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Dividing Orchids from Pseudobulbs

Plants with a liberal number of mature pseudobulbs may be divided into smaller sections each with 3 to 5 pseudobulbs. Select pots that will allow 2 to 3 years of growth before crowding. Fill the new pot with a small heap of fir bark, cut off rotten roots from the specimen, then spread roots over this heap. Pack moist medium firmly around roots, and stake if necessary. Keep the plant humid, shaded and dry at the roots, but well misted, for a few weeks to promote new root growth. A vitamin B1 solution may help.

If, at the time of division, few healthy roots are present on a set of pseudobulbs, keep in damp sphagnum moss, out of direct sunlight, mist regularly and keep humid until root formation is well underway. Pot up into presoaked mix, water again, and keep lightly shaded for a few more weeks. Mist regularly but water sparingly until ready to move into normal growing environment.

Bulbs without leaves are considered backbulbs; while these may also be divided off, they need special care to grow. Either leave backbulbs on a division to add strength, or take single backbulbs, and grow them on in a well-drained bark or peat and mix. Bury them halfway, and keep shaded and warm until new growth appears, then pot on as above. It may take up to three years to produce a good-sized plant by this method.

Topics Referenced

Pots and Potted Plants
Sphagnum and Peat Moss

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