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Orchids can be propagate from cuttings, by division or from seeds. There are six main techniques used to propagate orchids: division, back bulbs, keiki, aerial cuttings, meristem or tissue culture and seed. Vegetative propagation methods are the easiest and by this methods can be produced offsprings that are identical to the parent plant.

The simplest cuttings are small plants called keiki that appear from the nodes on stems of some monopodial orchids. They first develop leaves but as soon as they have developed few roost they should be cut from the parent plant with a sharp knife and potted into standard orchid compost. Water them sparingly and mist the leaves until the roost have established.

Propagate Orchids

An other way is to take cuttings of 30 cm long from the stems of many Dendrobium orchids, using a sharp knife. Divide those cuttings into pieces of 7-10 cm long making sure that each piece have at least one dormant bud then lay them on damp sphagnum moss and keep them in a humid and shaded place. After the buds have produced plantlets you can detach them and pot them up separetely into standard orchid compost.

Propagation by division is a common method used for sympodial orchids. Cut through the rhizome between pseudobulbs and pot up the pieces separately making sure that each part have at least three healthy pseudobulbs and one dormant bud that is necessary for producing new growth. Division of orchids is best to be done in the early spring, just as new growth starts to appear as this will ensure that each division has a full growing season to establish so that it can flower in the following season. Dividing an orchid will often encourage the plant to produce more shoots of a better quality and with much more vigor.

An other way of propagation used for sympodial orchids is by back-bulbs. Back-bulbs are previously flowered or unflowered back pseudobulbs. This is a simple method of propagation but it may take up to three years to obtain a flowering size plant. Remove a back-bulb that have a roots by pulling or cutting the rhizome just beyond it and insert it at one side of a pot filed with orchid compost or sharp sand or grit with the cut surface of the bulb nearest the edge of the pot. The bulb will shoot from the other side in two to three months. Keep it moist in a cool and shady place during this period and after the shoot have appeared pot it up in orchid compost.

Propagations from seeds is a method used mostly by specialized people. The seed will germinate in flasks of nutrient jelly in a controlled laboratory environment. Orchids are generally difficult to grow from seeds because in nature they require a symbiotic fungus in order to be able to germinate. Also those people are using the method of meristem culture where they take microscopic pieces of plant tissue and then produce replicas of the original plant.

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