How to Propagate Any Phalaenopsis Orchid

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Introduction: How to Propagate Any Phalaenopsis Orchid

About: Busy husband, father of two, reluctant engineer. Etc.

You probably know that it's possible to propagate phalaenopsis orchids by planting keikos. There are even synthetic hormones claiming to produce keikos, which is a false claim according to my experience. Those hormones rather force unnatural-looking flower spikes / branches, and as any branch, those forced branches may produce a keiko. But the chance of producing a keiko on a forced branch is just the same as on a regular, natural branch. However, hormones will increase the number of branches, and thereby the chance of producing a keiko is also increased. There is no way of knowing how long time it will take to produce a keikos though, with or without using hormones.

I will now show a 100% natural method of propagating any phalaenopsis, without waiting for keikos. It is also very easy.


Supplies

You will need a pair of flower scissors, a seqateur or a sharp knife, a pot, and some orchid growing medium.

And also a phalaenopsis orchids that needs to be repotted.

Step 1: Propagate Instead of Repotting

When your Phal has a long "neck" above the pot, without leaves, it is normally regarded as ready to be repotted.

Instead, it can be cut, and the top part can be repotted as a new plant.

Cut it so that there are three large roots on the top part, and as many live roots as possible on the lower part. It can be quite tough so I recommend to use a pair of flower scissors or a seqateur.

Step 2: Let the Top Part Dry

The top part, that is now a plant of its own, should not be repotted right away. The cut should be allowed to dry completely, to minimize risk of infections.

Keep it in a dry place for at least a week. This will not harm the plant. After this period, repot as normal.

Step 3: Wait...

Growing phalaenopsis is all about waiting, and this is especially true when propagating.

The top part will develop just as if repotted, but the lower part should be kept in the pot on a window sill, waiting for new shoots. Water as normal.

The roots are partly green, and will continue the photosynthesis, so when the plant is ready there will come new shoots. It may take a year or more, but eventually, you will see little green leaves sprouting from the dead-looking stem.

If all the roots are looking dry and brown or grey, then the plant is probably dead. This will normally not happen, though.

On these two pictures, you can see the top part with new flower, and the lower part with two new shoots, which will eventually be divided into two new plants.

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