3 Best Ways On How To Propagate Orchids

Knowing how to propagate orchids means you’re aware of how to use either back bulbs, offshoots, and divisions. The orchids themselves can also reproduce sexually by seeds, but most gardeners opt to do the propagation themselves with the methods mentioned. After all, vegetative propagation is an easier way to create more orchids for the garden. 

The beauty with learning how to propagate orchids is that it also gives you an idea of how to crossbreed them later on. With the 25,000 orchid species available, who wouldn’t want to learn orchid propagation and breeding? You can also use your greenhouse for propagating these flowers to ensure that the vulnerable young plants will grow vigorous for transplanting. 

3 Best Ways On How To Propagate Orchids

Guide On How To Propagate Orchids

 

Division

The first method of propagating orchids is by division. According to the American Orchid Society, this practice is viable for mature plants that have flowered for several years. As a gardener, you have the option of either repotting the mature orchid or dividing it. 

This puts those who have existing orchids at an advantage because you can create more orchids from an existing mature plant. You already know what to expect with it visually, and if you grow it in an ideal environment like a greenhouse, you can be confident that it’s healthy for the division. So how does one divide an orchid?

 

Division pseudobulbs vs back bulbs

To start, check if the plant has new growth and divide it into pseudobulbs. One lead typically produces three to four pseudobulbs. Once you finish dividing, identify the group of pseudobulbs with the lead and the group without it. 

The pseudobulbs with new growth or active lead are what the gardeners call division, while the remaining groups without it are the back bulbs, which this article will discuss later on. Once you have the division group, you can cut the rhizome after flowering before repotting. 

 

Rhizome propagation

Propagating orchids from division are also sometimes synonymous with rhizome propagation. You’ll cut a V-shaped notch through the rhizome, reaching more than its half. Compared to back bulbs, you don’t have to wait for dormant eyes to break before planting since division has active growth. 

Make sure to remove all the old pseudobulbs and dead roots or leaves before repotting. Afterward, you can spray the plant and start watering as you notice root growth. 

 

Back bulbs

As mentioned earlier, the other group of pseudobulbs without the active lead will be your back bulbs. These bulbs have dormant eyes that you have to force into activity, which means you can’t immediately plant them like the division group. To do this, you need to pot the back bulbs in a small pot where the eyes are above the potting media. 

Place them in an area in the greenhouse that does not support growth and spray them and their leaves frequently as maintenance. Depending on the circumstances, the eyes should break after some weeks, but others may take years. You can check if the leaf and bulbs are still green to know if they are worth waiting for. 

Several other methods force dormant eyes into development; use pots with sphagnum moss and live moss before placing them in a humid location or a wooden tray with moss in a warm and moist area. Afterward, you can remove those with wet rot and pot the bulbs that get underway. 

 

Offshoots

The final method of propagating orchids is the use of offshoots or keikis. This method is ideal for Dendrobiums or monopodial orchids because they develop them along their stem. The offshoots that look like individual plants along the stem are what you’ll grow, making this method relatively easy compared to the previous two.

Carefully cut them from the parent plant and pot the same way you would with the back bulbs. However, make sure that the keikis have developed leaves and roots before removing them from the parent plant. Ideally, the leaves and roots should be around three inches long for planting.  

It would help if you also waited until the plant finishes flowering before you propagate from keikis. Plant the offshoots in sphagnum moss and ensure moisture for establishment before transferring them in a bark mix. After some weeks, you can expect growth from the offshoots. 

 

Conclusion

The many orchid species available makes it possible to create a unique-looking garden. And what better way to develop many plants than learning how to propagate orchids? You can start by dividing to create a division group and back bulbs, but some orchids also grow offshoots ready for planting. 

The division group of pseudobulbs already have an active lead, so they are ready for planting. On the other hand, the back bulbs have dormant eyes that you have to wait to activate before planting. Either process would be more comfortable in the greenhouse because you can create an environment that can help them break out of dormancy. 

For offshoots or keikis, the method is straightforward to do. However, you must ensure that the parent plant is healthy, and the roots and leaves of the offshoots are at least three inches long. Overall, one can conclude that orchid propagation is safer and more convenient in the greenhouse because of your control of the environment. 

 

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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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