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Keikigrow FAQ

1) What conditions are ideal for keiki and root production?

The following conditions have been found conducive to keiki production:

  • Proper timing in the growth cycle of the plant. For example, Keikigrow Plus should be applied only after the last flower on the stem has opened fully.
  • Temperature should be warm-at least 20 degrees C (70 degrees F).
  • Avoid stress from improper water supply. The pH should be around 5.5 to 6.5.
  • Fertilizer. In conjunction with a) above, feed high nitrogen during the period of Keikigrow application at about 200 ppm.

2) Is relative humidity important?

Yes, cell differentiation and root development work best in a fairly high humidity. If you are growing on a windowsill you should provide extra humidity for keiki development by misting, plastic curtains, plastic bag, etc. It is true that severe stress on a plant will cause it to produce keikis on its own, without the addition of hormones, but our purpose is to provide keikis without causing undue stress on the mother plant.

3) If the products were optimized for Phalaenopsis treatment, will they work on other orchids?

Yes, we have many reports of successful application to plants other than Phalaenopsis. Many of these suggestions are covered in a sheet of “cultural instructions” supplied with each order, but among the most successful are:

  • development of multiple leads on cattleyas where one breaking bud is the norm;
  • encouragement roots on newly imported or damaged orchids of many genera;
  • breaking of dormancy of such plants as Cycnoches or Catesetums when they have apparently failed to come back into growth (this has also been successful with other plants such as caudex succulents); and
  • producing multiple flowers on papilio spikes, equitants, and dendrobiums.

We are quite aware that many of these phenomena occur without the use of plant regulators, but this merely emphasizes the facts that we are really only giving an extra boost to what is a perfectly natural occurrence.

4) What about non-orchidaceous plants?

Keikiroot has been successfully applied to such plants as Mahonia, Ilex, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Crotons, roses, and medicinal plants for the production of stem props. Since the hormones are common to most plants, there may be application to virtually any plant with adventitious or dormant buds.

5) Can cytokinins and auxins be applied together?

Absolutely not. Cytokinins are anti-auxins and auxins are anti-cytokinins.One company with extreme bravado is offering rooting concoctions with free-for-all mixtures of auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, etc as a cure-all for plant growth. This could kill your plant–no matter what it is. Growing roots generally requires the appropriate strength of indole-butric acid. Don’t be fooled by glib concoctions.

Our experience and experimentation over many years assures you proper use of these chemicals in our products. You will not dammage your plants using keikigrow and keikiroot as instructed.

The hormones in Keikigrow Plus (cytokinins) are root inhibitors and if excess has been applied, root development may be restricted. If roots do not appear after healthy leaves have developed, warm up the plant (over 70 degrees F.) and remove the excess keiki paste carefully with a tissue. Be careful not to damage the partially formed keiki. After 24 hours, apply Keikiroot to the area where roots should be developing. Again, be careful not to damage any emerging roots.

6) How should Keikigrow products be stored?

Normal room temperature is adequate. In warmer climates the products should be kept in a refrigerator (not a freezer). Application will be easier and less likely to physically damage a tender meristematic bud if the product is allowed to come to room temperature before application.

7) What is the shelf-life of Keikigrow products?

We guarantee the viability of the product for a period of one year. However, we have successfully applied Keikigrow that we manufactured 8 years ago.

8) I know that Keikigrow Plus was developed originally for Phalaenopsis. Does it have other uses?

Many reports have been received about the use of Keikigrow Plus on other genera. In addition to the following example of African Violets, other suggestions for uses are available in this section as well as in the “Cultural Suggestions” sent out with our orders and catalogues. Also see FAQ #7.Example: The use of Keikigrow Plus on Chimera African VioletsOrchids and African Violets share a common hormone for vegetative propagation. Everyone knows that African Violets are easy to propagate from leaf cuttings inserted into a rooting media. This is not true, however, for CHIMERAS. In other words, certain very valuable kinds of African Violets do not respond to normal propagation by placing cuttings in vermiculite, perlite, etc.African violet chimeras, however, will reproduce precisely (clone) by rooting cuttings produced by axillary buds (those buds at the base of the leaf). These cuttings are usually produced in a meristem lab and as a result are very expensive compared to most African Violets.Any African Violet grower, or any horticulturalist who has difficult plants to propagate should try Keikigrow Plus as a substitute for elaborate laboratory procedures. The hormone, cytokinin, shared by all plants, produces axillary shoots which may be removed from the mother plant and layered as any other cutting. In the case of phalaenopsis, a bud on the flower stem may be jarred into growth and produce a keiki or clone of the mother plant; on an African Violet the bud will frequently produce a growth that may be removed and layered to produce a clone of the mother plant.More information is available elsewhere on the Internet:

9) Should I apply Keikigrow Plus several times in order to initiate keikis?

Although one re-application may be beneficial, especially if it is very warm in your growing area, you would be better advised to wait until the next flower spike has appeared and is waning. Of course if you have applied the Keikigrow Plus to only one or two nodes, the other nodes are still available for treatment. Since the purpose of the hormone application is to increase and enhance the natural hormone production of the plant, continually adding the hormone will serve litte purpose. Moreover, since the cytokinin/hormone is a potential root inhibitor you would gain very little by continuing applications.

10) What happens when a large marble-sized growth appears instead of a keiki or flower spike?

about 5% of applications, before cell differentiation into leaves, roots and stems occurs, the cells of the meristematic tissue divide and multiply. The result is a green bumpy growth, which is rather unpleasant-looking.Patience will generally result in a mass of small keikis being produced. Since there are numerous keikis, many may be lost while separating them from the stem of the Phalaenopsis. (This multiplying has not been reported from other orchid species) The more care taken during the separation, the more keikis will survive.The multiplication of cells is the same process which occurs during the multiplication of cells in the meristematic process. Feed the plant a balanced fertilizer and enjoy.

11) I have heard that Keikigrow Plus can cure crown rot. Really?

Well the answer is yes and no!Once the crown is damaged to the extent that the upper leaf has rotted, a Phalaenopsis or any other monopodial plant will not continue to grow. It may not die immediately, but the ability to produce new leaves and the accompanying flower spike is virtually impossible. That is the bad news.The good news is that when the crown is damaged the adventitious buds at the base of the plant begin to enlarge and in their native habitat may even grow into a new plant. By the careful use of Keikigrow Plus this process can be enhanced and in over 90% of the applications a new plant will develop. Directions:

When crown rot has damaged the plant, apply a thin layer of Keikigrow Plus to the base of the plant where the bottom leaves fell off as the plant was growing. At the base of every leaf is an adventitious bud–ready to replace the crown. Do not water the plant, but keep it warm (70 degrees F) and in high humidity (80-90%). Use a plastic bag if necessary.

A new growth and perhaps three or four growths will establish on the old roots and then grow their own roots so that they can be removed and potted up safely. The new “clone” should bloom within one or two years.

This procedure is useful for Angraecums, Doritis or any similar plants and of course the relevant hybrids are especially easy to rescue.

Is there any plant that will not respond to cloning?

Probably not and it is always a good idea to try, especially to save valuable plants.

Plant Hormones Canada has put a priority on propagation and conservation of species and hybrid orchids, but its methods are applicable to many species and hybrids of many genera.

For example, Jim Brasch reports that even cactus and other ornamental plants can be propagated and conserved by the application of plant regulators.

Be sure to let us know about your adventures into this new development in imaginative gardening!

12) I do not have facilities for sterile laboratory proceedures. Can I still use Keikigrow Plus for propagation?

Absolutely. One of the chief purposes of Keikigrow Plus is to provide amateur growers with a non-sterile technique for orchid propagation. So long as general cleanliness and conditions for normal culture are maintained, no special equipment or conditions are necessary. Generally speaking a warmer (about 70 degrees F., 22 degrees C.) growing climate is conducive to keiki or adventitious bud growth.You can do this in your own home. Simply follow the easily-read instructions (in English, French, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, or Spanish and apply the keiki paste to your own plant right in your growing area. Development generally appears within a week to ten days and the keiki (Hawaiian for “baby plant”) will be large enough to remove in about three months.