orchid keiki: my phalaenopsis had a baby!

February 2, 2011

Though it is nothing to brag about apparently. I thought it was a good thing until I read that it was the orchid’s response to stress. I also read some orchids just do it, stress or no, as a way to propagate. I also read more than one expert recommend cutting it and tossing it because it leeched nutrients from the Mama and would take years to bloom. Let us address these three ideas (stressing, cutting, tossing) respectively.

1. Sure, maybe I stressed it — I’ve definitely accidentally gone twice as long as usual between waterings (on more than one occasion) — maybe not (none of my other orchids, all subjected to the same neglect, have issued spawn). Either way…

2. I’m going to cut it. Mama’s looking chipper, keiki’s getting bigger, and with a deft snip Daddy will have two (yes, I just referred to myself both in the third person and as “Daddy”) orchids where before there was only one.

3. As for blooming only after several years, permit me to direct your attention to the photo below, which clearly shows a bloom stalk (the reddish bud between the two lower roots) emerging from the keiki (keiki’s Hawaiian for “baby”). And after only a couple months! Never trust an expert, that’s my motto (along with “F@$k ‘em if they can’t take a joke,” and “no witnesses.”).

orchid keiki

And while I’m thinking about it, are humans the only mammals with umbilical cords?

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