How to Repot the Orchid (Without Making Disasters)
Dear orchid lovers, today we are talking about a somewhat thorny topic, a common problem but easy to solve if we know how to do it: repot the orchid in the right way, without hurting it, without killing it and to make it bloom more beautiful and stronger than before.
Many times we have told you that the secret to growing an orchid well is all in the right balance between water and sunlight. It is not always good for us to grow orchids, it is true, sometimes it is our fault but sometimes it is not, because everything depends on many factors, but one thing is certain: when it comes to repotting, then yes, it all depends on us. In short, the future life of the orchid depends on a good repotting.
And therefore now the time for repotting has arrived, an operation that always makes us a little afraid as regards the other plants and is particularly fearful when it comes to the orchid, considered one of the most delicate flowers ever.
But don’t worry, here we are ready with some tips to help you repot the orchid correctly without killing it. So here is how to do it, what tools are needed and, finally, small and valid advice that shows how natural remedies are sometimes very effective.
How do you know when it’s time to repot the orchid?
The first question and first answer: the sign that it is time to report the orchid is given by the roots: when the roots begin to turn white … the time has come! The roots turn white because the entire root system has become too large compared to the pot and the plant needs new space. If the roots of the orchid are starting to rot, this is another sign of the need for repotting: this means that the excess material no longer discharges correctly due to the too-small pot.
When repotting an orchid
The ideal time to repot the orchid is immediately after it has finished blooming when you see that new growth begins to appear.
There is no better time than another to repot the orchid: this operation must be done if the pot is now too small and the roots no longer have living space (and this is something you can easily check by eye). But a very important thing: repotting becomes indispensable when the substrate shows evident signs of deterioration.
If, on the other hand, the problem is only space, you can also aspire that the orchid stops blooming, as we said before. Consider that for orchids that have a regular development and a well-marked flowering over time, such as Phalaenopsis orchids, the best time to proceed with repotting is certainly spring, while for orchids that have a growth that is not constant or have different flowering periods, such as Cymbidium orchids, in this case, you have to wait for the plants to stop blooming, and this can happen in any season.
Materials you will need:
- The new orchid pot (choose one that is 2.5 cm larger than the current pot)
- Specific soil
- Gardening container
Step n. 1: the preparation
First, you will have to prepare the potting mix: arrange the quantity you will use in the container and cover it with hot water. Let this mixture reach room temperature and then drain the excess.
Orchids are also very sensitive to diseases, so be sure to sterilize everything that will come into contact with the plant and roots during the repotting process: it is very important!
Choosing the right soil is very important because orchids grow in a rich and specific environment, which is made up of different substrates that serve to promote and protect the right branch of the plant. So when we talk about a good mix we talk about:
- specific substrate composed of pine shavings and bark of pine
- osmunda fiber and sphagnum blond peat for the top layer
You can buy these compounds at nurseries or in any gardening shop, or you can also buy several ready-made and specific compost kits for orchids online. Our advice is to always ask, in case of doubts, to be advised and never improvise because compost and potting soil is the number one factor for the survival of this plant which is already very delicate in itself.
Step n. 2: remove the orchid from its pot
This is perhaps the most delicate step of all: loosen each root very carefully and separate them gently, using scissors or a knife to help you but only if necessary.
Step n. 3: clean the roots
After the orchid is completely out of its pot, use your hands and a pair of clean scissors to clean the roots; Gently remove all those that are tangled and cut away the roots that are dead or rotten.
Step n. 4: place the orchid in its new pot
At this point, you can place the orchid in the pot so that the new growth is level with the top of the pot. Do not rush and arrange all the roots in the pot well so that the plant has all the space needed to continue its growth process.
Step n. 5: add the potting mix
Now you can add the potting soil a little at a time, using your fingers or a small rod to arrange it well around the roots. Keep adding the potting mix until you reach the top of the pot.
Step n. 6: arrange the orchid well
When you have completed all the steps, check that the orchid is firmly inside the ground and that it is straight. Now you can start taking care of it exactly as you did before!
When will the new report?
Growing an orchid gives you a little anxiety, it is very true and you are not alone in thinking about it, and in fact, once the repotting is finished, it is natural to ask yourself: “So how soon do I have to go through this process again?”.
The basic rule to follow is this: the orchid must be repotted when it stops blooming. And for the next operations, no stress: take the plant gently, shake off the excess earth, eliminate dead or damaged roots (always with well sterile tools) and repeat the operations described above.