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I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!
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  #1  
Old 09-19-2021, 02:54 AM
msarro msarro is offline
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I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!
Default I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!

Hey everyone.
I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a phal. schilleriana, and one happened to cross my path on ebay this evening.

They listed it as a "grouping" - it looks like it's a mother plant with 2 keikis on it. For a chance at scoring a set of 3 of a wishlist orchid, I rolled the dice.

Here's a link to the ebay listing, with pictures.

Here's where I'm concerned. I've only dealt with flower shop NOID phals before. I have not worked with a species orchid. I've also never worked with an orchid that has one keiki, let alone 2 of them. So as you can guess, my first order of business is helping to stabilize this little fellow once it arrives.

There looks like browning around all of the leaves which has me a bit concerned, but it could just be the natural coloration. However, all of the roots look to be in good shape.

I also know that too many keikis can kill a mother. I also know that shipping is going to be a bit hard on the plant. So, these are all things I'm considering.

I was hoping I could get some guidance on how to best approach this?

Right now I'm figuring:
  1. Receive the plant safely
  2. Remove dead roots
  3. Do not touch the keikis, even if they are ready to separate and have ample roots
  4. Repot the plant in new media (already have on hand)
  5. Water with distilled water for about a month, then feed winter fertilizer (half strength MSU mix is what I have)
  6. Let it stabilize under a grow light (either blurple, mixed LEDs, or a CFL that has a habit of cooking things) until I see positive signs of growth
  7. Anything else?

Is there anything I'm missing?

I'm also considering taking the plunge with semihydro, but this seems like the wrong plant to roll the dice on (I can get a $5 orchid from a lowes discount rack to experiment on if I really want...). But if the keikis DO stress the plant, would semihydro better support the needs of the plant?

Right now I feel super excited, and a lot like I jumped in over my head.

Any tips are deeply appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2021, 03:22 AM
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I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!
 

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First, keikis cannot possible kill the parent plant. Many plants normally cluster from the base. This is their normal growth. They would not have evolved to do this unless it were beneficial. Excise this idea from your plant knowledge, and don't think about it again.

I suggest you read about every plants before buying. The Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia (IOSPE) is the place to start for species. For hybrids go to orchidroots.com and then look up ancestor species. Finally, use the maroon menu above and the Search function to see how others here have grown a plant.

The eBay listing is gone so I can't see the plant.

I sometimes but not always repot plants on arrival, depending on the condition of the medium. Others here repot all plants on arrival. There are arguments both ways.

Semihydroponic culture (S/H) works great for Phals if your growing area is warm all year. Is it? Mine is, but a lot of people growing in cold-winter areas of the US keep temperatures fairly cool in winter, and this isn't good for Phals in S/H.

The time to put plants into S/H is when they are making new roots. Phals typically make roots throughout warm weather. If your growing area stays warm, and the plants looks healthy, now would be a good time to move it to S/H.

I recommend you read all about S/H on the First Rays Web site before trying S/H, because the Web is full of misinformation about S/H. Ray invented the S/H method we use.

Yes, I always practice new things on cheap plants, the cheaper the better.

Finally, schilleriana is not hard to grow.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2021, 03:53 AM
msarro msarro is offline
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I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
First, keikis cannot possible kill the parent plant. Many plants normally cluster from the base. This is their normal growth. They would not have evolved to do this unless it were beneficial. Excise this idea from your plant knowledge, and don't think about it again.
Apologies, I meant in terms of the keikis draining resources from the mother plant. I've seen videos where multiple keikis on a single mother have starved the plant, which is where I had come upon the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
The eBay listing is gone so I can't see the plant.
Sorry about that! I grabbed the photos and attached them!


Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post

Semihydroponic culture (S/H) works great for Phals if your growing area is warm all year. Is it? Mine is, but a lot of people growing in cold-winter areas of the US keep temperatures fairly cool in winter, and this isn't good for Phals in S/H.

The time to put plants into S/H is when they are making new roots. Phals typically make roots throughout warm weather. If your growing area stays warm, and the plants looks healthy, now would be a good time to move it to S/H.

I recommend you read all about S/H on the First Rays Web site before trying S/H, because the Web is full of misinformation about S/H. Ray invented the S/H method we use.
I live in a colder climate (USDA 6A/6B border). The temp shouldn't drop below 68. RH is usually around 50%.

I've got a background with hydroponics for food production (and S/H isn't very different from kratky/DWC hydroponic methods), so I feel somewhat comfortable tackling it. Still, it may be best to save it for another day for now.

Thank you for the feedback!!!
Attached Thumbnails
I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!-l1600-jpg   I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!-l1600-1-jpg   I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!-l1600-2-jpg   I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!-l1600-3-jpg   I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!-l1600-4-jpg  


Last edited by msarro; 09-19-2021 at 03:58 AM..
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  #4  
Old 09-19-2021, 03:57 AM
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I've seen videos where multiple keikis on a single mother have starved the plant....
This does not happen. Think about it. More roots, more leaf mass means more photosynthetic mass. More basal offsets are always good.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2021, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msarro View Post
So as you can guess, my first order of business is helping to stabilize this little fellow once it arrives.
It's ok. As long as you provide suitable growing conditions for this orchid, then everything will be just fine. As in good temperature and humidity, and lighting conditions - and avoid having media that is too soggy and creating conditions that can cut down on oxygen from getting into the roots. And having gentle air-movement around the plant and through the media.

Unless it's a case where the orchid is a very small seedling, or is really bad shape (and needs to be saved), then an incoming healthy orchid (with keikis etc) can just be treated normally ------ no need for 'ER' treatment. With keikis ----- the plant was obviously growing normally at the place where it was sent from. So just keep growing it in the same way until the keikis produce a bunch of roots so that they can support themselves whenever you want to disconnect them from the parent plant.

Otherwise - consider keikis and the parent plant to be the same thing ----- as one plant. And when I mean 'keiki' ----- I'm referring to a keiki that is a plant that grows off a node from a flower spike (of a phalaenopsis plant that is).
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:03 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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If the plant in the photos is what you are getting, it looks like a happy, healthy plant(s).

I do wonder if those are keikis though, at least one looks to be growing too far from the largest plant to be basal growths. This might actually be multiple plants in one pot, perhaps a compot which was never separated.

If they are indeed keikis, basal growths will not drain the main plant's energy. They may share a vascular system with the mother, but they have roots in the pot and are capable of taking up their own water and nutrients. Aerial keikis (on stems) are the ones more likely to drain the mother, but often happens if the mother plant's root system is not healthy/large enough to support all the growth. A healthy, well grown Phal can keep multiple keikis without negative effects.

The plant in the photos looks healthy, and the brown looking leaf edge is rather normal for the species.


When you recieve it, you can repot if you want, all depends on the state of the current substrate. If there are indeed separate plants in the pot, they can be potted individually if you wish.

As to care, you can treat it like any other hybrid Phals you may have, this is a rather easy species.

I don't know what you mean by winter fertilizer since that doesn't exist. Phals can be fertilized with the same fert and dosage year round, the only thing that changes is how often you water, based on the temperature. I'm not sure why you want to water it with pure water for a month?
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2021, 09:13 AM
Dusty Ol' Man Dusty Ol' Man is offline
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Many of the statements others here have questioned leads me to ask one question: Where have you been getting cultural information from? There is so much misinformation on the internet. Even so-called "trusted sources" are filled with it. I have found this board to be filled with seasoned growers who will dispell the myths and give solid cultural info.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:04 PM
msarro msarro is offline
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I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
If the plant in the photos is what you are getting, it looks like a happy, healthy plant(s).

I do wonder if those are keikis though, at least one looks to be growing too far from the largest plant to be basal growths. This might actually be multiple plants in one pot, perhaps a compot which was never separated.
It does seem to be a little far, but I also found a post on here suggesting that this particular species can occasionally develop keikis on roots? Sorry, I can't link to it as a new member.

So maybe that could explain it? I won't really know until it arrives in a week or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
If they are indeed keikis, basal growths will not drain the main plant's energy. They may share a vascular system with the mother, but they have roots in the pot and are capable of taking up their own water and nutrients. Aerial keikis (on stems) are the ones more likely to drain the mother, but often happens if the mother plant's root system is not healthy/large enough to support all the growth. A healthy, well grown Phal can keep multiple keikis without negative effects.
Thank you! Most of what I have been going through are posts on here, /r/orchids on reddit, and watching MissOrchidGirl on youtube. Sadly several of the videos I'm finding on keikis that aren't just the basic "this is a keiki," rather they are situations where the keikis are actually causing health issues on a mother plant, or vice versa.

I'd feel better if this was a situation where it was a single keiki or multiple plants. The only examples I've seen where multiple keikis were present were examples where they were hurting the mother. So, it had me concerned.

I would link the videos I'm referring to but sadly I am getting denied as a newer member. If you go on youtube and search "missorchidgirl keiki kill mother" you'll find the one I'm referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
When you recieve it, you can repot if you want, all depends on the state of the current substrate. If there are indeed separate plants in the pot, they can be potted individually if you wish.
Yup, I will probably do that if only just to figure out what is actually going on. Are they 3 separate plants? A mother and a keiki? Some combination of all? I won't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camille1585 View Post
I don't know what you mean by winter fertilizer since that doesn't exist. Phals can be fertilized with the same fert and dosage year round, the only thing that changes is how often you water, based on the temperature.
Sorry - I probably worded that badly. The MSU fertilizer i'm using lists two different concentrations for spring/summer vs winter. I've attached the instructions to show what I mean (it's the first bullet point). By winter fertilizer I'm referring to the fall/winter concentration from the manufacturer.

Quote:
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I'm not sure why you want to water it with pure water for a month?
It's a habit I've gotten into with other house plants when I first receive them. Some react very badly to sudden changes in light, environment, humidity, etc. Shipping can include thermal shocks, physical shocks, etc. So, for the first 2-4 weeks I keep them in a quarantine area and essentially do nothing besides provide light and water. This gives the plant a chance to stabilize to the new environmental shocks, plus it lets the plant recover from shipping. Basically I use this period to just watch the new plant, monitor for issues, and let it acclimate to the new environment. Since beginning this habit, I've had much better success with new plants after receiving them.
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Last edited by msarro; 09-19-2021 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:09 PM
msarro msarro is offline
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I just purchased a phalaenopsis schilleriana with 2 keikis. Help!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Ol' Man View Post
Many of the statements others here have questioned leads me to ask one question: Where have you been getting cultural information from? There is so much misinformation on the internet. Even so-called "trusted sources" are filled with it. I have found this board to be filled with seasoned growers who will dispell the myths and give solid cultural info.
Most of it is coming from this board and OrchidForum, MissOrchidGirl on youtube, and /r/orchids on reddit.

MissOrchidGirl for example has two videos where keikis are involved in health issues with the mother plant.

The statement about winter fertilizer is because the MSU fertilizer lists two different concentrations for spring/summer vs fall/winter.

I think you're right, there is misinformation which is why I'm trying to learn.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:18 PM
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Go back to an earlier question - why would a plant evolve to grow multiple rosettes from the base if that harms the plant? Rather, the plant evolved to grow multiple growths from the base because that improves its health and increases its chances of passing on its genes.
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