The bamboo orchid (Arundina graminifolia or Arundina barbusifolia) is the easiest orchid you will ever grow. This ornamental garden plant is native to tropical Asia and grows up to 8 feet tall. Before the plant reaches the blooming stage, it looks very much like a young bamboo plant. The ideal plant size for indoor growing should be 0.5-1.5 m high.
The orchid produces oval-shaped pinkish flowers sequentially at the top of tall cane during the summer period. The lower 2 sepals are pressed against the labellum while the top sepal is narrower and smaller than the 2 side petals.
There are two methods of propagation
· By dividing rhizomes(keikis and pseudobulbs)
Bamboo orchid propagates itself through keikis (small plantlets on the flower stems). They often develop along pseudobulbs (thickened stems at the base of each growth). When they reach the maturity stage, they are cut and potted. The most effective way of propagating orchids is by dividing them. Division should be done when they are ready for re-potting. Proper division is the best way of producing a clone of the parent plant. When keikis develop some roots, they are carefully cut and potted. The canes don’t always grow upright. They tend to tip over forming a major vegetative propagation strategy.
· Seed propagation
The orchid can also be propagated by seeds, but it’s somewhat difficult. Orchids produce tiny seeds which are quite hard to germinate. They lack the necessary nutrients needed for germination. Since it’s almost impossible to grow the seeds of the parent plant, the orchid can be grown through sterile laboratory flasks. Alternatively, you can grow them on your own if you keep the agar and flasks sterile. To sterilize the seeds, you should first soak them in dilute bleach solution. However, if are able to get orchid flasking service around your area, they can germinate the seeds for you.
To grow the orchid, you should maintain temperatures at 22C (71F) – 30C (85F) during the day and 13C (55F) – 16C (60F) during the night. However, the plant can withstand mild freezes occasionally. The orchid plant thrives in a well-drained soil. Any temperature that’s reasonably comfortable on humans is going to be fine for the plant. The plant prefers full sun or at least partial sun. When growing indoors, it should be positioned in a place where it can receive temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels should be maintained at 70%. These plants are robust and can grow when given less attentive care.
Growing the orchid indoors
To grow the orchid indoors, you require three to five canes (a clump) and a 12-inch diameter pot. You can mix pot organic soil with sand. Bamboo orchid should be fertilized once a week from spring to fall. Mix a quarter teaspoon of fertilizer crystals into one gallon of water. Once in a while, you can move the plant outdoors. It’s recommended that you first introduce it to partial shade before exposing it to full sun. Keep the area around the plant humid.
Growing the orchid outdoors
Since the orchid prefers low humidity, it grows better outdoors than indoors. To grow the orchid outdoors, you should select a raised bed with full or partial sun. Mix the top soil with compost material and then add some organic fertilizer. The plants should be spaced 1 foot apart. Make sure the mulch does not touch the stem of the plant. Once the buds have bloomed, pruning is necessary.
The golden rule for bamboo orchid success is to duplicate the plant’s natural conditions as closely as possible. When in a controlled environment, it forms a delightful indoor plant.