How To Breed Orchids. The 3 Best Ways

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. The 3 Best Ways

How To Breed Orchids To Guarantee Success

 

Division

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

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.

 

Offshoots

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. 

 

Conclusion

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. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter!