Saturday, October 6, 2012

Potting the first of the phal keikis


Keiki orchid ready for separation from mother plant

     Phalaenopsis keikis are generally considered ready for potting once they have 2-3 leaves, and roots that are at least 3 inches long.  The roots on this 1-year old keiki are approaching 5 inches in length, and if they continued growing out any farther, then I would have struggled to find any pot to fit them.  It is time to remove the little guy from the mother plant, and pot it on its own.


Newly separated phalaenopsis keiki

     I cut the keiki from the spike with some wire cutters, sprinkled cinnamon over the cut to prevent infection, and left the keiki to soak in a tub of water for 10 minutes.  The water was treated with Superthrive, which should hopefully  encourage vigorous root growth.

potting a phal keiki

     Soaking the roots in water helped soften them so that I was able to (just barely) curl the 5-inch roots into a 3-inch clear plastic pot.  Although these roots are long, there are only two of them, and I worried that any larger of a pot would take too long to dry out.  

Newly potted phalaenopsis keiki

     The keiki is now potted in a 3" clear plastic pot, with phal bark mix.  I will now log it as a separate plant: Phal noid 'keiki 1'.

Phalaenopsis keiki

     I am trying something a little strange but possibly helpful with my second largest keiki.  Its roots are about 3" long, and I want to wait a little longer before removing it.  In an attempt to get the roots to curl into a pot-friendly shape, I tried strapping a plastic pot to the keiki while it's still attached to the spike.  This makes the spike quite top-heavy, so I added a support stake.  I'll see if this is more helpful than it is ungainly.  I expect to separate this keiki in another month.




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