Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Random plant event: Dendrobium keiki

I was worried at first that this meant that the plant was upset with me about something, or that it was giving me a keiki instead of flowers, but what I found on-line seemed to be suggesting that although a Phalaenopsis producing keiki might have a backhanded, passive-aggressive meaning like that, Dendrobiums don't necessarily mean anything by it: it's just something they do from time to time. Which, if that's the case, then I'm happy for the opportunity to propagate, I guess. Can anybody confirm or refute?


I also don't know which of my two Dendrobiums this is, 'Karen' or "Humphrey Bogart." They're in different media, but at some point I lost track of which was in fir bark and which was in coir. I'm about 60% sure this is 'Karen.' I'd have preferred to propagate "Humphrey Bogart," given the choice.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Phalaenopsis type dendrobiums flower from the top down. The first year the spike is "pseudo-terminal" i.e. looks like it comes from the terminal meristem but actually it comes from the topmost node. The next year the next node down produces a spike, etc.

Your keiki is just a keiki, but sometimes D, phal. spikes double-dip: after flowering, the spike develops roots and acts like a keiki, making successive canes just like a real keiki.

College Gardener said...

In my experience Dendrobium keiki do not necessarily mean that the plant is upset, though I would just see it as an opportunity to propagate.

Grower Jim said...

Some Dendrobiums are prolific producers of keikis. It may just mean that yours is happy!

Keith said...

My nobile Den noid is producing lots of keikis on a stem that bloomed earlier this year. I was a little worried until last week when I found the first signs of buds on the new canes....

CatsandCatts said...

Grower Jim is right -- some Dens produces keikis freely. Incidentally, a few Phal species do too. Phal. equestris, for instance, creates keikis like crazy even if the plant is not stressed.

Daniel said...

My dendrobiums have given a few keikis as well. It's fun to start a new one that way. Some authors report that too much nitrogen fertilizer, or nitrogen when not needed in dormancy or bloom time, will stimulate a dendrobium to make a lot of keikis. So just one, or a few, is probably just a sign that it's in the mood for a keiki. Lots of keikis are probably a sign that the nitrogen is too generous.