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Propagating orchids yourself: you should know that!

Find out how orchids reproduce in nature and how you can reproduce your own orchids.

If you have mastered orchid care and want to add another orchid to your garden, you have two options. Either you go to your local nursery and buy another orchid, or you propagate the orchid you already have.

If you want to propagate your orchids yourself, then read on and find out how you can do it…

Propagating orchids yourself you should know that - Propagating orchids yourself: you should know that!

Propagating some houseplants is quite simple. With a spider plant or a Christmas cactus, you can propagate your plant in minutes. All it takes is a small pruning to remove a seedling from the mother plant and a glass of water to encourage the new cutting to grow its own roots.

Propagation of an epiphytic plant such as B. an orchid, but is a bit more complex. And when you have successfully propagated your orchid, you can consider yourself a true orchid grower professional.

Orchids are fabulous houseplants

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Propagating orchids yourself – how does it actually work?

Why should you propagate your orchids yourself? Here are a few reasons why. It’s cost-effective because you don’t have to buy a new plant. It’s challenging so you can expand your gardening skills. And it’s fun because it’s a job you can do with your family or friends. When you’re done, you’ll be incredibly proud of your new little plant. It will naturally beautify your home or make a lovely gift.

Below you will learn how orchids grow, how they reproduce in nature and how you can propagate your plant at home to build your own collection.

Orchids are great passion for many hobby gardeners

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How do orchids grow in the wild?

There are two types of orchids that differ in their growth. Some orchid species are monopodial, while others are sympodial. Let’s look at the difference, because it will come in handy when propagating your own orchid at home.

Monopodial Orchids

The term “monopodial” means one-footed. Monopodial orchids have a main stem, leaves, and flowers that grow from a single root ball. Monopodial orchids contain no water reservoirs (so-called pseudobulbs) and typically bend into the classic orchid arch during flowering, as the weight of the double flowers causes the stem to droop.

Phalaenopsis, Vanda, and Angraecum are popular examples of monopodial orchids.

Sympodial Orchids

Sympodial orchids do not grow on a vertical stalk, but rather on a rhizome, a more or less horizontal stalk. The orchid develops both roots and pseudobulbs from the rhizome. Sympodial orchids can draw water from their pseudobulbs during drought, so they don’t need to be watered as frequently as monopodial orchids.

Cattleya, Oncidium, Dendrobium, and Cymbidium are popular examples of sympodial orchids.

Orchids also grow freely in nature

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How do orchids reproduce in nature?

In their natural habitats, both monopodial and sympodial orchids reproduce like other plants: they are pollinated by insects and disperse their seeds naturally.

pollination

Undoubtedly, orchid flowers are artistic and mesmerizing, but the flowers of an orchid are not just decorative. Rather, they serve a very specific purpose.

In nature, orchids have a unique relationship with bees, moths, and other insects. Usually, orchids develop their intricate flowers in the shape of the insect they want to attract. If an insect mistakes the orchid for a mate, it visits the flower, ingests the orchid’s pollen, and flies away when it realizes it was mistaken. A single insect can visit hundreds of plants a day, inadvertently pollinating orchids while flying from flower to flower.

The flowers are so delicate and beautiful!

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dispersal of the seeds

Like other plants, orchids scatter their seeds so they can multiply without crowding one place. Orchid seeds are very small and light, making them ideal for being carried by the wind or clinging to animals that carry them to other areas. When the small seeds find a favorable breeding ground, they sprout roots.

Seed dispersal is vital to the survival of the species as too many plants in one location would easily cause nutrient deficiencies in the ecosystem and in the orchids themselves.

Enjoy the beauty of the orchids. The more the better!

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How can you propagate your orchids yourself?

Knowing how orchids are propagated in the wild will give you a good basis for propagating your orchids at home, although the process is a little different.

Since you probably don’t want to spend time hand-pollinating your orchids, nor do you likely want to wait for your orchid to scatter its own seeds, you can propagate your orchid in three different ways: by division along the rhizome, by cutting of a stem and by repotting a small seedling that has germinated at the base of your orchid.

These propagation techniques are explained in more detail below.

Propagating orchids yourself is demanding gardening work

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division of roots

If you want to propagate a sympodial orchid, the easiest way is to divide the plant along its rhizome. For best results, cut the rhizome while the plant is still in the pot so you don’t disturb the roots. When the new growth is complete, the plants can be divided into two different pots.

3 methods for orchid propagation at home

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head cuttings

Both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous orchids can be propagated from top cuttings. The stems and flower stalks can be cut off with sterile, sharp scissors and placed in a pot of peat moss or orchid potting compost to allow them to become woody and new plantlets to grow. Once you’ve cut off the stem and placed the cutting in moss, wrap the pot in a clear plastic bag and place in a warm spot with bright light. After three to four months, the cutting may show new growth, especially at the nodes along the stem.

Information and good preparation are of great importance

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If you’re struggling to keep your cuttings upright in their container, you might want to give a using knot holder a try! This handy propagation tool is an easy way to keep root cuttings healthy and in place while they take root, giving the roots more room to grow without having to support the weight of the plant. Plus, this support will help the cuttings root faster!

And so… Here we go!

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Kindel (offshoot)

Phalaenopsis and other monopodial orchids tend to form small plantlets called kindles. The plantlets often appear at the base of the mother plant. When the new seedling has an inch of root and two or three leaves, it can be separated from the mother plant and repotted. When repotting the Kindel, keep the roots close to the surface so they get enough air to encourage vigorous growth.

Watch this video to see how it works…

Essential tools for propagating your orchid

Whether you’re propagating your orchid by division, head cuttings, or kindling, you’ll need some tried and true orchid growing tools.

You will achieve the best results if you have the following tools and accessories ready before propagation:

  • A new orchid pot;
  • A well-drained orchid soil;
  • A pair of sharp scissors to make clean cuts;
  • A plant fungicide to apply to the cuttings to prevent disease;
  • A root supplement to encourage new, healthy roots;
  • Premium orchid food to feed your new plant after transplanting.

Essential tools for the propagation of your orchid

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Finally

We are here to support you in the care of your old and new orchids. We will be very happy if we have helped you with the propagation of your orchid plants and wish you every success in doing so.

Multiply orchids yourself – you can do that too!

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