Can Orchid leaves be planted to make new Orchids?

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by MaryBi, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. MaryBi

    MaryBi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    HI,
    I am a beginner with orchids. I only have two babies and one blooming orchid. A leaf broke off of my blooming orchid. Can I plant it to make more orchids?
    Thank you,
    MaryBi
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,896
    Likes Received:
    631
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Usually pieces of rootstock must be attached.
     
  3. MaryBi

    MaryBi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Thanks for your reply. I am going to plant it and see if it will root for me. I don't know any other way to make more orchids right now. So you don't think it will root for me?
    MaryBi
     
  4. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,307
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I really doubt it. What species of orchid do you have? If one with pseudobulbs, perhaps it can be divided; if, say, a phalaenopsis, you could wait and see if it will produce a keiki for you. ---However, I HAVE rooted a cutting of a jewel orchid (Ludisia discolor) which I potted up after it developed adequate roots---now doing well. So, once again: what is your orchid?
     
  5. MaryBi

    MaryBi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Well, first, thanks for all the responses I got on this question. Since I am brand new to Orchids, I have to ask 'togata57', what are pseudobulbs? What is a keiki? What is a jewel orchid? What is Ludisia discolor?

    I purchased my orchid at Lowe's and the attached label read as follows "Phalenopsis sp. It is blooming now and in the repot a leaf broke off. I have planted it just to see if it will produce anything.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,896
    Likes Received:
    631
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Surf "phalenopsis propagation".
     
  7. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,307
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    We all gotta start somewhere! True, one can get a TON of information off the internet. Yeah, well, sometimes TOO much. You gaze at all these words and pictures and your brain tries to process all these unfamiliar terms into something you can understand. As with any specialized field of interest, orchid-growing has its own jargon and terminology that can seem like a real blank wall when you're starting out.

    The best way to learn anything is by doing it. You've taken the first step by getting a phal. (---You say you have "two babies".??? I'm assuming you mean orchid babies! What are these and where did they come from?) Orchids grow all over the world---on alpine mountaintops, in rain forests, even here in Ohio. As with any plant, your goal is to try to give it a home as much like its native one as possible. OK, you don't have to move to the Philippines!---but know that phals are epiphytic orchids, meaning they hang their roots out in the air to get moisture and food. This is why it is essential to keep air circulating around their roots, and to protect them from damage. I pot mine in chunky pine bark, spray down thoroughly in the sink once a week or so and mist them daily. Bright but NOT direct sunlight; fairly warm temp., and good drainage and air movement.

    Now: phals. are monopodial, meaning they grow up in a vertical way. Others (Dendrobium, Odontoglossum) are sympodial, and grow by making new pseudobulbs along an extending (underground) rhizome. These pseudobulbs are storage units for energy and moisture, so that the plant can survive in poor conditions. With orchids like these the plant can be divided when the pot gets too full.

    To propagate phals. I think the best way is to wait for a keiki to develop. Now, I've had quite a few over the years with mine---but I understand that some folks never get any! Go figure. ---A keiki is a baby plant that appears on an old flower stalk. You see something happening and think it's more flowers...but it looks different... it gets a leaf, it gets roots! No, you don't have some freakish mutation on your hands: it's a baby! Wait till it gets some decent roots and a few leaves, then carefully cut it from the stalk (I leave the bit it's attached to) and pot it.

    Ludisia discolor is the scientific name of a kind of "jewel orchid", so called because of their beautiful leaves. I have 2 of these: the bigger one sent up a flower stalk for me this spring! Some folks disdain the flowers as being too small or something---I dunno. The stalk had about 20 tiny but gorgeous white flowers! These are terrestrial orchids, meaning that they grow in the ground. A friend gave me another jewel that was 95 per cent stem with about 4 leaves at its tip end. I cut off and rooted this, then potted it, and now it's a respectable looking plant.

    There is a HUGE variety of orchids in the world! Each one has its own beauty. I hope that I've helped you and your orchid! Best of luck. Send in a picture sometime!
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  8. MaryBi

    MaryBi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Yes, I have two babies orchids. Not sure if that is the right name for them. Here is the label on them:
    DENDROBIUM DRACONIS NBS
    AND
    DENDROBIUM SIGNATUM NBS

    The Draconis has tiny leaves with roots attached. The Signatum has a 4 inch stem with leaves that are small as well (only about 1-2" each) It also had a very small root system attached.
    I have planted my babies and my Phalaenopsis sp that is blooming in something called Orchid Moss and I did put rocks in the bottom for drainage.
    I don't know if I planted in the correct material and could not find anything on it at the time. They are all in an east facing window with shades trees outside, which is good for summer, but come fall and winter, not sure if they will get enough light.

    I appreciated all your time you took explaining orchid words or terms to me.
    Thanks,
    Mary Bi
     
  9. MaryBi

    MaryBi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I have attached the orchids we have been discussing. I did see what looked like new growth on both Dendrobiums.
    Mary Bi
     

    Attached Files:

  10. MaryBi

    MaryBi Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    The Phal is the one blooming. The other two were purchased on eBay from a Canadian seller. The Phal was purchased at Lowe's
    Mary Bi
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,307
    Likes Received:
    270
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Phal looks good! With the Dendrobiums, make sure that the moss isn't staying too wet. See? You have pseudobulbs! Noticed the new growth on your bigger one.---Good that you have the ID tags for your plants---VERY often plants bought at places like Lowe's or Home Depot don't have them. Helps to know what you've got! Yeah, you might know "it's a phal" by looking at it, but if you know exactly what it is you can learn a lot more about it. ---Thanks for the pictures!
     

Share This Page