Home » Categories » Multiple Categories

Repotting orchids

Repotting orchids

Spring is the best time to re-pot orchids because the warmer weather and longer days will initiate new growth. First things first though, let's decide which orchids benefit from re-potting at this time of year because, just like us, not all orchids appreciate moving home!
•Cymbidium species will just have finished flowering and with their new growths emerging they will respond well to fresh open compost at this time of year.
•Phalaenopsis spp. (moth orchids) too, will benefit from the warmth and sprout new, fleshy roots.
•Cattleya spp. will have pushed out their new growths during the winter from which new white roots will be emerging .This is exactly the right time to re-pot these elegant beauties.
If you have any doubts or fears about re-potting your orchids then pay a visit to the garden centre where you bought them and ask for advice.
 
Re-potting step by step
1. To remove the plant from the pot invert the plant and gently tap off the pot so that the plant remains in one hand and the pot comes off freely in the other.
2. Orchids like to be root bound or have a pot of matted roots. If the root ball is intact simply use a clean pot that is only about 2cm bigger than the old one. If you have to remove some of the roots then use a clean pot of the same size as the existing one.
3. Place the plant in the pot and fill in around it with fresh damp compost. Ideally the compost should be made up of bark and perlite.
4. If the roots are rotted or decaying it is important to untangle them first.
5. Remove any damaged or rotten root matter by snipping it off with clean secateurs before re-potting the plant.
 
Tips

•Often rock wool has been used as a growing medium. This does not need to be removed. Simply pot on in either rock wool or bark based compost.
•If you use a plastic pot it may be necessary to add some crock or broken bricks to ensure good drainage and to weight the plant down and avoid it falling over if it is in a breezy position. Terracotta pots are popular but expensive, and usually have to be broken when re-potting. Plastic pots are ideal, inexpensive and easily cleaned with household disinfectant.
•Once re-potted, do not water the plant for about two weeks as this will encourage the emerging roots to infiltrate the fresh compost in their search for water. From then on, water once a week during spring, twice weekly in the summer months, and reduce watering as autumn approaches.
 
Feeding your orchids

Spring – use a high-nitrogen fertiliser (30:10:10) to encourage new growth.
Summer – use a general fertiliser (18:18:18) at half the recommended strength.
Autumn –a high pot ash fertiliser (10:30:20) to 'harden' and prepare the plants for winter. This, together with the drop in night temperature, will also encourage blooming.
Read all about it!
Treat yourself to a copy of Michael Tibb's book Orchids – a simple guide. It contains a whole section about re-potting, along with detailed images of the process.

Article by Michael Tibbs
Attachments Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments (1) Comments
Comment by heidi agnello on Mon, Sep 10th, 2012 at 10:16 AM
thanks 4 article on how 2 repot orchits.will try it.
Related Articles RSS Feed
Mandevilla x amoena ‘Alice du Pont’
Viewed 4734 times since Mon, Mar 12, 2012
Urns
Viewed 4048 times since Wed, Apr 4, 2012
Container plants that beat the heat
Viewed 6026 times since Wed, Mar 21, 2012
Franjipanis
Viewed 2783 times since Thu, May 17, 2012
Myrciaria cauliflora 2
Viewed 6533 times since Fri, Sep 27, 2013
Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Kyoto’
Viewed 3236 times since Tue, May 28, 2013
Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (black mondo grass)
Viewed 3307 times since Tue, May 28, 2013
Transform the trash!
Viewed 903 times since Fri, May 9, 2014
Pelargonium tongaense
Viewed 3036 times since Tue, Oct 29, 2013
Ophiopogon japonicus
Viewed 4622 times since Tue, May 28, 2013