Saturday, April 30, 2011

Starting Another Dendrobium nobile from a keiki

Dendrobium Yellow Song "Canary" grew a nice keiki so I decided to remove it and pot it up. Some of the web references, that I read, claim that keikis siphon energy off from the parent plant. Removal of the keiki ("keikiectomy"?) might help it grow and bloom. I don't know if the authors truly know that. But it's part of web orchid lore. There's also the fun of watching a new plant grow.

This was a keiki that I started in July. This was a nice, easily blooming variety, white flowers with blue fringes. It grew a nice fat looking pseudobulb cane, and now is producing 2 new sprouts. It's been getting the "weakly, weekly" 1/4 strength plant food treatment, high nitrogen growth formula version.

I've left it in the original container and growth medium. It may be good for another 6 months or year, before repotting is needed.

This is the Dendrobium Yellow Song "Canary" and keiki. I let it grow longer than I intended. I think no harm was done.

A section of parent pseudobulb is cut off along with the keiki. I don't have the fine touch, to just pull it off without causing damage. So I cut a section instead. The green root tips are a sign of healthy active growth.

Similarly, I removed the remainder of the cane, from above the keiki.

Some cinnamon is added to the cut surfaces. That's for mold prevention.
Resting in new container on bark-based orchid mix. Before adding medium, I placed the bamboo support stake into the pot. Easier that way. Less likely to damage the keiki's roots.
Now more bark medium is added. The top of the medium is at the juncture of keiki with stem.

Now it's just a matter of care. Same as an established orchid plant. I watered to settle it in, but will try to hold off more watering for a week or so. Probably best not to have watered the first day. I don't have the self discipline to wait.


  1. Thanks, very interesting. I do have a Dendrobium with keikis but the roots are only 2cm long. Do you think I should wait before they become a new plant?

  2. Megbi, I think you can start it now or wait until the roots are longer. Longer roots would give it a better start but I'm sure it would survive now. Either way. I would'nt let the roots get more than 4cm long, difficult to get into a small container.

  3. tincaymax2:05 AM

    I have a soft cane den nobile which flowered last Jan/Feb; in mid May I noticed a couple of keikis forming, and now (end of June) one of the keikis - which is about 6cm with tiny roots and still attached to the mother stem - is flowering! It has 2 blooms, which are almost the size of the keiki. I am amazed, but perhaps this is not so rare; have you ever seen this? Thanks

  4. I ran across your blog while searching for an orchid I've had a little over 3 years. All I remember from the orchid shop, which had since gone out of business, is that it was a hawaiian hybrid. It looks very similar to this. I was trying to look it up because all the leaves have fallen off over the last few months, so I'm assuming it's dead. The big stalk part is still green though. Should I toss it?

    1. Maybe you should toss it. You can always get another.

    2. Anonymous2:08 PM

      Don’t toss it. Put it in a baggie with swagman moss (damp not wet). Put in a warm bright area and forget about it….it can take 6 - 8 months but will either start to grow roots or a Keiki. What do you have to lose✅ Some dendrobiums lose all there leaves during their rest period. I have one that did exactly that. Now 6 months later it has a new Keiki with new roots going under the bark and the cane has a new growth coming from the side that may be a flower spike or a Keiki. Too soon to tell

  5. Anonymous5:03 AM

    I have 3 keikis on one plant, all with healthy roots, The oldest one is trying to detach itself from main plant. It's a Berry Oda. Shall I allow to detach naturally or give it a hand?

    1. I would detach it and plant in fresh orchid medium. Since it already has roots, I bet it will grow.

  6. Anonymous2:10 PM

    Don’t cut the original cane as he did. Take the Keiki between two fingers and carefully rotate around 9be careful of the new roots). It will eventually twist off the cane with no damage to the cane, which can flower again…

  7. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Hi, I have a problem with Keiko of my dendrobium Nobile. One has leaves and roots but also it is blooming. Can I separate it from the mother now or shall I wait please? My another Keiki has got roots and it is blooming but have no single leave. I am not sure of what to do about that..shall I wait for leaves to grow? Roots are around 6-7cm long. I will be very grateful for the answer. I am new to orchids.

  8. Anonymous9:57 AM

    I have created plants from my keikis. I cut stems off my Dendrobium and put in a vase. The stems lasted over 2 months in water i changed every week. The stems started growing keikes on every stem i cut. So cool! It also bloomed .
    I plan to plant these next in their own pots. Super excited