Dear Docs - October 14
How do you make another plant from a very big orchid?
If you are speaking of sun vandas, make a slant cut (no settling of water on top) on the main body of the orchid, allowing a minimum of three roots on the new plant. Pot as you would normally with a mixture of stones, and coal, if you wish. Put the new plant under 50 per cent shade (not too much shade).
If you are speaking of dendrobiums, they usually put out babies with roots much easier. Separate from the parent when the babies' roots become hard enough to be independent. Pot in stones, not too deep. It is wiser to pack around the dendrobium rather than on top of the heart, as this will cause rot. Put in about 50-60 per cent shade.
Oncidiums are easier. Just take away a bulb or two, and remember not to bury too deep.
Phalaenopsis usually have their babies on the spent stem. Cut off with a piece of the stem and plant in medium of your choice, using the spent stem to anchor which leaves the roots barely on top of the medium.
Do you think hanging vanda grows better in the little plastic box? It looks too small to me. However, I've often seen them in these boxes.
I prefer the boxes made out of wood because they seem to grow much faster in these. It might not be feasible to grow them for commercial purposes in the wooden boxes, because of the cost. However, if you are a hobbyist, you might want to try them. To me, they look more attractive.
Betty Ashley is an avid orchid enthusiast who has spent decades successfully cultivating orchids for herself, as well as for orchid lovers across the island, earning herself the title 'Orchid Doc'. Send your orchid questions and/or concerns to: firstname.lastname@example.org.