Re-Potting Orchids

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Re-Potting Orchids

Potting up any plant can seem like a daunting task when you are not familiar with the procedure and orchid plants generally tend to be the ones that cause a bit of a panic situation. The following tips should help to make it a simple and enjoyable job because there is nothing better than seeing an overgrown, tired-looking orchid suddenly looking revived and ready for a few more years of flowering.

First question to ask yourself is “Does my plant need re-potting (i.e. replacing in the same size pot), or is it so root-bound that it needs potting-on (i.e. moving up into the next size pot)? Remember that orchids do best when their roots are restricted so if the plant is still stable in its pot and not constantly falling over, then simply wash the old pot thoroughly to use again or replace if it has become brittle. 

To clear up the confusion over clear pots, the main reason, particularly with Phalaenopsis (moth orchids), is that the roots are constantly searching for light and clear pots will help to keep more of the root inside the pot instead of it creeping out of the top. 

The natural habit of moth orchids is growing from nooks and crannies amongst tree branches with no compost so light is an important factor to them.  

Next choose an orchid potting media, usually a bark or coco husk mixture. Wash all of the old media off the roots of the orchid and cut out any that are brown and mushy. Place a little of the fresh mixture into the base of the new pot and insert the plant, carefully working more of the fresh potting mix around the roots and tapping the pot on the table gently to allow the mix to work down through the roots. Water in thoroughly and allow to drain before placing the orchid back in its saucer or pot cover. Trim away any old flowering stems if they have gone brown but leave them on if they are still green, they may flower again from these stems.

Happy potting.