How to Propagate Orchids: the Easy and Effective Way

How to propagate orchids is a way that you can boost their health and have a better appearance. So, if you feel your beautiful orchids are losing their health or are not as attractive as they once were, you should propagate them.

Propagate Orchids in the Simplest Way

Our gardening experts are here to help you with it! Our article will discuss the different orchid propagation methods and help you decide which one is for you.

How to Propagate Orchids in the Simplest Way?

To propagate orchids in the simplest way you should first check the state of the roots and divide the plant. Then, you must repot the bulbs, and place the pots in the appropriate locations. This way, the plant will grow, thrive and multiply.

Phalaenopsis Orchids are a beginner’s favorite and are fairly easy to grow. This variety of flowers are a monopodial orchid with only one root system. Most gardeners propagate the plant by dividing the bulbs. However, the plant to be divided must be at least a few years old and quite large.

1. Check the State of the Roots

To have a successful propagation, it is necessary to check the state of the roots. When you pull out your plant and the roots are frosty white to bright green, it indicates that the plant is well cared for.

Unlike dried and withered roots, you have not watered the plant according to its needs. These roots are the ones that you should not select when it comes to the process of propagation.

2. Divide the Plant

Now that you are sure you have healthy roots, it is now time to divide the plant. Divide the plant from the base to minimize the risks of damage. You must remember that to promote healthy growth and flowering; it is necessary to divide the plant into three bulbs and to use these bulbs for the process, as they are the ones that will mature and give you healthy plants.

3. Re-pot the Bulbs

After you have divided the bulbs, add them to a pot containing pieces of bark, and ensure that you place them so that the shoots are in the center of the pot. In the coming weeks, you can soak the pot containing the shoots in water for approximately one and a half hours to reduce the watering frequency. However, don’t place it more than the given time, because that way the plant will weaken, and you don’t want to have an unsuccessful growth.

4. Place the Pots in the Appropriate Spots

After completing the above steps, you must place your pots somewhere without enough sunlight. You can place them near any window that does not receive bright and direct sunlight throughout the day or any shaded area of your house. Also, ensure that the water you provide is not excessive, because the plant may go through different stressful events; on the contrary, check and see that the plant roots are kept moist.

How to Propagate Orchids in Water Medium?

To propagate orchids in a water medium, you must first choose the right container, clean the roots of the plant, use room temperature water, and add water to your container. This is a matter that needs proper supervision and a change of water.

You may ask yourself, can you root an orchid stem in water? Yes, you can grow orchids in water as long as they are given proper orchid care. Propagating the orchids in water is convenient for many as you do not have to worry about soil maintenance and frequent watering.

1. Choose the Right Container

It would help if you had a container large enough to hold the orchid’s roots, leaving room for the roots to expand. A deep vase or an unused bowl is perfect as long as it is tall enough to hold the stems of the orchid plant in place and prevent them from falling out. Which means that the container should be a medium-sized one, not too big, nor too small.

2. Clean the Roots

Before placing the roots in the container, you must ensure that the roots you use are clean. As a result, you must begin by brushing off the accumulated soil from the roots by shaking them and then using a brush to remove any leftovers.

After doing so, check if the roots appear healthy and eliminate unhealthy or damaged roots. If your plant has tangled roots, carefully pull them apart to help them spread when you place them in water.

3. Use Room Temperature Water

Now, the propagation medium is liquid, which is why you should use tap water, but it depends on its hardness.

Sterilize Your Seed Capsules

A few cities use chemicals to treat the water, which is bad for plants, and in such a case, distilled water is the best option. On the other hand, you can also use rainwater as long as it is not acidic.

4. Add Water to Your Container

Fill your vase or bowl with water till the roots the submerged, leaving the leaves dry. Wet leaves impact the plant’s health and are unpleasant to look at. You can leave your orchids in water and then change the water every one or two weeks, or leave them in for around two days and let them dry for five days.

How to Propagate Orchids From Their Stems?

To propagate orchids from their stems, you should first gather your tools and then cut the right stem. Place the cutting in their growing medium, and make sure that you don’t disturb the cuttings for a while as they grow. Fertilize and repot them, by giving them the right care.

This process is one of the easiest and most effective methods to have the desired outcome. The stem cuttings are mostly taken in late summer when the stems are thick and strong. Propagation from stems gives you clones of the mother orchid, although you can use the same method for leaf cuttings.

1. Gather Your Tools

Before getting into the process, the first thing you need to do is gather all the tools that you will need. Have your pruning tools, like gardening scissors, preferably not too sharp and sanitized to avoid contamination.

The orchid stems are tender, and you do not have to put much force into cutting the delicate stem. Furthermore, it would help to have a large, deep tray to fill moss.

2. Time to Cut the Stem

Now, is the time we get to the actual stem cutting, as these will be the roots you will have a propagation from. The stem needs to be at least twelve inches long so that it is easier to divide it into further small sections. However, the orchid cuttings need to be made so that each segment bears a node, as it is from the node where the new growth begins.

3. Place the Cuttings in the Medium

After taking your cuttings, you can place them in the moss-filled tray, as this is the medium which they will grow from. Ensure that you place them with a space of a couple of inches and make sure that you place your tray somewhere that does not get direct sunlight at any time of the day.

4. Do Not Disturb the Cuttings for Quite a While

Now that you have carefully placed your cuttings in the tray, it is best to let them rest, at least for a couple of weeks. On this notion, you can move the tray afterward to allow an increase in temperature and encourage the stems to grow but don’t expose it to too much change. At this point, you need to water them frequently to maintain the humidity level.

5. Fertilize Your Stem Cuttings

It is essential to fertilize the stem cuttings with a good quality orchid fertilizer in the first few months of placing them in the moss.

Fertilize Your Stem Cuttings

If you notice any damaged cuttings, remove them immediately so that they do not cause damage to the rest of the healthy cuttings.

6. Repotting Time

Now, you should see how the cuttings grow roots or new shoots, it is time to repot them separately. Cut the stems to detach them from one another. Place your separated cuttings into separate pots filled with a mossy substrate, and you should also see how the cuttings have grown, depends on the substrate’s quality, so ensure you use a good-quality substrate.

7. Care for the Repotted Cuttings

Place your potted cutting somewhere they can have enough sunlight, and remember to water the young plants regularly. As the general rule of thumb, you can water the planting twice weekly.

Make sure that you do not overwater the plants, as it causes them more harm than good, as you are opening doors for the plant to increase the risk of being contaminated or having fungi. You can also feed the cuttings with an orchid fertilizer.

How to Propagate Orchids From The Seeds?

To propagate orchids from the seeds, you must prepare the environment and your agar; then, sterilize the seed capsules, and now you can transplant the seedlings. This way, the seeds will develop and grow through your propagated seedlings.

Growing orchids from seeds is done in a controlled environment. And this method is usually carried out in laboratories. But you can also carry out the process at home if you meet the mentioned requirements.

1. Prepare the Environment

As mentioned, propagating orchids from seeds is delicate, so you must prepare the environment accordingly. The environment alone is insufficient; you need the right tools for the process: the orchid seed capsules, distilled water, a cooking pot, surgical gloves, and aluminum foil. You will also need lidded glass containers, 80 percent alcohol solution, bleach, and lastly, a scalpel and tweezers.

It would be best to ensure the room temperature is at most 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The light requirements vary according to the species; some prefer more sunlight than the rest, but filtered sunlight works best for all kinds.

2. Prepare Your Agar

Collect orchid seeds from plants with thick walls that still need to split. What you should do is to mix equal parts of water and orchid gelling medium in a cooking pot and bring it to a boil and keep stirring.

Pour this mixture into lidded glass containers and cover the lids with aluminum foil. Heat these containers and an empty lidded container in the oven. They must be heated for 20 to 30 minutes to sterilize them.

3. Sterilize Your Seed Capsules

Fill your cooking pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place a metal grill in the middle of the pot to help sterilize the equipment. Put on the surgical gloves and sterilize the grill with ethanol using a pair of tweezers.

Sterilize Your Seed Capsules

Now pour the mixture into the empty lidded containers with bleach and place the collected seed capsules in them for 15 minutes. Transfer these capsules to the grill to sterilize them again with ethanol. Slice opens the seeds with the help of a scalpel and transfers the seeds to the containers containing the prepared orchid medium.

The reason why this sterilization was necessary is that the seeds should not be at risk of any contamination. The environment should be strictly clean so that the process would be as successful.

4. Transplant the Seedlings

When the orchid keikis outgrow the containers, transplant them into planting pots. Add coarse fir bark to your planting pots before adding in the seedlings. Note that in order to loosen the orchid medium, place them in a pot containing boiling water for 45 minutes and then transfer the seedlings to their new home.

How to Propagate Orchids Through Aerial Roots?

To propagate orchids through aerial roots, you should select the right action from the rhizome, and cut the roots of the plant. Now, you should transplant the cuttings and give them the right care, and you will have more orchids propagated from the roots.

For successful propagation from aerial roots, make sure that the parent plant is at least five years old, meaning it needs to have enough growth, so you can transplant them into different containers. This method works best with sympodial orchids because they also need a matured mother plant to thrive.

1. Choose the Right Section of the Rhizome

The first step is to pull the plant gently out of its substrate and shake it to get rid of the substrate. You can use your hands or a brush to dust any leftover soil. Now, place the roots in warm water at 86 degrees Fahrenheit or more for around half an hour.

2. Cut the Roots

It would be best to have a sharp leaf cutter to slice the root but sterilize the instrument before using it. Cut the roots, but only those containing two or three pseudobulbs. The flowers and leaves should also have no history of insect infestation, which is a must in the process, as the mother roots of the plant should be one that has grown healthily.

3. Transplant the Cuttings

The substrate for transplanting the cutting is the same as before. You can also buy soils specially made for orchids from your nearest nursery. Furthermore, to ensure that the cutting has no threat of diseases, it is best to transplant them in peat mixture, pine bark, and coconut fiber.


You are now geared to propagate your orchids using the information you obtained from our article! But before you leave, here is a quick recap of the main points once more:

  • The key to successful propagation is a mature orchid plant.
  • The beginner-friendly method of orchid propagation is by dividing the roots.
  • Orchids do well in water; you do not have to worry about details like soil and water.

Now that you have gone through all the recommended techniques, you can propagate your beautiful orchids in a successful way. So now, gather your tools and start propagating.

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