Sympodial orchids can grow in one of two different ways. The Oncidium orchid on the left above has a circular growth pattern. It will grow in any direction and often puts out more than one new shoot each growth phase. The Cattleya orchid on the right above has a linear growth pattern. Its older pseudobulbs are on one end of the rhizome and its new growth is on the other. It will produce one new shoot each growth phase.
If you have an older sympodial orchid that has at least 8 pseudobulbs, you can divide the orchid into two separate plants. Since the orchid uses its pseudobulbs for food and water storage, you need to keep at least 4 or 5 healthy pseudobulbs with each new plant.