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Orchids/orchid flower spikes



1.  I have about six phalaenopsis orchids which have all grown very well this year. one has produced not only new roots and flower spikes but a keiki as well.
I am told it will probably die after the keiki (probably of exhaustion I am sure). is this true?

it then produced two spikes with leaves every few inches up the lengths. at first I though it was another two babies but they appear to be evolving into actual flower spikes. is this usual and why have I not seen this before? why are they different?

2.  two of these orchids were bought in 2010 in flower and when finished, were treated in the same way as the rest. all the others now have flower spikes, but not these two. they are strong and healthy producing new leaves and roots as they are supposed to at this time.

not quite sure what I need to do now to get them into flower after so long, except carry on doing the same and continue to wait.

are you able to help with these two queries?

thanks for your assistance.


Patt; with regard to the keiki, it is not automatic that the plant will die.  If the plant is strong, it will not likely be affected by the growth of a keiki. If the keiki develops on a weak plant (eg plant has only two small leaves) then it is possible that the mother plant's health may be compromised.  I have seen keikis not only develop roots and leaves while still attached to the maternal flower spike, but also develop flower spikes on their own and flower without affecting parental health.

Flower spikes contain nodes (ie joints) which may give rise to either leaves or flowering branches.  These nodes appear to be responsive to light.  The more light, the more likely this will be a flower spike. One node may develop into a keiki and another, a branch in the flower spike. An old flower spike may produce keikis by greatly reducing the light level.

I suggest that you increase the light level for the nonflowering plants.  Different orchids, may respond indifferent ways to temperature and light levels.    You might try treating the two non-flowering plants differently.  Prime time #ie spring) has passed, so you may need to wait until next winter to see the results.


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Wayne King


Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.


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