Are you trying to figure out how to reproduce phalaenopsis orchids in your very own garden? Also known as the moth orchid, this type of orchid is one of the most popular choices among newbie gardeners because of the fact that the process of cultivating them is extremely easy compared to other varieties. They’re also known for their dramatically-shaped petals with colors that range from immaculate white to deep purple.
However, contrary to what others may think, the phalaenopsis orchid is more than just a pretty face. Aside from the fact that moth orchids grow leaves directly from the roots, these leaves closely resemble a succulent as well.
On average, phalaenopsis orchids can grow from about 6 inches to 3 feet in terms of length. Furthermore, it can also spread from approximately 8 to 12 inches in terms of width. Although these are usually grown indoors, they can also thrive outdoors in areas with plant hardiness zones of 10 through 12.
One interesting fact about phalaenopsis orchids is that they’re identified as epiphytic. This means that although they can grow on trees and branches, they don’t get their nourishment from their hosts. In other words, phalaenopsis orchids are far from being parasitic because they take their nourishment from air and water.
Furthermore, you can expect this orchid species to thrive well with the use of specific kinds of growing media that include medium-sized pieces of fir bark or sphagnum moss.
3 Ways to Reproduce Phalaenopsis Orchids
When phalaenopsis orchids are grown in the wild, they completely rely on insect pollinators to trigger the production of seeds by transferring pollen to the phalaenopsis orchids’ female reproductive organs. In other words, the bees, moths, butterflies, and flies come in contact with the moth orchids’ pollinia and transfer these waxy pollen sacs to other orchid blossoms.
However, when grown indoors or in a greenhouse, their growers try to reproduce moth orchid plantlets with the use of any of the 3 techniques that are mentioned below. However, before we talk about these techniques, you need to understand that horticulturists use the word ‘keiki’ to refer to a plantlet that another orchid plant has produced asexually. The literal meaning of this Hawaiian word is ‘baby’ or ‘the little one’.
Technique #1: Growing keikies on a moth orchid spike
For this technique, you’ll need to purchase a keiki rooting hormone from the local garden supply center in order to promote the growth of your orchid offshoots. Before you start cutting, make sure that you get your tweezers and scalpel soaked in a sterilizing solution (1-part bleach and 3 parts water) for about five minutes.
Once you’ve air-dried these materials, you may start cutting through the covering of a bud that’s growing at a node while you carefully avoid cutting into the node. Next, you need to apply a small amount of keiki rooting hormone paste into the bract. In order to do this, you need to use a pair of tweezers to pull the bract back and to close it again after the application.
As soon as you spot several 3-inch-long roots shooting out of a keiki, you need to cut it from the stem so that you can plant it in a different pot. Make sure that you set this pot on moist gravel without allowing its bottom portion to stand in water. In order to moisten the bark or the sphagnum, you’ll need to water this and mist it on a daily basis until the keiki is properly established.
Since phalaenopsis orchids prefer bright yet indirect light, make sure that your newly-planted keikies are placed in a window that’s facing east or west. Furthermore, it’s important to keep the temperatures consistent between 66˚F to 86˚F when it’s daytime and 61˚F to 66˚F when it’s nighttime. Keep on misting them daily until you see their roots establish themselves in your potting mix.
In order to keep the potting mix from drying, be sure to water it weekly in the morning and never at night. As you water your plants with tepid water, don’t let the water accumulate above the crown of the orchid. Also, make sure to avoid letting their roots stand in the water.
You may fertilize your phalaenopsis orchids once a month. Choose to make use of a fertilizing solution that’s made up of 1/4 teaspoon of 20-20-20 fertilizer for every gallon of water.
Technique #2: Growing keikies in sphagnum moss
Another way to reproduce moth orchids is to apply keiki rooting hormone into the node’s bract before using nylon stocking to secure sphagnum moss around the plantlet. Next, you need to allow the keiki’s roots to grow by leaving it on the spike. As the keiki matures and grows roots into the sphagnum moss, you may remove the sphagnum moss from the spike and transplant the keiki in another pot that has more sphagnum moss in it.
Technique #4: Growing keikies through layering
In order to layer a moth orchid keiki, you need to use keiki rooting hormone to treat an uncovered node before bending its spike over to allow the keiki to come in contact with the bark compost or sphagnum moss in a container or a pot. Since the mother plant provides nourishment to the plantlet, it will eventually grow roots into the compost bark or the sphagnum moss. Avoid severing the keiki from the mother plant until it becomes self-sufficient.
Is it a Good Idea to Grow Phalaenopsis Orchids in a Hobby Greenhouse?
It’s definitely a great idea to grow your gorgeous phalaenopsis orchids in your own hobby greenhouse. Aside from the fact that the enclosed space offers them protection against harsh weather conditions, destructive pests, and animals, you can also have more control over your plants’ growing environment. When you set up your own hobby greenhouse, it would be easier for you to manipulate the temperature, moisture, and light inside your personal botanical oasis.
Final Thoughts on How to Reproduce Phalaenopsis Orchids
Now that you’ve finally figured out how to reproduce phalaenopsis orchids, you might want to try growing them in your very own hobby greenhouse. Discover why greenhouse gardening can be a very rewarding experience for you.