Among beginner gardeners, there is an opinion that an orchid is a capricious and unpredictable flower, care for it is extremely difficult, and reproduction at home seems generally impossible. But sooner or later this problem has to be faced: the plant has grown too much and needs to be planted, there are children, I want to replenish my own collection or make a beautiful gift. In fact, neither the care nor the reproduction of orchids is of particular difficulty. To do this, you need to study the characteristics of the plant, the conditions of its existence, the basic rules and methods of reproduction.
Orchid comes from the warm humid tropics. In nature, it grows almost everywhere, clinging to trees and even rocks with its roots. At the same time, growing on trees, orchids do not parasitize on a support plant, but extract nutrients from the air due to abundant moisture, which itself contains the necessary components, washing them off the support. That is why the roots of the plant have a special structure, most of them are in the open air. They are covered with a special absorbent film, they are quite massive, but at the same time very fragile.
The leaves also take an active part in ensuring the life of the orchid, so there are two types of watering the plant - root and foliar. In the life cycle of a plant, the phases of active growth, flowering, and dormancy are distinguished. They need to be taken into account, since the irrigation regimes, room temperature and top dressing depend on them. To successfully plant an orchid at home, you need to observe several conditions.
- Time. During periods of flowering and dormancy, it is better not to disturb the flower at all. Reproduction should be done either in the spring or at the end of the phase of abundant flowering, when the orchid begins to grow actively.
- Humidity. Full reproduction is possible with an air humidity of more than 50%. Moreover, excess moisture is also useless - the upper threshold should not exceed 80%.
- Temperature. Orchids are heat-loving plants, so the ideal temperature for active cell division is not lower than +28 degrees.
- The age of the plant. The orchid must be adult - at least 2 years old, strong and healthy.
Important! The diseased plant is unsuitable for reproduction. The condition of the roots and leaves must first be assessed and, if there are signs of disease, the flower should be cured first. The only exceptions are cases when the mother plant is already impossible to save.
One of the most successful and easiest ways even for beginners to reproduce indoor orchids is in late winter or early spring, when the plant is full of vital energy. You can do this step by step:
- with a sterile needle to scratch the peduncle;
- Grease the damaged area with paste, the drug layer should not exceed 2.5 mm, it is most convenient to do this with a toothpick; it is important to remember that if there is little paste, it can lead to the formation of not a bud, but another peduncle;
- if there is a "sleeping" kidney, then to wake it up, you need to cut off the protective flake and apply the same amount of paste to the cut;
- the kidney wakes up after 20 days, it will be possible to plant the sprout after the appearance of 3 leaves and roots no shorter than 3 centimeters.
To plant orchids on their own is a rather fascinating and grateful activity. They take root well, grow rapidly and actively. There are several ways to propagate orchids: you can divide the bulbs, grow from cuttings or peduncles (they often say “grow from a leaf”, which is not entirely true), and flower the children. Experienced flower growers sometimes grow seedlings themselves. This is a lengthy method, it is not very simple to carry it out at home: in order to properly germinate the seeds, you need to create special conditions and constantly support them.
The use of a particular method depends on the type and condition of the plant. Orchids can be of two types.
- The monopodial species is orchids that do not form characteristic thickenings on the stems and roots - pseudobulb. They have one stalk. They grow well and fast. They are best propagated by children or cuttings.
- Sympodial orchids have several stems and form pseudobulbs. They grow more slowly. The most acceptable planting method for them is dividing the bush.
This is one of the most common and simple methods of propagation of many domestic plants. For sympodial orchids, it is the main one. This method is used for mature plants in which a sufficient number of pseudobulbs have formed, or the flower in the pot has become crowded. Each thickening is already an embryo of a full leaf process. You will need a sharp sterile knife or secateurs, crushed activated or charcoal, fresh soil and containers for planting processes.
The process of vegetative propagation is as follows:
- to make it easier to free the flower from the soil, you must first water it very well, carefully remove it from the pot, clean the roots from the ground; many orchid lovers advise soaking them in warm water for half an hour;
- the roots are cut into several parts, on each of which there must be at least 3 false bulbs and a sufficient number of roots, which is necessary for better rooting of plants;
- to prevent the development of diseases and decay, all sections are sprinkled with coal powder;
- then the seedlings need to be dried for some time (2-3 hours) and placed in prepared containers with soil;
- if during the division the shoot got few roots, then for the formation of a stronger root system it can be packaged for a while in a bag with wet peat moss sphagnum - the roots will develop much more actively;
- then a stronger plant is planted in the ground;
- in the first 3 days, root watering should not be done, only twice a day to spray the leaves, then you can water according to general rules.
Important! With this method of reproduction, young orchids are very viable and retain all the signs of the mother plant.
This is a more complex method, which is suitable only for some varieties of orchids. The following sequence of actions should be followed:
- long side shoots are used to obtain cuttings;
- the selected part of the plant must be cut with a sharp sterile knife into several parts; the length of the segments should be 12-15 cm;
- sprinkle all sections, both on cuttings and on the mother plant, with coal chips;
- the process is kept for 1.5–2 hours on a dry surface, and then horizontally laid out on well-moistened soil;
- the cuttings should be placed in greenhouse conditions - cover with glass or film, maintain a constant temperature of at least +29 degrees, pour over with warm water every other day, avoiding the appearance of excessive moisture; 1 time in 10 days, you can feed;
- roots will develop from the kidneys; as soon as they grow to 5 centimeters - the plant can be planted.
This method is often the only way to save a diseased orchid.
For propagation, a faded peduncle is used, the bud on which should completely fade.
The flower stalk needs to be cut into parts on which there should be at least 1 kidney. In fact, the same cuttings are obtained. Then you can act as if growing from cuttings, or you can apply a slightly different technology.
The prepared parts of the peduncle are placed in a bottle with clean, preferably soft water, into which a crushed tablet of activated carbon is added. You can add a weakly concentrated (1/4 of the recommended) fertilizer solution for orchids. Change fluid once a week. The water level is maintained about 5 centimeters above the cut. The temperature in the room should not exceed +28 degrees. At higher temperatures, a new peduncle will develop from the kidney, not a baby.
To “wake up” a sleeping kidney, a cytokinin ointment will help, which should be applied to the kidney, cutting off a small scale with a sharp razor. Ointment treatment should be carried out every 7-10 days for a month. The appeared baby is ready for transplantation when she has 3 leaves and fairly long (3–6 cm) roots. Together with the part of the peduncle on which the shoot is located, the baby is placed in a transparent pot (the roots need light to grow), filled with tree bark. Direct sunlight should not fall on a young plant.
The orchid has buds located on the peduncle. Of these, on the plant itself, children can develop - sprouts, already ready for transplantation. They may appear on their own, but if necessary, you can "wake up" the kidney. It is better to start stimulating the awakening and growth of the kidney in February, when the flower completely fades. It is necessary to reduce watering, stop feeding, exclude direct sunlight from entering the plant and maintain the night temperature in the room no higher than +17 degrees, and the daytime temperature about +27 degrees.
After about 1 month, the kidney will begin to wake up. At this point, the orchid needs to be moved to a warm place, restore the watering mode. You can fertilize by spraying the leaves with a nutrient solution. Children form their own roots. But they should not be seated right away - it takes time to form a strong root system, ready for independent functioning. This process takes from 5 to 8 months. During this time, 3-4 leaves and up to 5 own roots more than 4 centimeters long should appear on the shoot.
The ripened daughter shoot is cut with a sharp knife, the places of the cuts are treated with crushed coal. You can plant the shoot after 3 hours in a slightly moistened substrate. In order for the roots to take root well and begin to actively develop, for some time the sprout is covered with a plastic or glass glass, creating greenhouse conditions. It is necessary to moisten the soil once every 2-3 days, periodically raise the glass for ventilation. The flower must be carefully observed. If it does not dry, turns green and begins to grow - the "roof" can be removed.
It takes at least 4 years to get a blooming adult orchid.
In addition, there may not be a complete resemblance to the mother plant. Compared to the others, this method is more laborious and not always successful. For a long time it was believed that it was impossible to carry it out at home. But experienced flower growers can also experiment.
An orchid seed the size does not exceed a speck of dust, it is very difficult to make out without special devices. In addition, the seeds lack a protective nutrient layer - endosperm, they are susceptible to diseases and require careful and accurate care. Seeds are scattered in a thin layer on moist soil, without covering the soil from above. Next, you need to create a greenhouse effect by covering the container with film or glass. Watering the seeds is not necessary - just spray with warm purified water. The process of seed germination requires strict control, it is impossible to prevent drying or decay, the appearance of mold.
A more effective method involves placing seeds in sterile tubes or small jars that can be sealed. The nutritional mixture for orchid seeds is prepared according to special recipes; quite a few components are required. Seeds, concentrate, and germination containers are thoroughly disinfected. The process technology is as follows:
- for disinfection, seeds must be covered for 15–20 minutes with a weak solution (1%) of bleach; shake several times;
- using a syringe to transfer them to the nutrient mixture, in each container it should be about 40 ml; banks are carefully closed and moved to the greenhouse; after six months, the seeds should germinate;
- further, the mixture should be poured into a container with warm water (50 ml), add 1-2 drops of a 1% solution of Fundazole to protect against fungal diseases and leave for processing for 20-25 minutes;
- for planting, it is necessary to prepare special soil from peat moss and bark with the addition of crushed activated carbon;
- six months later, the sprouts can be transplanted into the soil for adult orchids.
Sprouts need to be dived: the first time after the appearance of the first leaf, the second time after the second leaf, the third time after the fourth. Unfortunately, it can take several years (up to 7) for the orchids grown in this way to bloom.
Nutrient medium for sowing seeds
Seeds are planted in a special nutrient mixture. You can cook it in several ways.
- Agar-agar powder (15–20 grams) is poured with water and allowed to swell. Boil a glass of water, mix with a jelly-like mass and add 10 grams of glucose and fructose, a little orthophosphoric acid and calcium carbonate. Mix well until completely dissolved.
- Mix 100 ml of tomato juice, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of banana pulp, 2 tablets of crushed activated carbon, 2-3 drops of orchid fertilizer, 1/3 teaspoon of honey. Dilute the resulting mixture with distilled water (about 400 ml).
The nutrient solution must be sterilized, poured into a sterile dish, warmed again in a water bath and left for a week to make sure that it is completely disinfected.
When mold appears, the mixture is destroyed, it can not be used.
The young plant must be constantly monitored and carefully looked after. It will be fully formed by 3-4 years. Florists, given the natural living conditions of orchids, advise planting them in transparent pots, since the roots take part in photosynthesis and need lighting. In addition, it is easier to check in what condition the roots are, since they cannot be rotted. Rot is the main enemy of an orchid, it is impossible to fill a plant in any case, it can die.
Foliar irrigation is carried out by abundant spraying of the plant, creating a kind of wet “fog” around it. Specialists propose to carry out root watering by immersion: in the bottom of the container where the orchid lives, a sufficient number of holes are made, the pot is placed in a wide bowl with water. In this case, the roots have the opportunity to pick up the amount of fluid they need. The frequency of watering is the same as for adult plants, and also depends on the time of year and the phase of life of the orchid.
The roots are very tender, they can crawl to the surface. In this case, they need to be sprayed with the leaves, it is permissible to cover with pieces of moss. If brownish spots appear on the roots, it is time to start treating the orchid, otherwise black “blots” will form on the leaves, the smell of rot will appear, and mold may even start. This is already a neglected state, it is unlikely to save the flower.
For orchids, the composition of the soil is very important. It is fundamentally different from conventional soil mixtures, it is prepared on the basis of pine bark, sawdust, charcoal and sphagnum moss. Self-prepared substrate must be disinfected by treating with hot steam, a weak solution of potassium permanganate or any fungicide. But experts advise nevertheless to purchase a special ready-made substrate.
The pot is selected to a suitable size, not hampering the development of the roots, but not too spacious. There should be a lot of drainage holes, moisture stagnation should not be allowed. 1/3 of the pot should be filled with drainage - expanded clay, crumb bricks or polystyrene. Polyfoam is also an excellent heat insulator. This quality is especially important if in the cold season the window sill becomes cold.
Orchids should be fed with fertilizers intended for them.
From other complex top dressings, they differ in composition and lower concentration. They can only be used in liquid form. Orchids more than other domestic plants need proper care. Watching a developing flower is a very exciting process. Subject to all the rules, good lighting and the right temperature, the flowering of a young orchid will come on time and will delight the owner.
See how to propagate orchids in the next video.