What most don’t realize about having a green thumb is the amount of time and care that goes into maintaining plants. Orchids are on the list of elegant and beautiful plants, but with their beauty comes their high maintenance. Unlike most plants, the roots of an orchid exist with other materials like moss, charcoal, and bark that helps to sustain the roots’ health. However, over time this soil mix breaks down and you will need to change it. Additionally, it is essential to repot these orchids to prevent their roots from becoming overcrowded and to ensure that it continues to grow for years to come. If you’re nervous about repotting your plant, don’t panic. Follow our instructions on how to properly repot an orchid.
Why Repot Orchids?
As briefly mentioned earlier, when the orchid’s soil breaks down by getting finer, it is unable to provide the orchid with nutrition. In addition, tighter soil retains more water which causes increased moisture resulting in bacterial rot and fungal disease. In essence, repotting ensures that your orchid is at its optimal health.
When It’s Time to Repot
An ideal time to repot your orchid is when it’s done blooming, or when it produces new growth. Specifically, when the roots of the plant are growing over the pot, it needs to be transferred to a larger pot. Another obvious telltale sign that your orchid needs to be repotted is if there is rotting. This will be evident if the roots are soggy and are not draining properly. While it is tempting to get overzealous with the care your orchid, don’t repot it too often. It is recommended that you repot it every 18-24 months or if you notice rot, or overgrowth in the roots.
Choosing a Pot
Many believe that the standard gardening pot is ideal for orchids. However, the difference between regular pots and those designed for orchids is the number of drainage holes. Orchid pots have larger and more holes, this ensures better drainage. The type of pot you choose depends on your orchid. To explain, if your orchid is more top heavy, then it would be ideal to use a shallow container with a large base.
How to Repot an Orchid
What You’ll Need
- Potting mix for orchids
- Orchid pot large enough to house plant’s roots
- Rubbing Alcohol (to sterilize scissors)
- First, carefully remove the orchid from its old potting soil.
- With a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol, sanitize your scissors.
- Cut off the dead or damaged roots. To spot them, look for roots that are dark colored and mushy.
- Next, fill your new pot about an inch up with potting mix. Place your orchid in the middle of the pot. Then, fill the rest of the pot with soil, being sure to spread it evenly around the roots.
- Secure the orchid with a stake, this will ensure that the roots establish themselves into the soil.