Orchids Repotting is inevitable as the orchids are well known for their fast growth and unusual soil requirements.
As epiphytic plants, they often don’t require traditional potting soil but instead a container filled with a soilless medium and other key components like charcoal, bark, and moss.
This has made repotting an orchid plant a bit tricky or difficult as you risk exposing their delicate, specialized roots to diseases if done the wrong way.
That is why having a deep understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘when’ of repotting orchids is crucial to a proper plant’s growth.
When To Repot Orchids
Figuring out the best time to repot orchids is the key to a successful orchid repot. Doing it too early can cause major stress to the roots or doing it under the wrong conditions could also have the same negative effects.
Always avoid repotting your orchids while it is blooming, as this is a delicate period for the plant and an Improper repotting could ruin the blooms or affect the plant’s overall health.
In fact, it is recommended you repot or replant an orchid if it satisfies any of these conditions;
- The plant outgrows the pot being used, with roots exposed and finding more space to breathe.
- The growing media being used is in a bad shape, which is unhealthy as it can harbor fungi and bacteria.
- The top part of the orchid plant has overgrown the pot, causing the plant to topple over with ease.
If none of the above conditions have been met, then do not attempt repotting the orchid plant.
What To Use To Repot Orchids
Now that you are certain your orchid plant is due for repotting, you would need the following tools and materials for a successful orchid repot.
- A blogger orchid pot or container.
- Sterilized tools like snips and scissors (sterilize them to limit infecting the plant).
- Shards from a broken pot or styrofoam peanuts.
How To Repot an Orchid (steps)
After getting the required tools and materials for repotting, proceed to the following steps;
- Choose a pot or container
Being an epiphytic plant, orchids gives you numerous options on what to grow the plant on. You can make use of a wooden slab or a clay pot, a hanging basket, or perhaps hang them on a wire. But using a pot is the most popular and easiest to grow them.
Use a heavy clay pot that has good moisture retaining abilities but do ensure it has enough drainage holes located at its base to allow the easy flow of water when watering.
- Place the broken pot shards in the chosen pot
The broken can shards can be exchanged for a standard potting media suitable for orchids or styrofoam peanuts. This is to help improve the drainage of the chosen pot or container.
- Select a good potting mix
Be very selective when it comes to this step. There are numerous orchid potting media that you can try out, but it is most recommended that you create your own healthy mix.
To do this, you would need to mix clay pellets, vermiculite, fir bark, perlite, sphagnum moss, coconut husk, and a few more.
Whatever you choose, have in mind that organic materials do have the tendency to decay. Also, ensure your potting mix is well-draining.
- Remove the plant from its old pot
This should be done with caution, try as much as possible to not break the old pot while removing the orchid roots from the pot.
Once this is done, take time to study the plant’s roots for any signs of dead roots. If you do notice, use your sterilized scissors or snips to cut them off.
- Cut and divide the plant
Divide the orchid plants that grow from pseudobulbs but be sure to leave a minimum of 3 pseudobulbs and that there are healthy roots in each division.
Once this is done, proceed to cut the stems with sterilized scissors, be gentle so you don’t end up damaging the stems, and then plant each individual division.
- Place the plant in the new pot
The next step is to place each orchid division in a pot or container filled with the growing medium. You can hold the orchid in place using orchid clips.
Once the orchid is in the pot, pour some more growing medium into the pot and balance the plant in it till all you can see is the plant’s top.
- Water and nurture your orchids
With the bulk of the work done, all that’s left is that you nurture and take care of the orchid plant. It might not produce blooms in the first year, but that’s normal.
Study the orchid species you are growing and ensure you meet its basic requirements, new roots should start forming after a week or 2 and your orchid would be on its way to becoming a healthy and mature plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to repotting orchids would be by dividing the pseudobulbs.
Orchids can be replanted in regular clay pots, plastic pots, and a hanging basket.
Yes, over time they outgrow their bots and would need to be replanted in a bigger pot for proper growth.
It is often recommended that you repot your orchids after their dormancy period before they produce new blooms.
When repotting orchids, use a pot with a diameter that is either half or ⅓ of the orchid’s height.