Propagating Orchids: Keikis

How to Get Orchid Babies &/Or More Flowers

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use keiki paste - more flowers


Keiki (KAY-key), Hawaiian for “baby” is the term for a new plantlet growing on a mother orchid. These plantlets can grow naturally and they can be encouraged by using plant hormones. Phalaneniopsis and Dendrobium orchids are especially prone to producing keikis. Let’s talk about what happens if your orchid has produced a keiki on its own, or how to encourage Keikis using Keiki Power Pro. Using hormones doesn’t always produce keikis, most often the orchid will produce flowers rather than a keiki–and that’s okay too.

WOW keiki paste is a game changer for promoting orchid flowering

Roots and Leaves Growing On the Flower Stalk

Your orchid may surprise you, when one day you notice leaves and roots growing on your orchid’s flower stalk. This is one way that orchid’s propagate. The baby plantlet is a clone of the parent plant. This type of propagation is most common in Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium orchids. If you do notice a keiki growing, look for sign of stress on the mother plant. Perhaps the root system is in trouble. Keikis are not always a sign that something is amiss, but it is something to be aware of.

At any rate, leave the little plantlet alone until the roots and leaves are about 2-3 inches long. Then, with a new razor blade cut the keiki from the mother plant. Using a new, unused razor blade will prevent the spread of disease between plants.

Using a potting medium designed especially for young orchids, pot the keiki in a small, clear orchid pot. Be gentle with your new keiki. If possible, provide extra humidity for your fledgling plant. Otherwise, care for your new plantlet as you do the mother plant.


Keiki Paste

If your orchid hasn’t produced keikis on its own, or you want your orchid to produce more flowers, you can use hormones to kick-start your orchids. Keiki paste is marketed as as way to asexually produce more orchids. The question though is that when using the paste, you don’t know if you’ll get a plantlet or a flower stalk. My experience is that most of the time, the keiki paste results in a flower stalk, which I am totally fine with. In my experience, keiki paste works best with phalaenopsis, or moth orchids (the kind most often found in the grocery store).

Why the Keiki Paste Works

Keiki paste contains a growth hormone called cytokinin that encourages cell division. The hormone is added to lanolin because lanolin sticks to the orchid and won’t wash away if it gets wet. When the keiki paste is applied to an orchid node, the hormone will (hopefully, it doesn’t always work) result in either a keiki (an exact clone of the mother plant) or in an inflorescence (a flower stalk).

Sounds Too Good to be True

I know, adding a bit of sticky goo to your orchid stalk with the hope of an emerging new orchid or a profusion of flowers sounds like wishful thinking, but I’m telling you, the stuff really works! Using keiki paste is SUPER EASY and a little goes a long way. Once you buy the paste, the small jar will last for many, MANY applications.



node - keiki paste

Begin by locating a “node” along the stalk. If you run your hand along the stalk you will feel a bump. The node will look like a little joint in the stalk.

cut node on orchid stalk - keiki power pro

With a sterilized sharp knife, scissors, or utility knife, cut into the node. Take off enough of the node so the the node is flush with the rest of the stalk.

prepare stalk for keiki paste application

The orchid flower stalk is prepared for keiki paste application.

keiki paste

Next, put on your gloves and with your chopstick or cotton swab, scoop out a very small amount of keiki paste.

Apply keiki paste to node

Finally, with the chopstick or cotton swab dab a small amount of the keiki paste onto the prepared node.

It’s good practice to record in your plant journal which orchid you applied the paste and the date.

What to Expect After Using the Paste

After applying the paste, I just kind of forget about it. Several weeks later you may notice a little flower stalk growing out of the node–sometimes at an odd angle. You will know it’s a flower stalk because the end will look like a closed fist with tiny bumps on the end.

fist at tip - flower stalk

Pictured above is a flower stalk. If you see what resembles a closed fist at the tip, you know you’ve got a flower stalk.

smooth tip - orchid root

The smooth tip is a sure sign that this is a root, not a flower stalk.

flower stalk growing at an odd angle

It looks a little funky where the new flower stalk emerges and where the the dead flower stalk meet.

trim stalk - keiki

With a pair of sterilized scissors, trim off the remaining bump from the dead flower stalk.

In most cases, you will see a new flowers emerging. Or, you may be surprised to see little leaves emerging. These little leaves indicate that you’ve got a keiki, a perfect clone of the mother plant. Do not remove the baby plant until its roots are 1-3″ long.

keiki is an exact clone of the mother plant

Rather than a new flower stalk, I was surprised to see this little keiki.

keiki paste - profusion of blooms

Keiki paste can result in an abundance of blooms.

Make the Most of Your Orchids

Although keiki paste is marketed for growing keikis, I’ve had more success encouraging more flowers. I have had limited success growing plantlets and robust success getting my Phaleanopsis to push out more flowers. And, I’m not the only one. Orchid distributors use it to get the most flowers possible. They know we’ll pass over the orchids with only a few flowers and gravitate to the plants packed with blooms.

keiki power pro promotes flowering in orchids

  1. Maria Flores says:

    I have 4 plant but they have green leaves only will I be able to use the paste

    1. Anna says:

      Excellent question. You must wait until you have a flower spike to use the keiki paste. Then make a small cut along one the bumps along the spike. Apply the paste to the cut. I’ve noticed that it works best on nodes that are closer to the tip of the spike than the nodes that are closer to the base of the plant.
      Good Luck!

  2. Susan says:

    Can you apply keiki paste on several nodes on the same stalk or will that overwhelm the plant?

    1. Anna says:

      Are you trying to get keikis or flowers? I’ve applied keiki paste on multiple nodes on the same stalk, but usually it’s only one node that eventually produces flowers. Phalaneopsis are tough plants, but if you’d like to err on the side of caution, just try one node. Keikis usually grow on orchids that are doing poorly. So if you’ve got a dying plant that you’re trying to get keikis to grow on, just try one node.
      Hope you get more flowers, or a keiki soon!

  3. Anonymous says:

    i have a problem about keiki paste.i am from srilanka how to buy it

    1. Anna says:

      I bought my keiki paste online at Amazon. I’m not sure what your buying options are. But don’t worry–even if you can’t get the keiki paste, you’ll still be able to bloom your orchids, it just may take a little more time. I wish I had a better answer for you.

  4. Wilfred Jimenez says:

    Were we can buy keiki paste in manila phil.

    1. Anna says:

      I’m not sure where you can purchase keiki paste in the Philippians. I bought mine online at Amazon. Does anyone else know where keiki paste can be purchased?

  5. Susy says:

    Hi I have 3 orchids one Miniature phalaenopsis and 2 regular and last year they bloom and now they are not blooming what should do with them… thank you

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks for reaching out. It’s always helpful when you know what kind of orchids you are growing, so thanks for that.
      Check out these tips on how to rebloom an orchids:

      How to ReBloom an Orchid

      These are the tools I use to rebloom orchids:

      Top Tools to ReBloom Orchids

      Let me know, Susy, if you have any more questions about blooming your orchids!

  6. Patricia says:

    what is the best keiki powder product name and where to buy online also i live in texas so is there a certain time of the year that you can use this pastes on orchids? im very excited to try this

    1. Anna says:

      Here is a link to the keiki paste I use. I will receive a commission if you purchase through this link:

      Keiki Power Pro

      This product really does work. You can try it anytime as long as there is a node on the flower stalk that you can slice into. I’ve had the most success applying the paste when the Phalaenopsis has just finished flowering. Expect flowers rather than keikis and you won’t be disappointed.
      Good Luck!

  7. santiago says:

    Hi, Anna, I have a problem when I was not present my máma accidentally cut a Keiki, could you help me?

    1. Anna says:

      Pot up your keiki. Use sphagnum moss as you can keep it moist. If you can raise the humidity level around your keiki, that would also be helpful. Keep the moss moist, but not soggy.
      Warm regards,

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START HERE to Learn More About Caring for Orchids

Find Out What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Caring for Orchids