How to Grow Orchids from Cuttings: A Step-by-Step Guide

Published Categorized as Propagation of Orchids Tagged ,

Growing orchids from cuttings can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to expand your orchid collection. Whether you have a favorite orchid you’d like to propagate, or you’re simply curious about orchid cuttings, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.

By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to successfully grow new orchids from cuttings, ensuring a thriving orchid collection.

Understanding Orchid Cuttings

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, it’s essential to understand what is orchid cuttings. Orchid cuttings, also known as keiki (Hawaiian for “baby”), are small plantlets that grow from the nodes of the orchid’s flower spikes or canes.

These plantlets can be detached and rooted to grow into full-fledged orchid plants, genetically identical to the parent orchid.

Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin, gather the necessary materials:

  • Healthy orchid with keiki: You’ll need an orchid with a keiki (baby plant) growing on one of its flower spikes or canes.
  • Clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears: Sterilize them with rubbing alcohol to prevent infection.
  • Pot with orchid potting mix: Choose a suitable pot and potting mix for your specific orchid type.
  • Small stakes or support: These will help hold the keiki in place during the rooting process.
  • Rooting hormone (optional): This can encourage root growth but is not always necessary.
  • Clear plastic bag: Used for creating a humidity chamber during the rooting process.
  • Warm, well-lit location: Provide the right environment for your orchid cuttings.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Identify the Keiki

Identify a healthy keiki on your orchid. Keikis are typically small versions of the parent plant with their roots, usually found growing on a flower spike or cane. Choose a well-developed keiki for the best results.

Step 2: Prepare Your Tools

Make sure your scissors or pruning shears are clean and sterilized. You can do this by wiping the blades with rubbing alcohol. Clean tools prevent the introduction of diseases to the orchid cutting.

Step 3: Detach the Keiki

With your sterilized scissors, carefully detach the keiki from the parent orchid. Cut just below the keiki, ensuring that you have some stem and roots attached to the baby plant. Be gentle to avoid damaging the keiki.

Step 4: Pot the Keiki

Plant the keiki in a pot with suitable orchid potting mix. Ensure the stem and roots are buried in the mix, and the keiki is securely anchored. You can use small stakes or supports to hold the keiki in place if needed.

Step 5: Provide Humidity

Place the potted keiki in a clear plastic bag or create a humidity chamber to maintain high humidity levels. This encourages root growth. Keep the bag or chamber well-ventilated to prevent mold or fungus from developing.

Step 6: Maintain Proper Lighting

Place the potted keiki in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can damage the delicate baby plant. Orchid cuttings benefit from adequate but not intense light during the rooting process.

Step 7: Monitor and Water

Regularly check the keiki for root development. As roots grow, you can gradually reduce the humidity in the bag or chamber. Water the keiki as needed, ensuring the potting mix is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Step 8: Transplant the Orchid

Once the keiki has established healthy roots and new growth, you can transplant it into its own pot or alongside other orchids. Ensure the orchid potting mix is suitable for the specific orchid type.

Orchid Cuttings Care

After transplanting the keiki, continue to care for it as you would any other orchid. Provide the right light, temperature, and humidity conditions, and water and fertilize according to the orchid’s specific requirements. Your new orchid will thrive and, in time, reward you with beautiful blooms.

Growing orchids from cuttings, or keikis, is a fascinating way to expand your orchid collection while preserving the unique genetic characteristics of your favorite orchids.

By following this step-by-step guide and providing proper care, you can successfully root and cultivate new orchid plants from cuttings. It’s a rewarding and cost-effective way to enjoy the beauty of orchids and expand your orchid-growing expertise.