If you are a beginner in growing indoor orchids, you need to know that, in order to spark a healthy new growth, you need to split your orchid. Splitting an orchid into two or more parts is basically a propagation method. You will have to plant the fresh divisions in porous potting materials such as tree bark, their natural habitat. Keep reading and see my easy-to-follow steps so you could properly split orchids to spark a healthy new growth.
You will need to proceed with care, though, because you’ll sometimes cut the orchid along the stem. However, most of the time you will divide the swollen stems that emerge from the horizontal stem amid the roots. It might sound complicated but in fact is not that difficult. Furthermore, as you can probably figure, you will need some supplies. These are:
– a sterilized knife or razor blade
– some pots
– a fir tree bark
– and Sphagnum moss
Here are the easy-peasy steps:
1. Cut through the rhizome with a disinfected knife or razor blade just before the growth period in spring. Leave at least three leafy swollen stems and one dormant bud per section. This ensures healthy budding and flowering next year. For monopodial orchids that grow along one stem, cut along the vertical stem just below a node, a small, fleshy bump, that has healthy roots.
2. Throw away leafless swollen stems with no dormant bud.
3. Cut the fresh swollen stems from the backbulb, which is the old, dormant pseudobulb, if your orchid is old and has developed a new pseudobulb. It’s safest to wait until the plant has at least two backbulbs, as removing the new pseudobulb can stress an old orchid.
4. Place your potting materials, such as tree bark chips and sphagnum moss, in a pot without holes in the bottom and pour in boiling water to disinfect and dampen the mixture. Let the materials cool before draining, then move the materials into the orchid pots.
5. Pot each fresh pseudobulb with a dormant bud in a separate pot filled with moistened bark and sphagnum moss. Plant detached backbulbs in separate pots with tree bark or another well-drained material.
6. Keep freshly potted pseudobulbs, backbulbs and orchids in light shade, misting twice a day to increase humidity. You should see new growth from the backbulbs in three to four months, at which time they need fresh potting material. Other bulbs should sprout fresh flowers the next year or in several years, depending on how many pseudobulbs you kept per section.
Thus, this is it. You can successfully split the orchids and also promote a healthy new growth. Furthermore, if your goal is to produce as many orchids as possible by division, you can leave just one or two pseudobulbs per section. These orchids may not have enough energy to produce flowers for a few years, but they’ll be more numerous.