Deciding whether or not to repot your orchid after buying it can be tricky. There are a few factors to consider, such as the size of the pot and the type of soil you’re using. I’ll go over everything you need to know about repotting your orchid so that you can make the best decision for your plant!
What To Do When You Get Your Orchid Home
If you’ve just purchased an orchid, congratulations! You are now the proud owner of one of the most beautiful and exotic plants around. But before you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of your new plant, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that it thrives in its new environment.
Remove Plastic Wrapping
You will need to remove the plastic wrapping (if your plant came with any) because orchids need good air circulation to thrive. If the roots are tightly wrapped in plastic, they won’t be able to breathe and the plant will suffer. Gently unwrap the roots and discard the plastic.
Thoroughly Inspect Roots, Leaves, Stems
It’s important to inspect the whole plant when you get it home. Take a look at the leaves and stems, and look for any possible damage or diseased looking leaves. You’ll want to remove those with sterilized pruning shears to give your plant the best chance to thrive.
After removing the plastic or taking your Orchid out of the small plastic container it came in, gently remove the soil surrounding the roots, and inspect them carefully. You’ll want to take note of any roots that don’t look healthy, and prune those off.
How Long To Wait Before Repotting
Some orchids (like Phalaenopsis) can stay in the same pot for years, while other types (such as Cattleya) will need to be repotted more frequently. As a general rule of thumb, most orchids can be repotted every one to two years.
You don’t want to repot your Orchid too often, because the stress from repotting can make your plant less willing to flower and grow. I would suggest letting your plant have at least a year between each repot, unless an issue comes up with your plant’s roots or soil that needs to be fixed quickly to save the plant.
How To Repot A Store Bought Orchid Step By Step
If you’re like me, you love buying orchids from the grocery store, but sometimes they come in plastic pots that are not the best for the plant. Before you get started repotting your plant, make sure you have a new pot that is just slightly larger than the one it came in, and a high quality soil.
Here’s a quick and easy guide on how to repot a store bought orchid:
Remove From Pot
Gently loosen the roots around the edge of the pot and slide the plant out. If the roots are tightly compacted, try to loosen them up by hand. You may need to cut off any roots that look soggy or dead.
Discard Old Potting Medium
Be sure to discard the old potting medium and rinse the roots off before replanting in fresh potting soil. You do not want to use the same soil in your plant’s new pot because the Orchid has likely depleted that soil of any nutrients that it had.
Remove Any Dead Roots
Using a sharp knife or pruning shears like these, cut away any black or brown roots. These are typically dead or dying roots and won’t help the plant to thrive. Once you’ve removed the dead roots, you can soak the roots in water.
Soak Roots In Water
It’s generally a good idea to soak the roots of your orchid in water for about an hour before repotting. This will help to keep the plant hydrated and reduce the risk of damage during the repotting process. It’s nice just to get a good boost of hydration every now and then.
Selecting The Right Sort Of Pot
There are a few things to consider when choosing a pot for your orchid. First, you need to make sure that the pot has good drainage. Orchids don’t like to sit in wet soil, so a pot with holes in the bottom is essential.
You also need to choose a pot that is slightly larger than the one your orchid is currently in. This will give the roots room to grow and will help the plant stay healthy. You can choose any type of decorative pot, just as long as it has the right features mentioned above.
Use Fresh Potting Medium
You can easily make your own potting mix that contains tree bark, charcoal and sphagnum moss. These ingredients help to aerate the roots, promote drainage and prevent the buildup of harmful toxins.
A high quality store bought orchid mix will work, also.
How Often Should Orchids Be Repotted
Orchids should be repotted every 12 to 18 months, or when the roots start to crowd the pot. If you’re not sure if your orchid needs to be repotted, gently pull it out of the pot and check the roots. If they’re tightly tangled or growing out of the pot, it’s time for a new one.
Again, I would say that once per year is the maximum when it comes to repotting your Orchid. You can always do it more often, but it might cause unnecessary stress on your beautiful plant.
Signs You Need To Repot An Orchid
Here are a few signs that your orchid needs to be repotted:
Potting Medium Depleted
If you’ve had your orchid for a while and it’s been in the same potting medium, it’s likely that the media has become depleted of nutrients. Repotting into fresh potting mix can give your orchid the boost it needs to start blooming again.
If your roots are coming out of the drainage holes in your pot, it’s definitely time to repot it. You will also want to repot your Orchid immediately if you suspect root rot. Root rot can take your plant quickly. You’ll need to cut off any rotted roots during the repotting process. Treat with our Root Supplement as well.
If you suspect that your orchid has been infested with pests, it is important to take action right away. Repotting your orchid can help to get rid of the pests that like to live in the soil and it could save your plant.
Pot Bound Or Exposed Roots
Pot bound roots are tightly packed roots at the bottom of the pot, and when this happens, it is definitely time to repot the plant. If any root becomes exposed in its pot, that’s your plant telling you it needs a larger home to grow in.
Best Time To Repot
You will want to repot your Orchid right after it has flowered, or right when you notice new growth. Orchids like to be repotted right around that time, as opposed to other plants that only like to be repotted when they are in a dormant state.
Problems After Repotting
If you’ve recently repotted your orchid, you may be wondering why it’s not looking as healthy as it did before. Repotting can be a stressful experience for an orchid, and it’s not uncommon for them to experience some setbacks afterwards. Among some other problems, transplant shock is a very common one.
Transplant shock can actually kill your Orchid. Most of the time this happens when you’ve repotted your Orchid in a pot that is too large for it, or when the plant didn’t get enough water after being repotted. You’ll want to catch these problems quickly, because the added stress on your plant after being repotted could kill it.
Can I repot my orchid when it’s in bloom?
Yes! This is one plant that actually likes to be repotted when it’s in an active state, because it could use the extra room to spread out. An Orchid in bloom is the perfect opportunity to repot it.
Do you take orchid out of plastic?
Yes. The plastic pot that it comes in is not large enough for the plant to continue growing in and will eventually stunt its growth. You’ll also want to choose a pot that has drainage holes so that the roots don’t become waterlogged. Be sure to use a potting mix specifically designed for orchids too.
Should I Repot My Orchid After Buying: Final Thoughts
After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of when and why you would need to repot your orchid. While it may seem like a daunting task, repotting can actually be quite simple and easy to do – just be sure to follow the tips and advice outlined in this article.
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