Hi, My orchid has produced a group of leaves on the cane, instead of flowers....

Asked August 13, 2015, 5:49 PM EDT

Hi, My orchid has produced a group of leaves on the cane, instead of flowers. A couple years ago this happened and I asked what to do. I was told that it was a 'keiki' or something like that and that it has the same genetic composition as the original plant. I can't find the posting on this site to re-read the response and know what to do. Can you tell me where I should cut it and how to replant it? I'd also like to know if I'll ever get a flower from the plant and what I can do to encourage that. It had one (or more) flowers when I purchased it. Thank you.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Yes, your phalaenopsis does have a keiki. Some varieties of phals are prone to them, but we always think of them as a special treat.

You should remove it as it is taking energy that your plant needs to re-bloom. Replant it and eventually both plants should bloom. Cut the stem near the keiki. I leave a couple of inches as it makes it easier to plant it, but it is basically an umbilical cord and will not be necessary once the plant is potted. You should cut the rest of the flower spike off either at the base or above the first nodule of the stem close to the mother plant.

Replant the keiki just like any phal. See http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=204 , http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=217, https://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=432, or http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=616for more information. You may want to repot your existing plant at the same time. The potting mix may still look good on the surface, but has often deteriorated below. Keep in mind that the purpose of the planting mix (bark or moss) is not to provide nutrients as with terrestrial plant's soil, but to hold it upright and slow down water. Phals naturally grow in places like the sides of trees and need air on their roots. Many orchid problems are due to the mix breaking down and turning to mud, water logging the plants. I have killed many phals because i was too lazy to repot.

Good luck with your orchids. I hope you get two lovely flower spikes next year.