Repotting Orchids

Below are a few pointers on re-potting. We always encourage our customers  to take a “hands on” approach  and try doing it yourself.  We are always here for advice and  carry a full line of supplies to help you along the way.  But, If you prefer to have us do it for you, feel free to drop them off anytime.

In the wild, Orchids grow where air is abundant to the root system. Most are epiphytic and require a very free draining potting media. After time however, the organic matter in the potting mix can break down causing less air to get to the roots. Also over time the mix can collect and hold too many salts and impurities from water or fertilizers. These are the main factors which make re-potting necessary. In the most root sensitive orchids annual re-potting may be beneficial but most orchids should be fine with 2-3 year intervals with the notable exception of plants grown in Sphagnum which should be re-potted yearly.

Try to repot as orchids are coming into a growth period. For Sympodial orchids (plants that put out new growth from the base of the previous years’ growth) this is best done when you see new foliage and roots tips. For Monoopodial orchids (plants that grow from one base of leaves and each year’s new leaves grow from the center of the foliage) this is best done in the warmer brighter months, but usually can be repotted anytime of year.

To ensure proper hydration, soak the mix over night in clean water. Take the orchid out of its pot and clean any old mix off of the roots and cut away any dead roots (these are usually dry and brittle or brown/black and mushy). Remember to use only sterile tools on any orchids. Select a pot just large enough for the root system allowing two years growth. If the plant is Monopodial place in the center of new pot. If it is Sympodial, put the older bulbs to one side of the pot allowing for new growth. Always error on the side of using a smaller pot. Place potting media in the new pot using your fingers or potting stick to get between the roots. When finished, the orchid should feel stable in its new home. Water the plant thoroughly until the water running from the pot is clear. Place the orchid in bright diffused light and wait to water again for one week. During this period frequent misting of the foliage would be beneficial.