Orchid- Planting activities

Monopodial orchids are propagated by stem cuttings. Terminal cuttings with one or two healthy aerial roots are ideal as planting material.

Basal cuttings of 30 cm length with a few roots and leaves are also good. But they take longer time to sprout and grow.

Sympodial orchids are propagated by separation of pseudobulbs. A plant with minimum two or three pseudobulbs with the basal root is ideal for planting.

Some of the sympodial varieties produce sprouts at the top of pseudobulb called as keikis. Keikis when fully grown can be separated and planted.

Besides, back-bulbs or spent canes (shoots that have ceased to produce flowers) before they get shrivelled can be severed from the mother plant and placed horizontally over the medium to stimulate sprouting of new shoots.

Terminal cuttings of monopodial orchids are planted loosely on old coconut husks at a spacing of 30 cm between plants and 45 cm between rows in long beds.

Basal cuttings will sprout within a period of two months. Partial shade up to 50 per cent is required for sprouting. After sprouting they are planted at the recommended spacing.

Monopodial orchids can be grown on ground above soil level. A thick bed of 15-20 cm height is loosely arranged. Well dried coconut husks are better than fresh husks.

Sympodial orchids are grown on benches above ground level or suspended from above.

Slotted wooden baskets filled with small pieces of dried coconut husk or partially burnt charcoal is good for plant growth. Planting is done above the medium with a support for proper anchorage.

Planting can also be done in pots or other containers. Mud pots of 10-20 cm diameter with several large holes on the side and bottom, filled with tile bits, chopped coconut husk or charcoal are used for planting.

A clear solution of fresh cow dung can be used for irrigation for a few days. Dipping in fresh cow dung solution before planting also gives good results.