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  • 3 Post By PaphMadMan
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Too late to repot?

This is a discussion on Too late to repot? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I wish I had taken pictures. Today was my first good day when I got ...

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  1. #1
    Traci's Avatar
    Traci is offline Senior Member
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    Default Too late to repot?

    I wish I had taken pictures. Today was my first good day when I got off of work early enough to repot some orchids. The temp has dropped about ten degrees as we are heading into fall. I have a few orchids that are in spaghnum mostly from big box stores but also a few species orchids that are that way as well. I'm noticing that even with the ten degree drop it hasbeen enough to keep the spaghnum moist now up to two weeks which in the summer was 1 week. I'm worried that if I don't repot in bark I may lose them in the winter due to rot as I can only keep the grow area around 60 to 65 or so. However when I potted one medium sized phal it had three of the most pathetic green roots (very short) apparently sustaining the entire plant. I treated with kelp max and repotted in bark, hydroton , perlite and spaghnum in a pot less than 1/4 the size of the original. Is it too late in the season to repot the others safely? The grow room averages about 72 F 22C right now during the day and about 5 or 6 degrees less at night. I'm afraid to leave them alone and afraid to repot to new medium.

  2. #2
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    I think you are better off repotting. Coming out of sphagnum doesn't usually damage roots if you are careful. Don't worry about removing every shred of sphagnum. Pot normally, kelpmax, and they should be fine. The worst that can happen is they end up rootless just as they probably would if you did nothing, but with less likelyhood of rot spreading, and in fresh media so any new roots will thrive. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    If it was me I would wait till spring, but that is just the way I do it! A vast majority of my orchids are in sphagnum and I change that every spring when I do my repotting, even with new orchids purchased since September except those that I might have gotten bare root after September. As my temperatures do not normally get cold enough, except for maybe my Vandas, to warrant bringing them indoors we might get a couple of nights below 40 but not every winter, anything you have in sphagnum should be fine down to 60, keep an eye on them for watering when needed.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I'm with Kirk on this one. The plants are at-risk either way, and repotting them gives them a better chance.

    KelpMax them, and if you're willing to spend a few extra bucks, put them on a heat mat to further stimulate root growth.

  5. #5
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    Heat mat is a great idea to give them a little warm booster treatment.

    I fully understand the preference to wait until spring, but you've already seen a compromised root system on one plant, and your concern about others is legitimate. Sphagnum can be a fine medium if managed correctly, but if it isn't fresh and may be staying too soggy its a killer.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    Heat mat is a great idea to give them a little warm booster treatment.

    I fully understand the preference to wait until spring, but you've already seen a compromised root system on one plant, and your concern about others is legitimate. Sphagnum can be a fine medium if managed correctly, but if it isn't fresh and may be staying too soggy its a killer.
    I would do the same if I saw any compromise to any of my orchids!

  7. #7
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    Good advised.

  8. #8
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    Having spent the majority of my professional career in the chemical industry, that's naturally where I tend to turn first, but the heat mat concept is not to be ignored.

    I have used them for years to start vegetable or herb seedlings, but it wasn't until I had been growing orchids for 30-odd years that someone recommended using one to stimulate roots. Wow! What a difference they make.

  9. #9
    Traci's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your advice both pro and anti repotting. The ones I repotted seems to be doing fine although I am watching a species orchid rather closely. I have three that could use a repotting and will likely do those thus weekend . I was lucky enough that the temperature has come up 10 degrees. I'm going to repot those in tight spaghnum as I'm starting to think the roots weren't able to really grow well in such tight Spaghnum and the temperature increase I think is a sign to repot while I can. So far it's been a mild fall but I am afraid of true winter setting in with that ice storm we had a couple of years ago. I will look into the heat mat.

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