How to Propagate Orchids? Techniques and Methods

How to Propagate Orchids? Techniques and Methods
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Due to being the most elegant flowers, Orchids are hard to ignore. Whether you are a beginner-level gardener or a gardening expert, you can produce many orchid flowers by learning our orchid propagation guide.

However, many things could be improved in keeping your orchids alive, as they are known to be fussy plants that require more care and maintenance than normal flowers. Nevertheless, you can easily multiply thriving plants at home with different orchid propagation methods. These methods include stem cuttings, division, offshoots, etc.

Let’s quickly look at how to propagate orchids using different methods and techniques.

Things to know about Orchid Propagation:

  • If you are thinking of propagating orchids using aerial roots, drop this plan, as it is impossible. This is because the roots do not have suitable cells to grow a new plant.
  • What confuses most novice gardeners is that Phalaenopsis orchid propagation methods involve propagation through flower stem cuttings. However, it is not impossible to produce new plants with flowering stems unless keiki are present.

Orchid Propagation: Different Methods and Techniques

Orchid Propagation through division

Propagation by division involves the separation of rhizomes. You’ll need to use a multi-stemmed orchid, such as a Cattleya or Dendrobium. You will have to wait for the plant to fully mature and flower for this orchid propagation method. Several methods can be used to divide orchids, including dormant pseudobulbs or active ones.

Stems and leaves are available in active pseudobulbs, while they can be divided as long as they have enough roots to sustain growth. Start by getting a healthy mature plant with a variety of pseudobulbs or canes. Carefully cut and separate between the rhizomes. Later, reapply them separately. However, dormant pseudobulbs will go dormant in the pot and have no leaves. Being self-sown and divided, they will produce a fresh orchid.

Propagating orchids from aerial roots

Growing orchids from this method require your previous plant to be healthy. To propagate orchids from roots, you need to take a reliable root system or root. Reproducing using aerial roots can be possible with sympodial orchid varieties because they have a thickened stem with buds.

When it comes to propagating orchids from aerial roots, the best variety of orchids is cattleya, cymbidium, and paphiopedilum. Start with picking the right portion of the rhizome. Then cut the roots using sharp secateurs. Don’t trim its base, and leave the hemp around 0.5 cm. After pruning, processing orchid roots are essential; else, they may start to rot during watering.

Orchid Propagation through offshoots/keikis

Reproducing through offshoots is considered the easiest approach in our how to propagate orchids guide. Keikis, also called offshoots, which means child in Hawaiian. If you notice your orchid growing roots above the soil, that’s called offshoots. These roots are going to become the new orchid plant. This method is called the propagate orchids from roots or growing orchids through offshoots. 

This method starts with cutting offshoots once the mother plant has ended blooming. Before you begin cutting, water your plant well. Later, cut the Keikis underneath the roots and stem of the plant once they have 1-inch roots or have reached a decent size. Meanwhile, avoid keeping your plant in direct sun rays until grown, and keep your plant moist all the time. With this orchid propagation method, you will be able to multiply your happy, healthy orchid flowers.

Orchid Propagation through stem cutting

As stated above, Phalaenopsis orchid propagation methods don’t include propagation via stem cutting. But that doesn’t mean propagation through stem cuttings isn’t ideal. Let’s read this section to know the reproduction of orchid varieties through stem cutting:

  • Sympodial orchid propagation

A single stem is not sufficient for sympodial orchids to reproduce, although many produce bulbs or canes. While some of these stems cannot be used for propagation through cuttings.

  • Monopodial orchid propagation

For propagating the monopodial and Phalaenopsis varieties of orchid, you will need a mature orchid with lots of leaves stacked on top of each other. Use a clean scissor or knife to cut your orchid in half. Place the lower portion with the roots in the new container and allow it to grow with proper care and maintenance.

  • Vining orchid propagation

Vining orchid is the least popular variety of orchids. This variety looks and feels beautiful; however, they are not the easiest to keep. To reproduce this version with the stem cut method, cut the vine and pot it.

Orchid propagation in water

Placing an orchid stem in water seems tricky. While the stems do need moisture to produce new orchid seeds, they don’t require continual sitting in water. Alternatively, you would wrap the stems in sphagnum moss and then wet the moss. If you do orchid propagation in water, be sure to replace the water couple of weeks. At the time of water change, add some orchid fertilizer.

Orchid propagation from back bulbs

The next method of orchid propagation is by the back bulb, but it takes a long time for new growth to come in. As long as the rear bulb remains green, there is a hoe for fresh leaves to be produced. To propagate orchids using the back bulbs method, choose and place practicable back bulbs. Begin by separating the back bulb from the rhizome of the mother plant. After doing this, put it in moist sphagnum. Once it is well rooted, you can repot it in the normal orchid medium.

The sympodial orchid variety has back bulbs on the outside edges of the pot. While variations like Cymbidiums have back bulbs on their canes. Their main role of them is to collect water or nutrients. Note that back bulbs are the slow-growing parts of orchid plants. 

Orchid propagation from seeds

In the how to propagate orchids guide, the most time-consuming method is reproducing from seeds; at the same time, It is a most rewarding process than other methods listed above. In this method, you must purchase seed pods from a well-known nursery or online. In addition, you should have highly sterile surroundings. This propagation method takes months for the first outcomes to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions for Orchid Propagation:

What are the different methods of orchid propagation?

Orchids can be propagated using two methods: Through offshoots, also called Kindel, and through pollination.

When is the best time to propagate orchids?

The most appropriate time to propagate orchids is when newbie, fresh roots come out at the bases of the mother plant.

What tools and materials are needed for orchid propagation?

You may require hand pruners, cutting & pruning tools, knives & blades, scissors, razor blades, and knives only for orchid propagation.

How do I prepare my orchid plant for propagation?

Start with choosing the stem to propagate. Make the finest cuts of a plant stem. Keep the stems in the new growing medium and water them. Place your plant in a sunny, indirect spot.

What are the ideal growing conditions for orchid propagation?

High humidity, especially daytime humidity around 50%-70%, is best suited for all orchids. People who live in low humidity can provide artificial humidity to their orchids.

Priyanka Gangwani

Priyanka Gangwani

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