Lisa Jenkins shares her tips to propagate orchids at home - growing orchids, splitting orchids, time to repot and lots more useful information for successfully growing and propagating your beautiful orchids.
So, you’ve been growing orchids for a little while and they look so beautiful you’ve decided that you want to have even more of them. You’re a bit of a green thumb but you’ve heard that propagating orchids is fraught with difficulty. It’s not true at all. The truth is that what you really need is a little confidence and the right information about orchid propagation.
Of course, the method you need to employ to propagate your plants will depend on the root system of the orchids you are growing. The two methods most often used by home gardeners are division and back bulb propagation.
The best time to perform your propagation is generally after your plants have finished flowering and have started to develop new root growth. When you decide the time has arrived, wait until your pots have almost dried out before you undertake the procedure as this will make it a little easier to remove plants from their pots.
Use these tips to work through the propagation process step by step:
1. Gather together the garden tools you intend to use and sterilize them. You’ll need to repeat the sterilization process after you handle each plant as bacteria can easily be passed from one orchid to the next via your tools.
2. Collect any other items you need. This might include new pots, bulky material for the bottom of your pots, orchid mix, sulfur or an alternative anti-bacterial product that you’ll need to dab onto any cut rhizomes before replanting.
3. Position your bulky drainage material into the bottom of your new pots and have your orchid mix close by.
4. Remove your orchids from the pots by pressing or rolling the outside of the pot gently. The contents should loosen easily, allowing you to slide the plant out.
5. Using your hand, gently loosen any excess material from around the roots and inspect the plant’s roots or bulbs for any signs of disease. Rotten roots or diseased sections of rhizomes should be removed. Don’t forget to dab cut rhizomes with your anti-bacterial product.
6. Divide your plants. If you’re dividing a clumping plant simply look for what seems to be the obvious place to divide it and gently separate the sections. “Obvious” is simply where the roots appear to be less intertwined and easier to separate.
7. If you’re propagating back bulbs, make sure your plant has enough of them to allow you to propagate successfully. Ideally, new plants should have three bulbs and a little new root growth. Separate the sections.
8. Lower you new plants into the pots and tip your orchid mix into around them. Don’t compact the mix or you’ll inhibit air flow.
9. Water your plants thoroughly.
Wasn’t that easy? Next, give them the love and attention they need for the next year and await your floral reward!
About the Author
For more interesting tips on propagating orchid, visit my website at expert advice on growing, watering, pruning, repotting, propagating and general care of orchids.
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