Sunday, November 9, 2008

Over dividing orchids as a strategy

Bulbophyllum caudatum grows in north-east India, Nepal and Sikkim. It is cool to warm growing and does well mounted. It blooms in late spring.

The genus Bulbophyllum contains 1500 species found in all tropical areas on earth.

When a plant is seriously overgrown I have found that over dividing is a good strategy. I have tried breaking overgrown plants into larger pieces but for me the result has been root loss at the next repotting.

If it is not possible to open up the roots and clean the plant properly I take my clippers and start cutting. I work slowly, trying not to get carried away. Even so, I will end up with small groups of backbulbs that have no lead.

That's what happened with this Bulbophyllum caudatum. The roots were closely intertwined and very difficult to separate. There were long sections of rhizome connected backbulbs. They have been placed in a community pot until new growth starts.

This type of community pot is one I have had good results with for many small plants. It is a saucer that has had a hole drilled, then covered with a layer of pea gravel and another of sphagnum moss. After the pieces are placed on the moss I usually add a little more sphagnum around the pieces.

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