How do I Divide Orchid Plants?
Look closely at an orchid plant. When the plant is ready to reproduce, it grows a tiny offshoot plant within its roots. Once the tiny plant is large enough to survive on its own, you can separate the two plants and replant the offshoot plant in its own container. Dividing orchids is a process of separating the roots between the two plants. As an orchid grows, it will have fewer of its parent plant roots and more of its own. This is why dividing mature orchids is simpler.
- Moderately Easy
things you’ll need:
- Clean cloth
- Garden shears
- 2 orchid containers
- Plastic foam packing peanuts
- Sterile orchid growing medium
- Inspect the orchids to ensure that they are ready to be divided. If the offshoot plant is not mature enough to be separated from the parent plant, it will become a weak plant that survives poorly on its own.
- Place the orchid container in water and allow it to soak for an hour before attempting to remove the orchid. This will keep the orchid from clinging to the container and will allow you to remove it without damaging it.
- Gently squeeze the root ball of the orchid to work it free of the potting material. Be careful to damage the root ball as little as possible.
- Examine the root ball for natural separations where the two orchids have grown apart. These are the areas where you will attempt to pull or cut the orchids apart.
- Create a solution of 10 percent bleach by mixing one part bleach and nine parts water. Soak a clean cloth with the solution, and rub your garden shears with this solution before using them on an orchid.
- Pull or cut the orchid into divisions along the natural separation points. Make sure that each division has three or four healthy roots.
- Place plastic foam packing peanuts into the bottom of your orchid container. Your container should be large enough to give each orchid two years of growth. Add potting medium over the packing peanuts. Place the orchid into the container. Add growth medium until the roots are 2 inches below the surface of the container.
- Press the potting medium until it is firm around the roots of the orchid. The orchid should not wobble in its container. Orchids that are planted firmly will develop a strong root system. Water the new orchid so that the potting medium is damp.