Propagate orchids through offshoots


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Sympodial orchids can be propagated particularly well by offshoots. For they form pseudobulbs, a kind of thickened shoot axis balls, which grow in width by a rhizome. By dividing the rhizome from time to time, you can easily multiply these types of orchids. Well-known sympodial orchids are, for example, dendrobium or cymbidium. By replicating your orchids with offshoots, this keeps your plants young and flowering, as they have more space in a new jar and can continue to grow - and as they grow, they renew and rejuvenate.

The right time for propagation

Every two to three years orchids need a new pot. The best times to repot orchids are in spring or fall. This also applies to the reproduction: In the spring, the plant starts its growth cycle again and is therefore able to form new roots relatively quickly. In the autumn, the orchid has stopped flowering, so that it can use its energy exclusively for the formation of roots and does not suffer from a double burden due to the flowers.

Repot and replicate the orchid

The best time for propagation is during potting

You can tell if your orchids are ready for potting or replanting, if the pot becomes too small, say, the new shoots on the edge of the pot or even outgrow it. Also check how many pseudobulbs have already formed. If there are at least eight, you can share the orchid in the same train. As a rule of thumb, each offshoot should always have at least three bulbs.

Divide and multiply orchids

Loosen the interwoven roots by carefully pulling apart the leaf tufts. Try to demolish or break off as few roots as possible. Nevertheless, if some roots are damaged, simply cut off the cracks with scissors. Also, remove the dead, sapless roots that are not as firm and whitish as the healthy ones. Both the tool you are using and the planters in which you place the flakes should be sterile.

Shorten the root of the orchid

When repotting or sharing the roots are shortened

Place the offshoot in the substrate

After the division, place the offshoots in sufficiently large containers. The root system should fill the room as completely as possible, but should not be squeezed. Then let the loose substrate trickle in portions between the roots and beat with the pot in your hand again and again lightly on a firm surface, so that no too large cavities. Alternatively, you can carefully replenish the substrate with a pencil.
Once you have planted the offshoots, soak the orchid and substrate well. Ideal for this is a spray bottle. Once the roots have settled in the new vessel, we recommend a dip once a week. When doing so, make sure that the water drips well and does not collect in the vessel, possibly causing the roots to rot.

Dip the root ball of the orchid

Orchid leaves that have already rooted well can be dipped once a week

The matching planter

As a planter you best use a special orchid pot. It is a slender, tall vessel with a built-in step on which the plant pot rests. The large cavity under the plant pot protects the orchid from waterlogging.

Other types of propagation

Orchid species such as Epidendrum or Phalaenopsis form new plants, so-called "Kindel", from the shoots on the pseudobulbs or on the peduncle. These offshoots, after they have formed roots, you can easily separate and further cultivate.
If orchids are regularly propagated and divided by offshoots, fallbacks occur. Even if some of them no longer have leaves, they can still form new shoots out of their reserve eyes. However, these often only develop their full bloom after a few years.

Multiply monopodial orchids

Monopodial orchids, such as the genus Angraecum or Vanda, can also be propagated by division - the chances of success, however, are not so great. We recommend performing this procedure only if your orchids have grown too large or have lost their lower leaves. Monopodial orchids either form side shoots that rooted themselves, or they help a little bit. To do this, wrap the plant with a cuff of damp peat moss (sphagnum), which helps the main shoot to form new lateral roots. These rooted shoot tips can then be removed and replanted.

Video Board: Orchid propagation - Separating Phalaenopsis basal keiki from mother Orchid.

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