Unidentified Oncidium from Trader Joes
Trader Joe’s is a magical place. Last week, we bought 1.5lbs of premium coffee bean assortment for $4.99. Sometimes, there are amazing surprises down the cookie isle. Or the organic coconut oil that I use for just about everything, and it smells great too. The best kept secret of Trader Joe’s however, is the low-priced and often hard-to-find plants they have.
Unusually colored Oncidium flowers
Today, I made a quick stop to see if the Cymbidium orchids they had a couple weeks ago were still there. Unfortunately, because of the holiday, the plants were quite picked over. I managed to score a no ID intergeneric Oncidium orchid instead. This is the first time I’ve ever seen an Oncidium for sale other than at a plant show. That, and for much cheaper than ordering a smallish plant online.
So I raided the clearance center of my garden store, and scored a rather large and healthy NOID Phal that had finished flowering (this one was pink), and wanted to try my hand at propagation. Phalaenopsis orchids produce babies along their flower stalk rather easily. These babies, known as keikis, form in response to plant hormones, such as auxins, that build up as a plant matures.
I ordered myself some artificial hormone called Keiki Power Pro and applied it to my clearance orchid. To apply the Keiki Paste correctly, you remove one of the spike’s node covers and apply to the dormant bud.
After applying, it’s a wait and see sort of business. Dormant buds are usually already differentiated into either flower-bearing or keiki bearing cell types.
Flower bearing spike after Keiki Power Pro application:
It’s difficult to know which you’ll get, however, buds closer to the top of the stalk seem to be more likely to bear flowers. Further down, you might get a baby Phal. Sometimes you get both.
Is this going to be a keiki or flower spike?
Will update with changes to my Phal babies.