How to Separate Orchid Plants


Orchids that produce pseudobulbs such as the dendrobium, cymbidium, encyclia and cattleya species can easily be divided to propagate the plants. Dividing can also be done to alleviate crowding that is hindering performance or health or when the orchid has simply outgrown a favorite pot. Orchids should be divided when division will leave at least three pseudo bulbs. Divide orchids immediately after they have bloomed to minimize disturbance to next year's blooming.

Step 1

Tip the orchid pot on it side and slide the entire plant out in one piece. Knock off the planting medium to expose the roots and get a clear view of where the pseudobulbs connect to one another.

Step 2

Break apart the pseudobulbs along their natural borders.

Step 3

Fill a new pot 1/4 of the way full with fresh coarse orchid medium made from bark and charcoal. Set the pseudobulb into the pot with the youngest growth in the center of the pot. Spread the roots evenly and gently in the mix. Back fill orchid medium around the roots to secure the plant. Use your fingers to tuck the medium into and around the roots to make good contact.

Step 4

Water the new plants well with tepid water until the medium is saturated. Allow the excess water to drain away and place in a location with indirect light. Resume weekly watering and monthly feeding with an orchid food diluted with water at 25 percent of the recommended label strength.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh orchid medium
  • Pots
  • Orchid fertilizer


  • BBC Garden Guide
  • Michiana Orchid Society
Keywords: dividing orchids, separating pseudobulbs, propagate orchids

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.