Care for Orchids

Five Tips for Repotting Orchids

Repotting orchids is one of the most important parts of caring for them. It's time for a new pot when new growth extends over the edge or the potting medium has broken down. This normally takes about two years. If you've never repotted one of these plants, there are a few things you should know. This article will give you a few tips for repotting orchids.

Pot Size

As mentioned earlier, it's time for a new pot when new growth extends over the edge. Although you will certainly need a larger pot, you shouldn't buy one that's too large. This will cause the potting mix to retain too much water which can cause the roots to rot. It's best to get a pot that's only large enough to accommodate two years of growth.

Pot Type

Now that you know what size pot to get, you need to consider what type you should buy. Two of the most common choices include plastic and clay. Plastic pots retain water longer than their clay counterparts, so you will need to water less often. However, clay pots are heavier which makes them more suitable for outside use as they won't be blown over easily.

Some orchid growers like to use clear pots. This is because they allow the roots of the plant to get light. This is very beneficial for orchid species with roots capable of photosynthesis.

Timing

One of the next things to consider when repotting orchids is your timing. As mentioned earlier, you should do this every two years so the potting medium won't break down too much. It's best to put the plant in a new pot during the early summer months before there is new growth.

Stability

After you have successfully repotted the orchid, you need to make sure that the plant is stable. You can simply use a bamboo stake or a wire plant tie for stability. This will allow the root system to anchor itself so that it won't require help to keep the plant upright.

Disease

One of the final things to consider when repotting orchids is transmission of disease. You will need to use cutting utensils to remove excessively long or dead roots. Make sure that the tools you use have been sterilized beforehand. This will ensure that you don't spread a viral infection to your plant. You can use alcohol or diluted bleach to sterilize your cutting utensils.

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