Keiki is Hawaiian for “baby” or the “little one”. In this context, orchid keikis is the baby that grows from the mother orchid. In nature, keikis are usually formed when an orchid is stressed or dying. To cope with this, the orchid will be asexually producing keikis as a chance to pass on its genes.
Keikis are genetically identical to their mother plant as it is asexually produced without pollination. This means that once they mature, they’ll have the same flowers as the mother plant.
Orchid keikis grow from different buds on the cane, differ according to species and are usually formed on the upper portion. For instance, keikis grow along the length of the cane or at the end for dendrobiums. For phalaenopsis, on the other hand, the keikis will form on a node along the flower stem.
You are going to need:
Whenever you are propagating your plant, be sure to use a healthy one. By this, the chance for your cuttings to be successful is high and it will save your time. Stems that have thick silver-grey velamen with soft green tips are firm to the touch. Choose healthy stems as they decide the success of your keikis.
Cut your stem into smaller pieces that contain at least 2 nodes each. Cut the stems in between the nodes. If the propagation becomes successful, the new leaves will merge from the nodes in 3 to 4 weeks.
Use growth hormone that contains cytokinin hormone, which is available on the market. If you are looking for an organic alternative, always go for seaweed extracts as they have an abundance of cytokinins and other plant hormones such as auxins and gibberellins. It is fine if you are not able to get the growth hormone. However, expect slow growth from the process. Soak the cuttings for 1 minute or spray the cuttings with the hormone after placing the cuttings into the media.
The best media to use for this method is sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss is suitable since it can hold water better than bark or any other medium. Due to its water retention ability, it is an excellent potting material for young orchids.
Use an amount of sphagnum moss according to the size of your container and orchid cuttings. An adequate amount just to layer the cuttings is just fine. Soak the sphagnum moss and drain them to remove the excess water.
Place the cuttings in the container that has already been filled with sphagnum moss. Remember to be sure that your cuttings are soaked or sprayed with growth hormones.
Be patient and enjoy the growth of your keikis. If the cuttings failed, no worries! Try and check again if there are rooms to improve on the ways. By following the simple steps we’ve outlined in this blog post, you should be able to create new orchid plants with little effort and get your garden growing again in no time.
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