Lifestyle

Propagate your orchids

Sunday, December 30, 2012    

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This week, we're sharing a few methods to propagate your orchids at home — from plantlets to stem cuttings, and by division — courtesy of the Royal Horticultural Society. Happy New Year!

From plantlets: These appear from the growing points of stems of some Dendrobium, Epidendrum and Phalaenopsis species. Detach the plantlets when they have developed several good roots and pot them up in orchid compost. Water them sparingly at first, then mist daily.

From stem cuttings: These can be taken from many Dendrobium orchids. Cut off a stem up to 30cm (1ft) long and cut it up into 7-10cm (3-4in) sections, with at least one dormant bud on each section. Place the cuttings in a tray of damp sphagnum moss, and keep them humid and shaded. Detach and pot up the plantlets that form from the buds.

By division: This method can be used to propagate orchids such as Cattleya, Cymbidium and Odontoglossum, just after flowering. Only divide plants that are overcrowded in the pot. Cut through the rhizomes that join the pseudobulbs, making sure that each division has at least three healthy pseudobulbs. Trim off any dead roots and remove any brown and shrivelled pseudobulbs before repotting the divisions individually.

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