When And How To Repot An Orchid Plant

Orchids were once the domain of specialist greenhouse hobbyists, but they are becoming more common in the home of the common gardener.

They are relatively easy to grow as long as you find the right conditions, but almost all growers are nervous about replanting an orchid.

Orchids don't grow like other indoor plants; Instead of planting roots in a pot of soil, they exist in a container of loose materials like bark, charcoal, and moss.

Transplanting can be the hardest time for orchids because they are susceptible to disease and you will be exposing the roots, but with a little care, you can replant orchids with excellent results.

Orchid replant

When replanting orchids it is important to ensure success. There are two main ways to know if your orchid needs to be replanted.

First, if it is growing outside of its container, you can see white roots appearing between the spaces in the container. This is a clear sign that your plant has grown larger than your home.

The other reason to replant orchids is when the substrate begins to break down. Orchids grow in a very bulky medium and when it is broken into smaller pieces it does not drain either.

Change the medium to give the orchid roots the air they need. The other half of knowing when to repot orchids is choosing the time of year that is best for the plant.

If you have a cattleya or one that produces pseudobulbs, re-plan shortly after flowering and before the roots begin to grow.

For all other orchids, you can replant them at any time, although it is generally not a good idea to disturb the plant when it is blooming.

How to repot an orchid

Choose a new pot that is 2.5 to 5 cm larger than the old one. Specialized orchid pots have holes throughout to increase air circulation to the roots, but you can also use a traditional terracotta pot.

Place the orchid potting mix in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow the water to cool to room temperature and drain the potting mix.

One of the most important things to learn about replanting an orchid is that they are very sensitive to bacteria and germs. Make a solution of 1/2 cup (120 ml) of household bleach and 1 gallon (4 L.) of water.

Dip the planter in this, as well as whatever tools you use. Wash your hands before continuing. Carefully remove the pot from the plant and wash the roots.

Use sharp scissors to cut brown or rotten roots. Fill the new pot with the soaked potting medium and position the plant so that the base is on top of the medium.

Use a toothpick to help push pieces of planting medium between the roots. Keep the orchid misty for at least a week until new roots begin to appear.

Transplanting an orchid doesn't have to be intimidating. Just pay attention to the weather and ensure the right growing conditions for your beloved plant to thrive.

We hope you enjoy this video about how to repot an orchid plant:

Source: Eden Maker Con Shirley Bovshow

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