How to propagate outdoor orchids, is one query to consider, if you wish to multiply orchids. The first and most important factor here would be choosing a healthy stem, cutting three nodes below it, planting it in a new pot, and following the care practices.How to Propagate Outdoor Orchids

However, it takes work, as many other factors influence the propagation. This guide explores all the pre-and post-propagating steps, which will help you raise a new orchid from a cutting within a year, so continue reading this article to find the right way.

How to Propagate Outdoor Orchids?

To propagate outdoor orchids, observe them first and select stems with more than three nodes. Cut the stem below the third node and plant it in a new pot. Then, you can add a dose of rooting hormone and follow proper nurturing measures to help the cutting grow.

1. Choose the Propagation Method

You can propagate an orchid in many ways. The common one is using stem cuttings. If there are orchid keikis on spikes, you can use them too. Furthermore, you can also use pseudobulbs.Choosing Propagation Method

But since some orchids don’t have them, it is not a popular method, and in this case, propagating orchids from aerial roots is possible, but the chances of success are way low, and the reason is that the roots are more difficult to handle than the stem.

Moreover, you can propagate your orchids in both potting mix and water. Using potting soil or even the mix method is simple, and with this, you should also think about the comparison; because when you think about planting cutting in liquid is complicated. So, how to propagate orchids in water.

Moreover, it should be clean and young. Growing a new orchid with old leaves is nearly impossible if you wish to have a proper glimpse at how to propagate Phalaenopsis orchids from leaves.

2. Wait for the Right Time

It is better to propagate an orchid when its growing phase is about to start. Different orchid varieties have different growing seasons. You should search for the plants you have and wait for these months to arrive if you wish to know in detail about how to propagate outdoor orchids from cuttings.

The reason for waiting is that stem cutting will feel less stressed and immediately start growing when it is growing season, and you would also want to see them growing without any stress, because this may not be easy for you or the plant. For instance, phalaenopsis prefers winter; on the other hand, Vanda orchids like summer, and as you would be patient may be frustrating for some, to see them eestablishing well.

But remember that getting new orchids via propagation is faster than the plants you get from orchid seeds. An orchid seed can take a few weeks to 10 months for germination. So, hold off until the appropriate time, and make sure that you have the right season to work it off.

3. Inspect Your Orchid

In any “how to propagate orchid from flower stem” step, there is a lot of emphasis on examining the spike. It is because cutting a wrong or immature one can waste your efforts. There are two orchid types- monopodial and sympodial. Inspecting monopodial takes less time because there is only one stem.Inspecting Orchid Plant

However, sympodial orchid plants have more stems and pseudobulbs than monopodial ones. Therefore, you have many options about which part to propagate. That is why the propagation of sympodial is easy, and some of the popular sympodial orchids are the Cattleya orchids, Dendrobium nobile, or the Chysis.

However, most gardeners have monopodial moth orchids. Therefore, there is only one stem to examine and check if they are growing in a healthy way, such as having any issues with rotting or diseases. Carefully inspect it, confirm whether it is even ready to be propagated, and ensure to pick a healthy plant.

You should ensure the stem or spike must have at least four nodes. Furthermore, don’t cut the ones that have orchid flowers or buds, and with this, you must also remember that, the stem should have aerial roots and at least three leaves at the trimming time. These roots and leaves will help the cutting grow after you plant it.

4. Get a Suitable New Pot and Prepare It

Formally start the propagation process by getting a small pot, around three to four inches in size. “Over-sized” containers are not the choice that you should go for, because placing the cuttings in them can stress them out. Plus, it is easy to handle and carry small pots.

Which type of pot to use depends on the environmental conditions. In such a manner, a plastic pot is a good choice in dry conditions because it traps moisture and increases humidity. Terra cotta or clay pots are perfect for high-humid areas because they support maximum airflow and drainage.

After getting a pot, fill it with a top-quality potting mix, which is an important step now. For this, the popular choices are shredded bark and sphagnum moss. You can also add coconut coir, perlite, and premium orchid potting mix to enrich the medium further.

You should fill only half the pot in this step, and after you do so, use a stick and create a hole in between. You can dig it with your finger, but wear gloves for hygiene. You will be placing the stem cutting in this hole.

5. Sterilize Every Piece of Equipment for Safe Propagation

Before growing orchids’ cuttings, sterilizing every piece of equipment is necessary. It will protect your main orchid and the cutting from pathogen attacks. It’s easy too. Get rubbing alcohol, pour it on a paper towel, and wipe the things you want to disinfect.

You should sanitize the pruning shears or scissors and a spray bottle. We also recommend sterilizing the pot you choose. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, bleach will also work, but dilution is a must. Hence, make a 10 percent solution with water and soak the scissors and pot in it for about 20 minutes, and then, take them out and dry them.

6. Cut the Orchid Stem With Care

Count the nodes from the top of the spike and then make a cut below the third one. The nodes feel like a bump when you touch the spike. Now, do remember that you should always keep the stem on the node.Cutting Orchid Stem With Care

It will hurt the mother orchid, and the chances of successful propagation will also decrease. Always cut one to two inches below the node bump. We recommend you sprinkle some cinnamon powder on the wound to protect the spike from fungal attacks.

7. Plant the Stem Cutting in the Pot

In this step, you can plant the stem cutting in the hole you dug earlier. After placing, cover the base by adding some more potting mix. The cutting should stay erect and not tilt to any side.

Moreover, ensure the aerial roots remain untangled. If they cluster around, they won’t be able to absorb the moisture. If it happens, the stem-cutting growth will slow down.

8. Give a Dose of Rooting Hormone or Agent

Giving a dose of rooting hormones/agents is recommended to increase the chances of successful orchid propagation. They cause hormonal changes in the stem, encouraging them to produce more roots.Orchid Rooting Hormone

Lots of gardening companies manufacture rooting stimulants. They are affordable too. So, get a rooting supplement and follow the instructions printed on the package. There are two ways to apply a rooting agent: pre- and post-planting.

Now, after cutting the stem, moisten its base with water, and for this, you should also add the rooting hormone to a vase or glass. Dip the cutting in it, and try to shake off any powder or liquid, but now, you can then plant the cutting.

Now, after you have planted, you must mix a rooting stimulant in water, this step can change and that is why it is best that you walk along the measurements given as the recommended ratio on the bottle, carefully apply the solution in the pot, in which you planted cutting, and let the medium soak it.

You can also use natural rooting agents commonly found in the kitchen. The popular ones are aloe vera, honey, and cinnamon powder. You can also mix them in water before applying them. These rooting stimulants will kick-start root growth in a few days.

9. Place a Pot in a Suitable Spot and Start the Care Measures

Put the pot in a suitable spot and do the orchid care measures after doing all the above steps. We recommend you grow orchid cutting indoors for the first few weeks because the inside’s settings are more favorable for a sensitive cutting than outdoors. The best place for the pot is near east or north-facing windows.

You can shift the pot outside if you see new growth, like leaflets. Place it where bright and indirect light falls, as direct sunlight can kill the cutting. Also, orchids grow best in well-aerated spots. Therefore, you should use fans to provide suitable growing conditions for the cuttings.

You must also water orchids’ cuttings on time using a spray bottle. Please keep checking the potting medium’s condition to know about it. If it feels dry, then mist some water. Furthermore, drain the extra liquid if you ever overwater the pot.

Moreover, adding fertilizers every week is also necessary to keep the growth running. These simple care measures will help the stem become an adult orchid without hassle, and that’s all about how to grow orchids from stem cuttings.


We discussed easy steps that are for newbies and seasoned gardeners, so now, take a look at the summary of the complete guide to refresh every key detail:

  • Propagation with a stem is easier than other parts and can be accomplished in outdoor orchids.
  • The stem should have three nodes, many aerial roots, and two to three leaves.
  • Cut below the third node and plant the cutting in a top-quality potting mix.
  • Add a rooting hormone dose to speed up root growth.
  • Provide optimal growing conditions to the stem by managing light, ventilation, etc.

Propagating orchids is that easy, and you now don’t have to search “how to grow orchids from cuttings with pictures” or watch “how to propagate outdoor orchids YouTube” videos, so follow this guide step-by-step, and you can effortlessly grow a new orchid from an old one.

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