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When repotting...

This is a discussion on When repotting... within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I recently read an orchid book (and a website somewhere) that said that when repotting ...

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  1. #1
    orchidaddict789's Avatar
    orchidaddict789 is offline Senior Member
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    Question When repotting...

    I recently read an orchid book (and a website somewhere) that said that when repotting orchids (phals, cyms, etc.) that you should trim the healthy roots a few inches shorter.

    I felt a little unsure because 1) won't cut surfaces be a doorway for infections to enter the plant? 2)Already the orchid is stressed in repotting, wouldn't cutting the healthy roots cause more recovery time? Plus some orchids "sulk" for a long time. 3) More roots=healthier orchid, and trimming reduces the number of growing tips. I'm not trying to sound contradictory or anything, but I'm been thinking and still don't get it.

    Do you trim roots when repotting? Is it a "must"? Or am I thinking a little too much about stuff nowadays?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    Having repotted a wide variety of the more common genera, I can say that I've only trimmed roots on standard cyms. It would be impossible to repot a rootbound cym without breaking a lot of the roots, and those roots (which will rot anyway) are better off trimmed. What I did was cut off the lowest 1" of roots, and got rid of anything that wasn't still attached. Anyone who's had the unfortunate experience of repotting such a cym will know what I'm referring to.

    However, I would suggest this rule of thumb--if a healthy root cannot be repotted without breakage, then that root is better off trimmed. I imagine that if you have a very large cattleya that is very very rootbound, it may be better to cut off some of the roots like above than to cram them into the pot. I would not trim roots on a regular basis.

  3. #3
    PAGrower is offline Senior Member
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    I recently read an orchid book
    The Rittershausen Orchid Care Manual? That one tells you to trim your roots. It also has photos of a plant being repotted with all the old media still intact. If that's the book you're talking about, just ignore it, it's very screwy.

  4. #4
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    I don't trim anything but old rotten or dried up roots on anything.

  5. #5
    Heather is offline Banned
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    I am quite sure Ortho's "All about Orchids" says that too. I did it w/ my first catt, but never since. Boy that first catt was a harrowing experience, but the plant is growing like crazy!!

    (yes, I do have some plants that are not paphs! SURPRISE!!! ) LOL!

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