How to Propagate a Phalaenopsis Orchid

Written by frank whittemore
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How to Propagate a Phalaenopsis Orchid
Phalaenopsis orchids can be propagated by vegetative means. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images)

With sprays of large and colourful flowers, Phalaenopsis orchids are among the most attractive orchids and are widely available at home improvement stores, garden centres and nurseries. Propagating these orchids from seed is a laborious, time consuming and challenging task. A quicker and more productive method of propagation is to encourage the plant to produce small "baby" plants, called "keikis," on the spent flower stem, once flowering is over. This vegetative method has a relatively high success rate and can produce a plant that reaches maturity and blooms faster than seed-grown orchids.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Razor knife
  • Orchid potting medium
  • 2-inch plant pots

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  1. 1

    Cut the flower stem of a Phalaenopsis orchid just above a flower internode using a razor knife after the last flower has fallen from the stem.

  2. 2

    Place the plant in a dimly lit area. Keikis should start to form from the dormant eyes on the flower stem in two to three weeks.

  3. 3

    Move the plant to a somewhat brighter area to allow the keikis to adjust to a higher light level. Eventually move the plant back to normal light levels. The keiki can take up to 12 months to reach a size large enough to transplant.

  4. 4

    Cut the stem about 1 inch below the keiki when it has two or three roots, using the razor knife.

  5. 5

    Fill a plant pot halfway with orchid medium and set the keiki in the pot. Fill in around the roots and the stem with more medium. Press the soil down gently so as not to damage the fragile root of the keiki. Water the keiki regularly to keep the soil moist.

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