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When you finish reading this article, you’ll know everything you need on how to grow baby Orchids. Orchids are wonderful and beautiful plants. They are easy to grow. The flowers can stay in the soil for up to six months in some genera like Phalaenopsis.
Orchids can be expensive if you’ve been an orchid lover for a while, you already know this. If not, you may be wondering why orchids are so expensive. It is because of the difficulty of propagating them and the time it takes to make a mature plant. You will learn how to grow baby orchids at home and commercially.
This will hopefully help you find out why your phalaenopsis doesn’t produce any seeds or baby plants. You can make your own baby plants with a few techniques and patience. This will allow you to swap Orchids with your friends.
How orchids reproduce in the wild
Let’s first talk about how orchids reproduce and grow in the wild. Orchids reproduce in the same manner as any other plant: flowers, pollen and pollination. Seeds, dispersion, growth, and reproduction under favorable conditions.
The flower is pollinated once it has bloomed. The pollinated flower produces seeds. The seeds are small and light. The seeds are kept in a capsule or seed pod. The seed pod will dry out and burst after a time of maturation. Wind carries the seeds away.
The tiny lightweight seeds make it easy to blow the seeds in the wind until they find the right medium for growth. This allows the plants to grow in a small space and not be overcrowded. Wind dispersion is a way to keep plants healthy and reduce competition for nutrients and other resources that they need.
New plants can be grown:
What are the favorable conditions for seeds to grow into plants? To germinate wild orchid seeds, you need to have special mycorrhizal mushrooms. This is something we can’t replicate indoors. The fungi provide the necessary nutrition for the growth of the new plant. The reason orchid seeds will not germinate in our potting dirt is the same as any other plant.
You don’t have to be discouraged by the fact that you won’t be able grow orchids at home after reading about orchid propagation in nature. There are some things you can do to grow orchids at home.
Types of Orchid Growth
Before we get into how to grow baby orchids, it is important to understand some basic terminology about orchid biology. This will allow you to determine the best method for propagating orchids. We first need to identify the type of orchid growth. You will need a different propagation method depending on your orchid’s growth habits.
- Monopodial: This orchid grows on a single stem and produces alternate leaves every year. Phalaenopsis is an example of this kind of orchid.
- Sympodial: They spread via pseudobulbs or rhizomes. Old pseudo bulbs give rise to new plants. This category includes cattaleyas and oncidium.
How to grow baby orchids – Methods
- Vegetative propagation
- Root Division
- Tissue Culture
- Through seeds
Two methods are available for orchids to reproduce: one is by seed production (but don’t get too excited) and the second by vegetative propagation.
Let’s start with the easiest. We know that it is hard to grow orchids from seeds and that mimicking nature’s methods of caring for them is difficult. Vegetative propagation is easier than seed production. This method may allow you to produce baby orchid plants that have the exact same characteristics as the parent plant.
Share the image below to your Pinterest board and save these methods for growing baby orchids!
1. Methot – Root Division
Sympodial plants will eventually produce new plants through the creation of new bulbs when they mature. Every old bulb can send one to two new bulbs. Each bulb will become a new plant. The new adult plant will grow from the baby plant.
The cycle will continue until all the bulbs in the flowering pot are used up. The plants will start to spread outwards from the pot once there is no room for new bulbs. This is where you can divide the plants into two or three, depending on how many bulbs. To ensure that your plants grow healthy and strong, make sure you have at least three mature bulbs.
How to make the root division
Keep track of the number and size of your bulbs. Also, keep in mind how many divisions you would like to make. A knife can be used to help you cut the roots slightly to create the division. After you have divided the plant into two, place the newly divided orchid plants in a new medium.
Because of stress and adaptation to a new environment, the plants might not flower for a few months. Patience is key. If done correctly, each one will become a new plant group. They will also start to produce new bulbs.
2. Method – Backbulb propagation
Back bulbs can be found in pseudobulbs orchids, but not in vanda or phalaenopsis. These are older bulbs that look a little shriveled, but are still healthy. If they are removed from their pots, carefully cutting through the roots to release the root, they can develop into new plants.
This method can be tricky and requires patience. If you make a mistake with the backbulb, the game is over. The whole plant could be lost. This is not something I recommend to novice growers.
3. Method – Offshoots/Keiki
Orchids are often poorly rated due to their difficulty in growing and propagating, but they can be grown easily. One of the easiest methods to grow orchids is to breed them from Keiki. Keiki, pronounced Kay-Key, is a Hawaiian name for a baby.
Keiki are new plants that are created from the stem of a plant. Dendrobium orchids have a long history of sending up keikis. Sometimes, the spent flowerheads from phalaenopsis can also send Keiki. The keikis start out without roots but will eventually develop roots. This article will show you how to grow a baby orchid from its keiki stage to a fully grown young plant.
How to get a Keiki on my orchid?
Begin by looking for the “knot” at the stem. You will feel a bump if you move your hand along the stem. It will look like a tiny joint within a stalk.
Use a sterilized knife, scissors, or an auxiliary knife to cut into the knot. Take out enough knots to make sure the knot is flush with your stem.
You can use Keiki paste to the stem of an orchid flower.
Put on gloves, then use a cotton swab or chopstick to remove any Keiki paste.
Apply a little Keiki paste to a prepared knot using a cotton swab or food stick. The Keiki paste can be applied to different areas of orchids, giving them a variety of shapes. Keiki paste can be applied to multiple knots at once.
TIP: Keep a record of the date and orchids you have applied the paste in your plant journal.
Common orchids: Vegetative propagation
Let me show you some common orchid varieties as well as how they can propagate through vegetative propagation. If properly pollinated, all orchids can produce seed pods.
These orchids are more commonly found in shops. Phalaenopsis can be grown in temperate climates with less sunny days or cloudy winters. These orchids are difficult to propagate. Phalaenopsis orchids can be propagated by cutting down the stalk after the blooms have finished. You may also get a second stalk or a Keiki.
How to deal with phalaenopsis when it becomes leggy
The single stem is what Phalaenopsis plants are made of. As they age, the leaves at the bottom of the plant begin to fall. This can lead to a leggy plant. This can be corrected by removing the base of the plant and leaving 3-4 leaves. The older plant should remain in the same pot. Then, plant the portion you have cut in a new medium. If all goes well, each portion (top and bottom), may become a new plant. It’s pretty cool.
Dendrobium thrives in warmer climates. They are also fun to grow. The stems form the flower stalks. After the dendrobium stalk is fully grown, it releases keiki, which are young plants. It will grow roots and flourish as an adult plant. After the roots have developed well, the keiki can then be taken from its parent and grown as a new plant.
Propagation of dendrobium through cuttings
A layer of sphagnum-moss should be placed on a tray, which we will call a rooting tray. The moss should be soaked in water. Drain the water. The moss should not be too wet. In the tray, spread a layer of the moss medium. Choose a stem that has not yet bloomed, but is still healthy and green. Place the stem cuttings on top of the medium, with at least one node. Mist the water. To keep humidity high, cover the tray with plastic wrap. You can poke holes in the plastic wrap if necessary. The tray should be kept in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. This could trigger the cutting of stems to make new baby orchids.
These orchids are unruly and can be difficult to manage in a small area. These orchids take up large spaces, but they are very rewarding with many blooms in long spikes. Root bulbs are used to store food and water in Cymbidium orchids. Bulb division is a method for Cymbidium orchids to be propagated. Once the bulb production is sufficient, you can divide the plant to make new plants. However, each plant must have at least three mature bulbs.
The pseudo bulbs of Cymbidium are round and shaped at the base. Once mature, each bulb will blossom, then eventually lose its leaves and become leafless. This is the backbulb. The backbulb will continue to provide nourishment for the younger bulbs for a few more years. The backbulbs will turn brown and shrivel over time. You can also use the backbulbs for propagation. For more information, see the backbulb propagation process.
These orchids are some of the most fascinating to grow. These plants can be grown in a basket without any potting materials, but they require daily watering and a lot of attention if they are not given any potting material. These flowers are beautiful and can stay on the plant for many months. These plants can be difficult to propagate as they take a long time to germinate. The seed pods are collected through pollination and then grown in special conditions.
These orchids come with bulbs, and it is fascinating to see how they grow. These orchids can also be propagated through root division. Each division must have at least three healthy bulbs. These plants can also easily be propagated using the backbulb method. Oncidium baby plant. This plant can be divided once the pot has been filled.
4. Method – Tissue Culture
Micropropagation, also known as tissue culture, is another method for propagation. This will give you a exact copy of the mother plant. This technique can be applied to many fruit trees and other plants to achieve the desired characteristics of the parent. This is done in sterile conditions in the laboratory.
Plant orchid seeds
You might be thinking that vegetative reproduction is difficult. But wait until we talk about the methods for growing orchids from seeds.
Seed creation requires pollination
Seed pods are needed before flasking. Just like any other plant, seeds pods are made through pollination. You can help pollinate the flowers indoors by using a cotton swab, or a toothpick. The seeds may take between 3 and 12 months to mature after being pollinated. The seeds will be lost if the seed pods burst open. Keep an eye on your plants to ensure you get the seeds every day.
Grow Medium (Introducing Flask)
We talked about how orchids require ‘favorable circumstances’ to grow from seeds. Modern orchids are grown under laboratory conditions in grow flasks because we can’t recreate tropical weather or fungal soil medium with our orchid potting mix. This is known as ‘flasking.
After the seeds have been carefully collected, they are sent to a laboratory where they are grown under sterile conditions. This article was very helpful. I’ve never tried flasking, so I prefer to let the experts do the hard work. If you have the patience, time, space and resources, you can still try this method. This link will show you how to flask orchid seeds.
Flasking is more difficult than deflasking. After you have finished flaking the seeds for germination, you will need to deflask them after a few months. You can break the glass flask without damaging the tiny plantlets. After that, clean up all debris and prepare a medium for growing.
Multiple plants can be planted in one pot/tray. They are small and should be handled gently. After development, you can move to separate pots. For more information on how to deflask orchids, please visit this link.
Be careful when propagating orchids from seeds
This method is not recommended for beginners or those who are less patient. This method can be time-consuming and requires a specific sterilized setup. Patience is key. It will take between 5 and 7 years for the plants to flower once you have cleared them. Do you remember how important patience is? People who are patient:
Ready to open flasked orchids can be purchased online, in orchid shops or at orchid shows. You can also start by buying ready-to-open flasked orchids online if you’re looking to have some fun and try it. It will make your life easier.
This image explains how the flasking method affects the stages of orchid propagation.
You now know everything you need to know about how to grow baby orchids. You can still have fun and enjoy the experience, but now you know what you’re doing.
Many times, I find listings for orchid seed on online platforms. You should only buy the seeds if you’re willing to undergo the flasking process or if someone else is willing to do it. Be cautious when ordering orchid seeds online.
If you want to know the bottom line, here is what I will say. Although growing baby orchids might seem a bit hard, I would say go for it. What better way to learn than to try. On the other hand, if you’re unsure, start with adult orchids if you’re just starting out. They are simple to care for and will forgive novice mistakes most of the time. If you have any questions on how to grow baby orchids, please feel free to ask in the comments section down below and I’ll be happy to help.