You can learn how to breed orchids by division, back bulbs, and offshoots. Knowing how to produce flowers such as orchids is one of the best skills a gardener can have. After all, this is a sure way to have genetically similar plants and have a garden that is the neighborhood’s envy or a standout among the competition.
Much like rooting or starting plants, you can take advantage of the benefits of a greenhouse when breeding orchids. You want to use healthy orchids for breeding and ensure the survival of the new plants, which is easier to achieve in their ideal environment. Orchids are quite picky in their location, so something that’s easy to modify like a greenhouse works to your advantage.
How To Breed Orchids To Guarantee Success
For mature orchids that have overgrown their container, you can divide them for breeding. You can divide the new growth or lead into groups of three or more pseudobulbs, while the other group without the new development will be your back bulbs. This article will discuss the latter in more detail later on, but their main difference is the division is a group of pseudobulbs with an active lead, and you don’t need to force the eyes to break dormancy.
To divide an orchid, you can cut through the rhizomes, and it can produce one division and two back bulbs. The ideal time to do this is after flowering before repotting the orchid. Create a notch that cuts through the rhizome in a V-shape to reach more than half of it.
Back bulbs are more common to use for the propagation of orchids. After all, they can have an active growth starting already. Therefore, you can immediately repot them, similar to divisions.
However, it’s important to emphasize that this is only possible if the back bulbs have an active eye around three inches for repotting. Use this part for breeding but ensure that it is above the growing media. Place the container in an undisturbed greenhouse area and maintain moisture on the leaves and bulbs.
You can also use pots with moss in a humid, warm, and moist location to encourage development. The dormant eyes should break after some weeks, but some can take as long as two years before becoming active. A promising sign to know if the bulbs are worth waiting for is if both bulbs and leaves are green.
If any of the bulbs develop rot, remove them.
Another way to breed orchids is by their offshoots, and it’s perhaps the easiest way to propagate them. Offshoots or keikis are the baby orchids of the mother plant, and you can breed types like Dendrobiums this way. You’ll find the offshoots along the stem and use them for immediate breeding of orchids.
Let the offshoots mature for a while before cutting them off from the parent plant. The greenhouse is useful for ensuring that the parent plant is healthy by providing the optimal orchid environment. Afterward, treat the keiki similar to how you’ll root a back bulb.
Requirements For Breeding Orchids
Once you understand the three propagation methods, the next step is learning about the other orchid requirements to guarantee breeding success. As mentioned earlier, the environment produced by a greenhouse is optimal for the orchids and convenient for the gardener to maintain. What’s left is ensuring that the pot you’re using supports the orchids’ temperamental root system.
Pot and media
It should help with air circulation and the absorption of excess water to keep pathogens at bay. Afterward, prepare and use a particular medium for the pseudobulbs. Your local supply shop should have a mix meant for orchids, or you can use a growing media using perlite, moss, and bark.
Temperature and humidity
As for the temperature and humidity, growing orchids indoors would be easier for maintenance. There are many varieties of orchids that differ in their growing zone, but generally, the temperature at night should be 15 degrees cooler than the day, and the humidity at 50 to 70%. This condition should help your orchids bloom later on.
Feeding and watering
Lastly, you can check the right time to water by inserting a finger in the media. Like with other plants, a dry finger signals that the orchids need watering. And as for the feeding, you can fertilize once or twice a week as the orchids are just starting indoors.
There are many advantages of using a parent plant to produce a genetically similar orchid. Therefore, learning how to breed orchids using division, back bulbs, and offshoots is a skill you shouldn’t miss out on. You can also ensure healthy parents and young plants by growing them in a greenhouse.
Breeding your own orchids can be as easy as using keikis or offshoots growing in the parent stem. However, you can also use divisions and back bulbs. The latter requires the eyes to break dormancy first compared to divisions that are ready for planting due to their active lead.
Orchids may be intimidating to grow and breed, but understanding the methods and requirements will help you succeed. Who knows? Maybe the next time you’re here, you’ll be learning about cross-breeding orchids instead.