A few weeks ago I posted about my first experiment with trying to propagate my Phals using Keiki Grow Paste. As I mentioned, I originally applied the paste to two of my out-of-blooms Phals; the first application was on March 17 and then I applied the paste a second time on March 30. The two nodes on the mini Phal are not showing any growth, but three of the four nodes on my big white Phal are showing definite growth! Check out pics of the three developing nodes, from the top of the spike to the bottom:
The growth appears to be more than just a side shoot, but time will tell. It’s fun to watch these grow—hopefully they will turn into actual keikis that I can eventually detach and pot on their own!
Also, I just now applied Keiki Grow Paste to three nodes of a Phal’s spike that just finished blooming (this cute orchid from Trader Joe’s). Stay tuned for updates on that one as well.
I’ve read about this Keiki Grow Plus 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!! [Side side note: C&H no longer carries this paste on Amazon, but it can be found at the Amazon Repotme store…paid link.]
I was just doing some daily inspection of my orchids and noticed that I have what appears to be a terminal spike starting to poke out from the crown of one of my Phals. A terminal spike is one that grows from the center of the foliage of a monopodial orchid, meaning that the plant will no longer be able to grow leaves from there. Healthy Phals usually put spikes out from the base of the plant or in between older leaves. According to chit-chat on orchid forums, a terminal spike on a Phal may signify that the plant is not healthy but is trying to find a way to keep on truckin’. Sometimes Phals that do this will end up growing a basal keiki to try and replicate themselves, but other times they won’t survive.
The Phal with the growing terminal spike hasn’t been in great shape for awhile, and in fact was quite near death about a year or so ago.