one of the nodes along the stem instead of a branch. The reason for this is the accumulation of growth hormones at that point, this can be either natural (as in this case) or it can be induced by the application of keiki paste which is concentrated form of the correct growth hormones.

Orchid Keiki on Phalaenopsis orchid  2000 Orchid-Guide.com

Plants grown using this method will be duplicates (again actually the same plant) and you can leave them in place until they have a good root system and maybe two or three leaves. At this point they can be removed and potted on, flowering size plants can be obtained within two years using this method.

Whether you use Keiki paste or one forms naturally 14 to 26 weeks after it first appeared you should have a small Phalaenopsis plant growing from the node (see top photo), some Phalaenopsis work better than others with the Keiki paste but it is always worth having a go!
After six months the plant should be large enough to remove from the parent and potted up in to it's own pot. Phalaenopsis grown this way should reach flowering size 18 months to 2 years after they first appeared.
Carefully remove the small plant from the flower spike by cutting the stem 1 to 2 inches either side of the plant, this will ensure that you don't damage the roots of the Keiki. (below)

 2000 Orchid-Guide.com

You can use the small sections of stem either side of the plant to anchor it in place - see below

 2000 Orchid-Guide.com

Assemble the potting 'kit' which comprises of a pot large enough for 12 months growth, a medium grade potting mix, a label with the variety and of course the Keiki - see opposite

 2000 Orchid-Guide.com

 2000 Orchid-Guide.com

Remember to label the plant so that you know which variety it is and the date you removed it from the parent

 2000 Orchid-Guide.com

Congratulations you have now propagated a Phalaenopsis using the Keiki method.
UPDATE
Here's the same Keiki on 30 June 2001, as you can see it is doing well and produced a new leaf and good roots. Phalaenopsis Keiki
The same plant on 15th October 2001, it has yet another new leaf and is now well established - there's even a small flower spike starting from the base! Phalaenopsis lueddemanniana Keiki
Of course, the proof of the pudding... 24 April 2002
Phalaenopsis lueddemanniana
Finished Article

Home | Contact