How To Start An Orchid From A Cutting The Best Way

It takes three steps to learn how to start an orchid from a cutting. The process is straightforward, and rooting orchids from cuttings are not something you should feel intimidated by. If you want to have a thriving orchid garden, it’s not enough to learn the three basic propagation methods because starting from cuttings offers many advantages. 

However, it’s worth noting that not all of them will grow from cuttings with the vast array of orchid species. In general, those from the genus Dendrobium are popular for this method of propagation. It would help to check your orchid species first and prepare the ideal growing environment for the cuttings. 

 

How To Start An Orchid From A Cutting For Beginners

Orchids are not the easiest plant to propagate, but learning skills such as stem cutting rooting would surely make you stand out from the competition. To further help you, you should have a greenhouse to start the cuttings. It’ll be easier to control the conditions indoors and avoid drawbacks in orchid growth. 

 

Step #1. Take cuttings

As mentioned earlier, Dendrobium orchids are one of the types that can reproduce vegetatively with the use of cuttings. Make sure that you can successfully propagate the orchids you have with cuttings before starting. For this guide, we’re going to base it on using Dendrobium orchids. 

The ideal time to take the stem cuttings is when the flowers fade on the parent plant. You’ll clip the spikes that emerge from the nodes with a sterilized tool to prevent infection. Then, select the stems that are around 1 foot in length and cut it so that each section will have three to four nodes. 

The parent plant you choose must be healthy and stress-free, which is why it’s advantageous to grow them in the greenhouse. This way, you’ll be sure that the plant will survive after you’ve taken the cuttings. 

 

Step #2. Rooting

The next step is preparing the medium for your cuttings. Gardeners often use a rooting tray with moist sphagnum moss and pebbles. Once ready, you will just place the cuttings on top of the medium and mist them with water as moisture supports rooting. 

To further encourage rooting, cover the tray with plastic wrap and place it in the warm and dark greenhouse area. In addition to the resulting high humidity, you can use the greenhouse and maintain a temperature between 75 to 85°F and regularly mist the cuttings. This resulting environment should help them root and develop leaves.

Should you feed orchid cuttings before replanting? Experienced gardeners fertilize every two weeks during the first two months with liquid seaweed extract. This practice will help hasten the growth and development of the cuttings for replanting. 

 

Step #3. Replanting

Before replanting, you must remove the cuttings that develop rotting. Select the healthy ones and remove their stem between the keikis using sterilized pruners. If you remember using offshoots for propagating orchids, these plants that developed on the stems are them. 

At this point, you’ll replant the keikis the same way as you would in offshoot propagation. A small pot around 2 inches should accommodate them well without the risk of overwatering or limiting the roots. You can also use a mix of sphagnum moss and bark as the medium. 

Loosen the medium and soak it to create a moist environment. Plant the cuttings in a way where the offshoots face the sideward or upward, while the stem is upright. You can use stakes to help with the plant’s stability and keep it upright as well. 

For maintenance of Dendrobiums, you can water once or twice a week, depending on your plant’s size and the current climate. You also want to maintain high humidity, which is easier to do in the greenhouse. Lastly, fertilize monthly from spring to summer to support healthy orchids in the growing season. 

 

Can You Grow Orchids From Leaf Cuttings?

The short answer is yes, but it’s not as common as starting orchids from stem cuttings. If you’re interested, Vanda orchids are popular for this method. The method is not as easy as using stem cuttings, but some gardeners still attain success using leaf cuttings. 

You’ll use a parent stem with new leaf growth and wrap a section of the stem with a plastic bag and sphagnum moss. This technique is quite similar to how you’ll recover orchids suffering from root rot. Therefore, using leaf cuttings, in theory, should lead to rooting if done in perfect conditions. 

 

Conclusion

Orchids may not be the easiest plant to grow, but you can always experiment and find the propagation method suitable for you. If you have Dendrobium orchids, you can learn how to start an orchid from cutting in three simple steps. Similar to how you’d root other plants from cuttings, you’ll collect the orchid stem cuttings after their flowers fade. 

Select a cutting around 1 foot in length and cut it into sections having three to four nodes. Then, use a rooting tray with pebbles and sphagnum moss to encourage their growth. Maintain high humidity, moisture, and temperature between 75 to 85°F for the cuttings using the greenhouse, and they should be ready for replanting once you notice keikis. 

Lastly, replant the cutting so that the stem is upright and the offshoots face upward or sideward. You can stabilize the plant with stakes and wait for the orchid to outgrow the pot for final repotting. 

 

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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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