Today’s Orchid Care Question comes from my blog reader Dan. He’s new to Phals and has a couple of new leaves growing off the side of his plant. He sent me some great photos and I thought I’d share his question and photos with all of you! Enjoy
I have been growing a Phal orchid for the last six months or so. When I bought the orchid it had a large stem with many beautiful flowers on it. The flowers have since died off and the stem turned yellow/brown. I went ahead and trimmed the stem back to the first node and it continued to yellow and harden. Now the plant is growing new leaves off the side of the main plant and was wondering if this is normal? Also I am curious as to when I can expect a new flower stem to grow? I have attached a picture of the orchid to help with my description. Thanks for the help and tips.
- Dan Binzel
So glad you’ve included some photos with your question! They are very helpful in seeing what exactly your orchid is growing.
What you have there is a basal keiki (baby plant) growing on your Phalaenopsis mother plant. Kekis can grow at the base (basal) or further up along the stem. Not really sure why keikis grow on some plants and not others, sometimes they just do. You can even force keiki growth on orchids with a product known as Keiki Growth Paste. It’s a great way to propagate your orchids!
Some growers believe that basal keikis sometimes grow on orchids that are under a lot of stress and dying, but they will also grow on perfectly healthy orchids. From what I can see, your plant has very happy green leaves and looks like it is quite healthy. I do see a few dry roots on the surface of the pot. You can take this time to remove damaged roots and repot your orchid if it needs it (since it is no longer in bloom).
You’ll want to continue to mist both plants regularly–paying special attention to the keiki as it should start growing roots soon and you don’t want those to dry out. Once the roots get long enough, you’ll be able to repot the baby orchid in its own pot. Check out my previous post of keiki repotting here: Orchid Keiki Repotting Instructions
As far as the mother plant goes, the keiki growth should not impact it very much A new flower spike will emerge from the base when the plant is rested enough and ready for reblooming. Phals typically spike in the late Fall/early Winter season. You’ll want to give your Phalaenopsis cooler nighttime temperatures to encourage it to rebloom. I’m personally waiting for several of my own phals to spike in a few months. The wait is well worth it!
Well, I believe that just about answers you question. I hope this proves helpful! Thanks again for your question and for sending in a photo!
Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,
The Orchid Care Lady