How to propagate an orchid at home? First of all, it all depends on what kind of plant you are going to propagate, at what time of year, and whether the orchid itself is ready for it. The method of obtaining sprouts is also important.
We should immediately note that the method of reproduction must be chosen depending on the type of plant and its structure. However, there is also a universal option that is suitable for any orchid. But more on that later.
Orchid growth types
Orchids can be monopodial and sympodial.
A monopodial orchid has only one apical point of growth and one vertically growing stem. Such an orchid grows only upwards, not in width, which significantly reduces the methods of its reproduction. Such orchids, for example, include phalaenopsis, angrecum, aerangis, vanda, gastrochilus.
The sympodial orchid grows not only in height, but also in width due to the fact that new growth points are constantly formed on its roots – shoots or so-called pseudobulbs. They are all united by a root, which can be divided if necessary. In particular, this is possible for such orchids as Cymbidium, Cattleya, Oncidium, Cambria.
Reproduction of orchids at home
As we have already mentioned, depending on the type of structure of the orchid, a certain method of reproduction may be suitable for it (sometimes several methods). At home, orchids can be propagated vegetatively. Let’s consider them in more detail.
Propagation of an orchid by a flower stalk
This method has other, synonymous names — propagation by stem offspring, propagation by lateral shoots.
This is the most common method of all the existing ones, as it is suitable for many orchids – dendrobium, calantha, katazetum, tunia, as well as violet phalaenopsis and Luddemann’s phalaenopsis. In the last two, stem sprouts appear on the peduncle, and when they form 2-3 leaves and their own roots, they can be separated and grown as independent plants. The side shoots of sympodial orchids are separated according to the same principle, but in this case the plant must still have time to form its own tuber – only then should it be separated.
Separation of the stem offspring together with the mother tuber in sympodial orchids can in some cases harm both plants.
Caring for young orchids after their separation from the mother plants is no different from caring for adult plants. During the growing season, they should be given more careful attention than during biological rest.
With proper care, the new plant will bloom in 2-3 years. In order to accelerate the emergence of lateral shoots in the above-mentioned phalaenopsis, it is necessary to keep these orchids for some time at a temperature close to 30 ° C, as well as to provide them with constant air humidity. If this did not help, you can treat dormant buds with growth stimulants, the availability of which must be checked in specialized stores.
Propagation of orchids by cuttings
This method is mostly suitable for sympodial orchids. Stems about 10 cm high, which contain 2-4 buds, are chosen for grafting. Orchids can also be grafted with parts of tubers: in this case, 2-3-year-old tubers are separated from the plant and cut into several parts so that each of them has at least one node with a well-developed bud.
Cuts of cuttings are treated with crushed charcoal and dried for 2-3 days, and then placed in moist sphagnum moss and covered with a plastic bag. Such a homemade greenhouse is ventilated every day, and the temperature in the room should not be less than 20 ° C. If all conditions are met, new plants will appear from dormant buds in 1-2 months.
Some florists claim that monopodial orchids can also be propagated by cuttings, using a corolla for this purpose. The cut site is treated with crushed wood or activated charcoal. Then the peduncle is divided into several parts so that two nodes remain on each of them. Each of the cuttings can be placed in moss by analogy with the cuttings of sympodial orchids, or you can put them in a dish with water, adding a little complex mineral fertilizers and a tablet of activated carbon to it. Water should be topped up if it evaporates.
In order to prevent the tip of the peduncle placed in water from rotting, it should be periodically shortened a little. If the flower bed is physically capable of producing side shoots, then with such care, they will appear in 2-3 months. After the formation of the last 3 to 5 own roots, new plants are separated from the peduncle and planted in a separate container.