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Question: a keiki?


hi, I wanted to know if the orchids can be mixed by cuttings, after last year's flowering I didn't cut the stem of the flowers because they always remained green and now where they were attached the flowers were formed like small orchid plants, but they only have leaves and no roots, what should I do? you can give me directions ... thanks a lot Cristina

Keiki-homely: Answer: i keiki


Dear Cristina,
it sometimes happens that dendrobium or phalaenopsis produce what in technical terms are called keiki, or children; these are real tiny plants, which develop from the plant's collar, or from the knots of floral stems, when the flowers have withered. As the days go by, these tiny plants produce one or more small leaves, and then the roots also arrive. When you begin to see the typical aerial roots, you can detach the keiki from your orchid, using a sharp knife; sometimes, at this stage, the keiki will detach themselves from the father plant, to let themselves fall on the substrate. The young keiki are placed in small containers, in a soil similar to that of the mother plant, or an incoherent compound of pieces of bark and sphagnum, to be kept barely moist, and to be watered only when it tends to dry. If possible, place your new orchid in a transparent vase so that the roots can perform their photosynthetic function. This type of orchid propagation is much more comfortable than that for seed; the orchid seeds are tiny (we all have the seeds of the vanilla beans, similar in size to dust), and they are difficult to place on the germination substrate; in addition to this, they need a special climate to best sprout, difficult to obtain at home. Then the orchids available in the nursery are all hybrids, and therefore, propagating them by seed, we will never know which flower the plant we will get will have. The keiki are instead species of clones of the mother plant, identical in foliage and blooms. When you remove the keiki from your plant, remember to clean the knife you use well, sterilizing it; then consider that not all keiki behave in the sex way, so to look at the roots you will have to wait a little time, not well defined, because each keiki takes its time to develop completely, from a few weeks to long months.