Keiki Grow Plus and Dendrobium speciosums. By Alex Wild.
Over the years that I have been growing orchids I have been growing them using the “hit and miss” technique. Sometimes I get a hit but mostly it's a miss.
I thought that I should write up some of the trials for the Bulletin.
There's no point in writing about all those failures, besides there are too many of them.
So I decided that I'd write up the occasional success.
In August 2016, at the ANOS Conference and Orchid Show in Kempsey, New South Wales, I managed to score a back bulb of a good Dendrobium speciosum.
The pseudobulb was discarded as it was cut at an angle near the bottom and did not have the bulb base. Normally I would have let such a damaged pseudobulb go to the green bin but, as this one was of “Blue Moon”, I thought I'd have a go at salvaging it.
I brought the pseudobulb back home and used my usual “hit and miss” technique. That bulb had a couple of, what I call “eyes”. I didn't photograph them at the time but they looked a lot like shown in picture 1.
I removed the sheath covering the “eyes” by blasting them with a garden hose trigger gun set on ”flat”. So basically a flat hard jet of water.
After removing the sheath covering, the “eyes” looked like shown in picture 3.
After about ½ hour, when the exposed “eyes” dried, I used a small watercolour brush and applied a good amount of Keiki Grow Plus paste to them.
The Keiki Grow Plus comes with two small plastic spatulas, but I did not use them out of fear that I may damage the “eyes”.
Normally when I try to salvage back bulbs, I put them in a pot with sphagnum moss, but on this occasion I thought that the cut pseudobulb may rot if kept wet.
So I just tied a wire around the top of the bulb and hung it up amongst my mounted orchids. That was early September.
By January 2017 those “eyes” started to develop into keikis (see pictures 4 and 5) and now, mid-March, one of the keikis has grown quite large (see picture 6) and has a good lot of roots while the other “eye” is much smaller and seems to want to grow into four keikis (see picture 7).
Did I mention that I use the “hit and miss” technique?