Odd orchid growing pattern

Asked February 16, 2013, 7:20 PM EST

I have an orchid plant that is growing in an unusual way and I'm not sure quite what it needs or what to do with it. It has a long stem (22") and there's a shoot coming off of it that has a couple 'roots' and now a cluster of leaves. Should I snip that off and consider it a 'starter' for a new orchid plant? I haven't seen anything like it. I've attached a picture to help.


Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Wow, I have never seen this but it is a normal offshoot for an orchid.

A keiki (kay-key from Hawaiian for “baby”) is an offshoot of the mother plant.

On a Dendrobium, the keiki is typically found sprouting along the length of the cane or from the end of the cane. This is induced by the accumulation of growth hormones at that point.Producing keikis is asexual reproduction, so the “baby” will have the same characteristics as its mother.

To keep the keiki to form a new plant, you can safely remove it at any time. With the sterilized tool, remove the keiki and include a piece of the stem on the plantlet. Put the keiki in the new pot of orchid medium, placing the base at the top of the medium, carefully covering the roots. Mist the new plant daily until the new plant is growing well.

If you cut away the whole flower spike (inflorescence) after flowering is finished, you can prevent the production of keikis, and tidy up the flower’s appearance at the same time and allow it more energy to reflower.