Best Guide On How To Divide Orchids

If you’re unsure how to divide orchids the right way, you can simplify it into four steps. With over 22,000 species available, it’s not surprising that gardeners want to learn how to divide or propagate orchids in general. Nonetheless, the division is the best propagation method you can do if you’re going to clone orchids and create more copies of your beloved flowers. 

While orchids may not be the most beginner-friendly plant to grow, meeting their growing requirements and optimal conditions should guarantee success. Those who don’t trust their climate and outdoor conditions can consider growing orchids in the greenhouse to prevent potential problems. If you’re growing orchid divisions, using a controllable and stable environment like the greenhouse will indeed support their growth and survival. 

Best Guide On How To Divide Orchids

How To Divide Orchids For Beginners

 

Step #1. Preparation

Like how you’ll divide most plants, you want to prepare your parent orchid plant before starting anything. You’ll have an easier time freeing it from the pot if you water it first and let the water drain to create a moist medium. Be careful not to damage any roots, so keep a clean knife within reach for removing stuck roots on the pot. 

You also want to clean the plant from its previous potting medium. The residual medium often causes root rot with division because it creates damp pockets on the new mix. The old potting medium is even prone to deteriorating, so make sure to remove it as much as possible. 

Once your roots are free of the old medium, check for damaged or dead roots, and remove them with sterilized pruners. What do healthy orchid roots look like? You’re looking for greenish-white or chestnut brown color, and they should feel firm to touch compared to mushy and black dead roots or papery dehydrated roots. 

 

Step #2. Division

Up next is the orchid division and you should have a head start since there are noticeable markers for splitting it. What this means is that you’ll notice points that show the orchid growing in separate directions. These areas are good indicators to know where to divide the root ball. 

You can divide them by hand or sterilized knife as long as you aim to have three pseudobulbs per division. Having three pseudobulbs in each division is optimal to ensure that the orchid will flower again next year, and the waiting time is not as long as having less. 

You may also need to remove dried or dead pseudobulbs if you’re using an old orchid. However, it’s okay to leave and try to grow some back bulbs can grow. They can take some years to do so, so some gardeners use the ones with active growth instead. 

 

Step #3. Repotting

Once you have your divisions, you can repot them in clean and sterilized containers. What size container should you use for orchid divisions? In general, you can choose any pot as long as it is big enough to accommodate and anticipate the orchid’s growing root system. 

However, you don’t need to immediately get a large pot because it may not dry quickly. You can always repot and increase a size up as you go. The bottom line here is the best pot should fit the roots or at least two years of growth from dividing. 

Additionally, the container should provide good drainage and airflow to save you the risks of diseases. What medium should you use with your orchid divisions? Any potting mix should support their growth, but gardeners tend to get more success with perlite, sphagnum moss, and charcoal.

Once you have everything for planting ready, you can grow sympodial orchids in a way where their new growth faces the center, and the oldest pseudobulb is against the edge of the container. This orientation should provide enough space as your orchid grows. More so, it would be best to have the rhizome just below or at the same level as the top of the potting mix, and you may have to add stakes for support as the orchid establishes itself. 

 

Step #4. Maintenance

After planting the divisions, you can water them immediately but wait for several weeks before you start fertilizing. As your plants are growing, you want to check the medium and maintain its moisture regularly. Of course, you should also be always on the lookout for signs of pests and diseases to isolate infected plants and quickly treat them. 

Gardeners often start fertilizing with slow-release fertilizer after the month. Afterward, you can use liquid fertilizer monthly to help the orchids bloom in winter. You can use the greenhouse to adjust the conditions as the orchids grow, but make sure you’re providing the specific needs of your orchid species as well. 

 

Conclusion

Orchid propagation may seem intimidating, but learning them would help you have a thriving garden in the long run. If you know how to divide orchids, you can easily create copies of your favorite plants without buying them. To do so, carefully remove the plant from its pot. 

You’ll then remove all the previous medium and dead roots before putting the divisions in their new pots. The new pot should be big enough to accommodate up to two years of growth, and the medium inside could be any moist potting mix. Afterward, maintain moisture and wait for a month before you fertilize the orchids. 

 

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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.

 

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