Vanilla orchids are a beautiful and fragrant addition to any garden or home. The vanilla orchid is not just beautiful but also produces the key ingredient that is used in one of the most commonly used flavors in baking – vanilla. If you own a vanilla orchid plant, then learning how to propagate it will help you expand your collection of plants without having to spend any money on buying new ones.
Propagating Vanilla Orchids: A Step-by-Step Guide
Vanilla orchids can be propagated by two different methods: stem cuttings and air layering. In both cases, it’s best to wait until the plant has finished flowering for the season before taking cuttings or attempting air layering.
Stem Cuttings Method:
The stem cutting method involves removing a healthy stem from an adult vanilla orchid and planting it into soil or water. Follow these steps:
1. Select a healthy stem that is at least 6 inches long with multiple nodes along its length.
2. Using sharp scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut on either side of each node.
3. Dip the bottom end of each cutting into rooting hormone powder (you can get this from your local nursery).
4. Plant each cutting about 1 inch deep into moist potting soil mix.
5. Water gently but thoroughly so that soil settles around each cutting.
6.Cover them loosely with plastic wrap making sure they do not touch any leaves.
Air Layering Method:
The air layering method requires more patience than taking stem cuttings, but it’s still an effective way to propagate vanilla orchids if done correctly. Here are some simple steps:
1.Locate an aerial root emerging from one of your mature stems
2.Wrap damp sphagnum moss tightly around this piece
3.Once wrapped up tight enough pour hydrogen peroxide over moss creating bubbling action
4.Tie plastic wrap securely around Sphagnum and leave until roots form
5.When your cutting has developed a good system of roots, you can remove it from the parent plant and pot up in its own container.
Propagating vanilla orchids is an enjoyable process that allows you to expand your collection of plants without spending any money. Both methods outlined here are effective ways to propagate these beautiful and fragrant plants. The stem cutting method is more straightforward, while air layering requires more patience but ultimately produces better results. Either way, with proper care and attention, the new plants should be well rooted in a short amount of time!