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how do i repot this oncidium

This is a discussion on how do i repot this oncidium within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Today i got this orchid (id'd as Miltonidium Bartley Schwartz thanks to this forum ). ...

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  1. #1
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    Default how do i repot this oncidium

    Today i got this orchid (id'd as Miltonidium Bartley Schwartz thanks to this forum).
    How do i get about repoting this one. I repotted Phals before, but never a species with these bulbs. I read on these forums about the medium (will probably be bark) needs to be filled to accommodate for the newest bulbs (are these the bulbs that are the highest?) and kind of bury the old ones. On this plant there seems to be several "newest" bulbs, some currently up to 2 inches above the medium.
    So basically how do i identify the new bulbs and how do i repot this plant.
    (or do i split it up somehow so i can get all the "newest" bulbs with there "parents" in a separate pot)
    I hope you can help;
    Erik
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  2. #2
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    that plant looks like its in a 5" pot (130mm ) in which case I would pot into a 6"(150mm) using a grade 3 bark, after teasing the roots out and cutting out the dead roots and getting rid of the old mix.

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    Thanks for the advice Murray.
    Any advice on how deep i should repot? And also "grade 3bark" would this be fine or coarse?

    Erik

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    Hi Erik,

    Do not bury the pseudobulbs in the bark. Just pot up to the bottom of them. Put the newest growths towards the center of the pot with the older bulbs towards the outer edge. As full as this orchid is, you could divide it. To do so, soak the root ball for 15-20 minutes to get it very pliable. Then break the plant in half keeping new growth with each part. Do not increase pot size too much. Repot in a bark medium that suits your watering schedule. It looks as if you have grown this orchid very well, so don't change what is working!

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Thanks for the advice, but i keep on struggling with the phrase to pot up to the bottom of the bulbs. Since there is a height difference of about 2 inches between the highest and lowest bulbs. The bottoms of which one should be level with the medium?
    And bruce: this actually is my first orchid with bulbs , and only got it as a gift yesterday so the good care has been done by the grower. I do think when i got the repotting figured out i could manage this phal using all the great info on this site.
    Added another picture with one of the high "Problem" bulbs indicated with a red oval (i think that one is actually growing towards the center of the plant).

    Thanks again for all the great help
    Erik
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    Hey Erik, its easy to over think repotting when it comes time to do it. I know I was completely unsure of myself the first couple of times I tried to repot. Don't worry too much about that growth you've circled, new psuedobulbs on some Oncids can just sprout up from every direction. It isn't quite this simple, but you are pretty much safe if you pull the thing out, soak it in warm water to free the roots from their current medium, slap it into the center of another pot and fill will a bark orchid mix that you pick up from any garden store.

    Here's a link to an article I put up here on the site specifically on repotting Oncidiums. The articles in this section of them forum are great, I encourage you to glance at all of them and see how different people take care of repotting different orchid genera as well.

    Hope that helps.

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    Hi navyderek, actually it was your article that made me a bit doubtful on what to do with the "older" bulbs. In one of the pictures it looks like one of these smaller bulbs was buried in the bark, and i started wondering how i should go about doing this with this plant as there is such a great variety of height between the bulbs.
    From what i have heard so far i would be OK to replant at the same height as it is right now.
    Thanks for all the advice;
    Erik

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    Erik, it is okay to lean an orchid when you are potting it. Oncidiums do have a tendency to grow upwards out of a pot with each new psuedobulb. They are growing towards the light, plant sentience is awesome. I have taken to leaning them slightly with each potting to get the roots of the newest and highest psuedobulb right under the edge of the bark. But the height yours is at looks fine, I don't worry about leaning or anything until the outermost newest psuedobulb gets a good inch or so above the mix....some people even leave them like that and lets the roots grow down into the mix.

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    navyderek, now you've got me going again .
    "I don't worry about leaning or anything until the outermost newest psuedobulb gets a good inch or so above the mix"
    The bulb i indicated in the picture is almost 2 inches from the medium. Also this one is growing towards the center of the pot (this being the newest of a separate cluster growing from the edge towards the center of the pot).
    Any additional advice?

    Greets Erik

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    Erik- I wouldn't worry about that specific p-bulb. Its in the center of the plant, there's not too much to do with it. In that specific case, I'd just repot and let the roots eventually grow down into the bark mix. My inch rule is really more of a general suggestion to be used when the plants are growing in a straight line- which they are wont to do . Realistically the plants are pretty good about growing in a sustainable way; I am pretty laissez-faire with however they feel like shooting up new growths or roots. Any psuedobulbs that are buried in the media can eventually rot away, and I don't see a need here. You typically only bury the smallest, oldest psuedobulbs when that will allow the largest, most vigorous new growths to thrive even more. You could think about dividing this plant, but personally I wouldn't until next year +. A lot of orchids refuse to bloom until the year after they are divided because of recovery time, and some oncid types bloom better when they are large and tight in the pot.

    Slightly off topic but here's a not-so-brief anecdote on the whole sustainable growth: I have a Grammatophyllum scriptum that shoot up 6 new psuedobulb growths over this winter. They are all new, and still developing. The back one, furthest from the light, was growing the slowest. After it grew for a while, always staying in the shade, the plant decided to jettison it; basically the leaves fell off and the new shoot died. I'm not worried at all because the parent p-bulb was fine, and all the other new growths are still growing like weeds. I'm pretty sure based on how it fell off, that it wasn't getting the kind of light that it required (It was growing completely into the shade of the entire rest of the plant, and it is a big plant so it would have to be full grown to even attempt to get direct light at all). The plant was just unwilling to support a useless growth.

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