How to Divide Orchid Plants


Orchids are among the most diverse plants in the world. Species of orchid may be found from the arctic to the Antarctic. However, most orchids grow in tropical zones. While some orchids only grow from seed, others will put out baby plants at their base. Once these baby plants mature, divide the offshoot orchid from its parent plant.

Step 1

Wait until the orchids have finished blooming to divide the plants.

Step 2

Turn the orchid container on its side. Support the plants with one hand and gently tap the container to loosen it.

Step 3

Gently pick the bark out of the roots of the plants and discard it. Orchid bark deteriorates after two years and should not be reused. Most orchids are grown in bark.

Step 4

Mix a sterilization solution of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Clean your gardening shears with this solution before using them.

Step 5

Cut the offshoot rhizome of the orchid away from the parent plant. The offshoot rhizome should have a good set of roots that come away with it.

Step 6

Examine the roots of both plants. Remove any dead roots, which will be hollow and soft.

Step 7

Dip the rhizomes in rooting hormone to help the plant develop new roots.

Step 8

Place both plants in new, sterile containers with new planting bark.

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Garden shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • 2 sterile containers
  • Orchid bark


  • Texas A&M: Orchidaceae - Orchid Family
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Tips on Growing Orchids in Florida
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Nun's Orchid

Who Can Help

  • Orchids: Care and Tips - Basic Repotting and Dividing
  • Repot Time: Repotting FAQ
  • Bella Online: Dividing Your Orchids - Cattleyas
Keywords: dividing orchids, growing orchids, orchid propagation

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."