So How Do You Propagate Orchids At Home?
Dividing orchids is the easier method for raising orchids. You can do this while repotting your orchid.
This produces an identical orchid to your stock plant. The plants are genetically the same.
Dividing Sympodial Orchids
Sympodial orchids have multiple stems and most of them have pseudobulbs for storing water and nutrients.
These pseudobulbs bear leaves and flowers. Examples for these types of orchids are Cattleya and Cymbidium orchids.
A lady slipper orchid is also sympodial but does not produce pseudobulbs.
Orchid Propagation With Pseudobulbs
1. Your orchid should have at least 8 pseudobulbs. Take the plant
carefully out of its container and shake off any loose compost
2. Gently push the bulbs apart in the center and cut the rhizome
that holds the bulbs together with a sharp knife. Make two new sections.
3. Dormant bulbs that have no leaves are called back bulbs. You
can plant up healthy back bulbs separately. Throw shriveled up ones
away. These bulbs will produce new leaves in about six weeks from the
base but it will take some time before you will have a plant that is big
enough to flower. Keep the newly potted bulbs in a shaded place and
keep them moist.
4. Leave at least four pseudobulbs on each division and repot
those with fresh orchid compost mix. Trim off any dead roots with a sharp
knife in the process. The base of the bulbs should be level with the top
of the pot after repotting.
Dividing Orchids Without Pseudobulbs
Orchids like Paphiodelium or Phragmipedium that produce no pseudobulbs are a bit more difficult to propagate.
You need a healthy plant with at least four growths. The plant might take 4-5 years before it flowers again after division.
The method is more or less the same as above.
Orchid Propagation of Dendrobium:
Sympodial orchids like Dendrobium grow cane-like pseudobulbs. These
stems can be cut off from the mother plant above a leaf node.
This stem is the cut in between the nodes into pieces with about 3
inches of length. Root these stem cuttings in a seed tray that is filled
with moist sphagnum moss. Lay the cuttings on the moss and cover them
slightly. Keep the seed tray in a warm and humid place.
They should be rooted and start growing leaves within a few weeks. Pot
them up into individual pots when the cuttings are large enough to
Propagation Of Monopodial Orchids
Monopodial orchids have a single stem and don't grow pseudobulbs.
Phalaenopsis or Vanda orchids are examples for these types of orchids.
can grow new plantlets from old flowered stems called Keiki. You can
force this by applying keiki paste that contains growth hormones onto an
eye on the stem. When the plantlet is big enough it can be removed with
some stem and repotted.
Mature Vanda orchids produce tall upward growing rhizome. The plant will start to grow lots of aerial roots at the bottom.
You can now remove the top part of the stem together with some aerial roots. Repot this part and keep it shaded and moist.
Regularly mist the plant. The bottom part should start growing new shoots after this procedure.
All Photos courtesy of wiccked
If you are interested in more detailed orchid care check out these great books
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