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Repotting Catts

This is a discussion on Repotting Catts within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by lja The best time to repot any sympodial is when new growth ...

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  1. #11
    OrchidTraci's Avatar
    OrchidTraci is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lja
    The best time to repot any sympodial is when new growth has just started to appear. The growth will emerge first, before any new roots, and if you repot then, the new root system will develop into fresh medium. That'll compensate for the inevitable (however slight) damage to the old root system that occurs when you repot.

    That said, we've repoted Catts anytime from early spring till early fall (active growing season), but never when the sheaths are showing buds. If your sheaths are still flat and empty, you can repot (and even divide) with no harm to the plant or flowers as long as you keep at least 4 growths per division and the old root system is healthy and strong.

    Bear in mind that any aerial roots which have developped will more than likely die when submerged in bark mix, so if you have a lot of those, wait until new growth develops from an eye and repot then.

    As far as the "repot immediately after blooming" adage goes, that all depends on when during the growing season the plant bloomed. If it bloomed in spring, by all means repot: you know that new growth and roots will develop before winter. On the other hand, if the plant bloomed in fall, I would wait till new growth appeared the following spring before repotting: the plant will winter over in much healthier shape if its roots aren't disturbed.
    Does this apply to laelias also? My pot broke (I was moving the growing cart) and had to repot it. It has new growth, but no roots on it yet.

  2. #12
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    Jason, for all practical purposes, as long as there's time for the roots to actually do some growing before the plant goes dormant, it's fine to repot. Especially if you have a large collection, it's not very feasible to catch each plant at that "perfect" repotting time. But if you can, the plant will fare a lot better than otherwise. I prefer repotting before the root nubins stick out much because they tend to be brittle and easily broken. But that's just me compensating for my own clumsiness. At the point you're talking about is still a great time if you can keep from breaking the new roots in the process.

    Rick, the key to it is right in the middle of your post, where you said it's critical for the plant to go into winter with a healthy root system. That really is crucial if you want good growth and blooms the next spring.

    Traci, it applies to all of them. On monopodials, the best time is when new "root nubs" are just starting to bulge from the stem, as Jason said, and a new leaf is begining to grow. (On those, there isn't much other way to tell...) On sympodials, it's when a new growth has just started. So if you repotted when there was new growth, but no new roots yet, that's the perfect time.

  3. #13
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Louis, some places I read to repot every year (with moss can be every 6 months) and others I read every 2 years unless the mix is sour.

    Some orchids really hate being repotted ever, right? These would include cymbidiums and dendrobiums? Phals and paphs don't mind it so much? What about Catts? Don't mind it as long as in growing season? Should you try to choose pots for 1 or 2 years growth? 2 years would seem like the pot would be too large.

    Thanks!

  4. #14
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    To be honest, I've read and heard so many different, conflicting accounts of when to repot what, who likes it and who doesn't, that I've pretty much given up on listening to all that. After you grow for a while you just develop a feel for when things need repotting, and you do it. I have yet to come across an orchid that did worse after being repotted than before. Repotting has always been a benefit to the plants, so I repot when the mix starts to look compacted and broken down, and never leave anything not repotted for longer than 2 years. There's a fad going on now where people are claiming that Paphs, especially multiflorals, should be repotted every six months. Personally, I think that's a crock, and that it would do more harm than good, but whatever.

    The Cattleyas here get repotted every two years, in the summertime. That's been working for me ever since day one, years ago, so I'm sticking to it.

  5. #15
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    If a multifloral will actually benefit from 6 month potting, then I would say that there's something terribly wrong with the mix!

    I have heard that frequent potting may help some recalcitrant paphs bloom, i.e. Rolfei, and the old Delrosi made with roths as the pod parent. I have yet to see proof of that, but that's what some say.

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    I have yet to come across an orchid that did worse after being repotted than before.
    Unfortunately, I could show you a few. I've taken orchids out of moss and put them into bark that drained so well and quickly that I ended up with some pleated leaves before I noticed a problem. I've repotted from clay into plastic and initially gotten a few yellow leaves from overwatering until the plant adjusted. My personal experience has been that repotting can stress an orchid, which is why I don't feel compelled to repot a plant as soon as I get it; I figure it has enough to contend with as it adjusts to different temps and levels of light.

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