Experiment 1:

When searching the Internet I noticed that nobody ever discussed or mentioned experiments related to growing slippers from cuttings. I decided to try out this old method of propagating plants.

I used an older plant (Paphiopedilum helvetica) with two new “suckers” and using a sharp razor blade I cut one of the suckers just below the second pair of leaves, sprayed the “cut” with fungicide and hung it to dry.

A few hours later, I dipped the cutting into a rooting powder and planted it a couple of millimeters deep in a good orchid mix (fine size bark + 10% medium size perlite), and supported it with labeling plastic sticks (Photo).



I kept the pot away from sunlight, 25-28o C, 55% - 65% humidity and sprayed it twice a week and every hot day. The plant, although looked “sickish”, remained alive. Three months later, I noticed a swelling appearing at ground level, which was a month later easily identified as a new root. After another two months, the “cutting” had three clearly visible roots (Photo), one over 13 mm long.



The next step is to re-pot it and treat it like any other orchid.

You may ask: What’s the point of propagating slippers from cuttings if you can do it by dividing the plant, a much safer way?

The reply is simple: There is no need to propagate slippers from cuttings; however, when you divide a plant and you accidently break a new, young shoot off, don’t throw that broken piece away. Use the procedure described above and with a bit of luck you will have a new, healthy, identical plant in a few months time.