by Judy Bernard, Master Gardener
A year ago last summer I bought a new phalaenopsis orchid to go in my renovated kitchen. It had 2 stems of beautiful white flowers with a fuchsia centre. Eventually the flowers dropped off, but the stems remained green and healthy. Knowing there was good potential for the nodes remaining on the stem to start to produce another scape of flowers, I checked it carefully and was rewarded with a node budding out. It had leaves!
Looking up on Google, I learned that one of the ways an orchid will propagate is by producing a baby in its stem. These babies are called Kiekis. I had to wait for several months until the baby grew 3 or 4 roots and they were 8-10cm long before I could remove it and plant it.
Although it may be a sign that the mother orchid plant is under stress, this mother always looked healthy with dark glossy leaves. While it was nurturing its baby, the mother produced another scape on the other stem with a spray of 9 flowers.
Finally the day had come. I also learned that the best way to help the baby along was to plant it with the mother. The mother will regulate the growing medium around their roots and help the baby along. The mother’s pot was too small. So I purchased fresh bark for the orchids and a larger container. Planted them. Watered them.
They seem to be thriving!
Link: All about Keikis