How to propagate an orchid using “kids”?

Reproduction of orchids by “children” (small plants that arise on the mother copy) is considered by many lovers of home flowers to be a difficult procedure for some reason. In fact, it is quite easy to do, which we will now talk about.

A little theory

Before starting the description, it is useful to arm yourself with a minimum of theoretical knowledge. To begin with, let’s say that serious florists call a “baby” orchid a cake. A cake is a tiny but already formed plant that has leaves, a stem, and roots. Cakes can appear in different parts of the mother plant: on the flower stalks, in the axils of the leaves, on the trunk (from dormant buds), and also directly on the roots.

The place of their occurrence directly depends on the type of orchid, or rather, on the way it grows. According to the type of growth, all orchids are divided into two groups.

  • Monopodial growing. These flowers have only one growth point, or apical bud. It is located at the end of the stem, and the development of such an orchid is carried out exclusively through this bud. New leaves appear here, the stem lengthens. Classic representatives of this group are phalaenopsis, the most popular home orchids.
  • Growing sympodially. They have many growth points, and their shoots are called pseudobulbs. These plants reproduce horizontally, and new sprout appear, as a rule, from the substrate, next to the mother specimen. A typical example is the popular dendrobium or cymbidium orchids.

So, we already know that the place of appearance of “children”, and therefore the methods of their planting, depend on the type of orchid. Let’s consider the questions that interest us on the example of phalaenopsis and dendrobiums.

The appearance of “kids” on the roots

In this case, at first glance, it seems as if the cake grows independently, from the substrate. By gently raking the top of the bark, you will discover that the little orchid has actually sprung from the mother root, just as it does from the flower stalk. Therefore, cut it off together with a piece of the root, similarly to how it was done in the first option.

Stages of planting an orchid sprout

  1. Immediately after separation, hold the roots of the baby for 20 minutes in a solution of a root formation stimulator. It is useful to tint the solution a little with potassium permanganate in order to disinfect the roots at the same time.
  2. After that, let the root dry, so that it is not wet. Places of cuts should be treated with crushed charcoal.
  3. While the cake is drying, prepare a planting substrate for orchids, as well as a transparent container with large drainage holes. You can use purchased pots, or you can even take a cut plastic bottle. The main thing is that its volume is not too large and corresponds to the size of the roots of the sprout.
  4. Plant carefully, protecting the thin young roots as much as possible. The root collar should eventually be at the level of the top of your container. It is not necessary to water immediately, do it after three days.
  5. Cover the baby with a plastic bag and leave it in a warm, bright place, but not in direct sunlight.
  6. Remove the package completely only when the orchid begins to grow leaves, and the roots also begin to increase in size.
  7. If the container was initially quite small, the phalaenopsis will probably have to be repotted after about six months.

This is just one method that I have tried myself. There are many more such ways.

Autor:Mary Stander