I’ve read about this Keiki Grow Paste that you can use to try and propagate Phalaenopsis orchids, and I wanted to give it a whirl for myself. Basically, it’s a paste consisting of hormones that, if applied correctly, can encourage the growth of a keiki—a baby plant—off the spike of the original plant. Orchid propagation is not for beginners or the faint of heart (propagation involves a sterile environment…and that’s about all I know about it), so this paste provides a way for us “regular folk” to clone our own plants.
I recently traded in some MyPoints for an Amazon.com gift card, so I used that money to buy Keiki Grow Paste from the Carter & Holmes Orchids store on Amazon. It cost $27.95 for a very small (15 ml) container, but as I am finding out, a little goes a long way with the stuff. Side note: Carter & Holmes shipped my order very quickly…two thumbs up!!
My little jar of paste came with an instruction sheet, but I also did a little Googling and found this helpful visual instruction aid here (scroll down about halfway). Discovering that you should apply the paste only to Phals that have finished flowering was important—the instruction sheet that came with my paste didn’t mention this. Most of my Phals are in bloom right now, so I only have a couple to experiment with at the moment.
I followed the instructions and sliced the node covers off-center and removed them with tweezers, then used a toothpick to apply the paste to the nodes. I was able to do this even with nodes whose covers had dried and turned brown! I didn’t expect to see nice green nodes underneath the dried covers, but I figured I’d give it a shot and it’s a good thing I did, because there they were.
Anyway, I applied the paste to two nodes on one spike of a mini Phal and then four nodes of one spike of a big white Phal. I did this last Saturday, and a couple of the nodes on the big white Phal are starting to see some growth already. You can see something starting to poke out from the green goo on the spike:
I promise that little growth was flat when I applied the paste. It’s too early to tell whether this is going to turn into a side shoot or an actual keiki. I should have taken more pictures of this process…I promise that I will next time! So….I will update again as more growth occurs.
Something else exciting: my Bollopetalum from the NYBG gift shop has bloomed! It has four lovely, fragrant flowers, one of which is a mutant of some sort.
I wonder what happened to that last flower to make it bloom without a beautiful purple lip like the others. Oh well…it’s still a pretty flower!
Last but not least, I wanted to mention that next Tuesday morning is a get-together at the BBG for the Brooklyn Orchid Growers group on Meetup.com. Unfortunately, I can’t make it to this meetup because my parents will be in town and my mom and I may go to the Orchid Show at the NYBG that day. Someday I’ll get my ass to one of these get-togethers!