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How to propagate an orchid from a leaf?

Propagating Orchids from Leaves: A Comprehensive Guide

Orchids, known for their vibrant colors and ease of cultivation, are popular flowering plants that add a tropical touch to our interiors. If you desire an abundance of these beautiful plants, you’ll be pleased to know that orchids can be propagated from a leaf, using a technique called leaf cuttings. Read on to discover how to successfully propagate your orchids and enjoy an array of these exotic blooms.

orchid leaf

Can You Take Cuttings from an Orchid Leaf?

Unlike traditional leaf cuttings, orchids require a unique approach for propagation. Instead of taking just the leaf, this technique involves taking a piece of stem attached to the leaf. The stem is the only part of the plant containing the cells necessary for regrowth.

Planting an orchid cutting

Steps for Taking Cuttings from an Orchid Leaf:

  1. Select an adult, healthy orchid, and carefully cut a leaf with a small piece of stem using sterilized scissors or pruning shears.
  2. Let the cutting air dry for approximately 8 hours.
  3. Apply a small amount of rooting product to the cutting.
  4. Dilute activated charcoal in water, creating a solution that promotes the development of good bacteria for the plant’s root system.
  5. Immerse the leaf and the piece of stem in the activated charcoal solution.
  6. Check the soil for any signs of mold or rotten plant parts before planting the cutting.

The Rooting Agent: A Key Component for Orchid Propagation

Using a rooting product is crucial for successful orchid propagation, as it stimulates better growth and helps form a strong, healthy root system. If you prefer a natural and eco-friendly alternative, you can create your own rooting agent using lentils, which contain plant hormones like auxin, promoting healthy plant growth.

DIY Rooting Product:

  1. Soak 100 grams of lentils in a liter of water.
  2. Let the container sit for a few hours, then stir the mixture.
  3. Collect the water from the maceration and store it in the refrigerator.
  4. Cover the lentils and store them in a dark place overnight.
  5. Daily, soak the lentils in the reserved water for a few minutes.
  6. When the lentils sprout, blend them, adding the reserved water.
  7. Filter the paste to recover the liquid.
  8. Dilute the liquid in a bottle, adding 10 cups of water.
  9. Dip your cuttings in this mixture before planting.

Keikis or Suckers for Phalaenopsis Orchids:

Certain orchid varieties, like phalaenopsis, produce keikis or baby shoots. These small copies of the mother plant can be separated and planted to grow into new orchids.

  1. Allow the keiki to grow a few more leaves and develop a healthy root system.
  2. When ready, separate the keiki from the mother plant using a clean knife or shears.
  3. Plant the keiki in a pot using the same substrate as the mother plant.
  4. Water the pot and place it near a heat source.
Orchid care

Additional Orchid Care Tips:

  • Use baking soda as a natural fertilizer by diluting one tablespoon in one quart of room temperature water and watering at the base of the plant.
  • Avoid putting baking soda directly on the orchids or the substrate, as it may harm the plant due to its salt content.
  • Explore other natural fertilizers such as coffee grounds, banana peels, eggshells, and cooking water from starchy foods.

By taking cuttings and following these tips, you can multiply your orchids, ensuring an abundance of these stunning blooms in your collection.