How to Separate an Orchid Plant


Orchids provide your home and garden with a foreign beauty of heavy blooms that hang from thin, delicate stems and colors that range from deep solid pinks to mixed shades of reds and browns. Depending on the type, orchids can be expensive when purchased from a nursery or retailer. By separating a orchid that you own, you will not only save money, but spread the orchid's beauty around your home.

Step 1

Select the orchid you wish to separate. Ensure the orchid has between 4 and 6 pseudo bulbs. Pseudo bulbs are stem-like structures that support the orchid blooms. They are identified by their solid, thick bulb-like structure that holds water and nutrients for the orchid.

Step 2

Examine the pseudo bulbs, checking for new growth. For best results, separate the orchid plant when new growth begins to emerge on the pseudo bulbs.

Step 3

Remove the orchid from its container and rinse the dirt away from the roots. Take care not to damage the fragile root system.

Step 4

Separate the orchid between the pseudo bulbs, cutting the small roots that join them together with a sharp, sterilized knife. Ideally, each new division will contain 4 to 5 pseudo bulbs with at least one pseudo bulb sprouting new growth. The more new growth that is sprouting from the pseudo bulbs, the better. The amount of groups you separate depends on the size of the orchid plant.

Step 5

Remove any dead or dried-out roots from the freshly separated bulbs. Plant the separations into new containers filled with fresh potting soil.

Step 6

Water the new plants until the soil is damp, but not soaked. Keep the soil damp to the touch so the new transplants will be able to properly root.

Things You'll Need

  • Established orchid plant
  • Sharp knife
  • Potting soil
  • Planting containers


  • Beautiful Orchids: Orchid Care Tips
  • Britains Orchids: An Introduction to Orchids
Keywords: orchid separation, separating orchid plants, orchid cutting

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.