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unpotting orchid to see if it needs water!!!

This is a discussion on unpotting orchid to see if it needs water!!! within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I read that the best way to see if your orchid needs water is to ...

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  1. #1
    ksb
    ksb is offline Junior Member
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    Question unpotting orchid to see if it needs water!!!

    I read that the best way to see if your orchid needs water is to take it out of the pot and look at the roots to see if they are dry. Does anyone think this is a good idea?
    Being curious, I did remove my orchid from the pot to see how the roots were doing. I was surprised to see a lot of 1/2 inch white roots coming out withered gray roots. So I removed the old soil and potted it in fresh soil. But surly you can't do that every time you think it needs water, or can you? Maybe the roots aren't as delicate as I think they are.
    Last edited by ksb; February 22nd, 2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: better descripe roots

  2. #2
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    delphiguy is offline Senior Member
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    Personally I would never unpot an orchid or any plants just to see if it needs watering or
    not..... that would just set back the plant. A lot of people uses the skewer method or
    lifting and feeling the pots, I usually grow bareroot/mounted and for those potted, i have
    them in transparent containers that way i can see the roots and how moist the media is.

    I would unpot an orchid if i suspect that the roots are rotted, if my suspicion is correct i'd
    repot immediately and hope it'll make it... if not, i'd repot anyways to give it a fresh mix.

  3. #3
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    I would agree with Randy. Also, the soil you potted the orchid into; Is it an orchid bark mix or potting soil for house plants? Orchids need air around their roots to be able to breath.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
    ksb
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    Thanks for the reply. That puts an end to that idea.
    The potting product is for orchids, but it doesn't say what it is made of. I guess it is for all orchids. There are some medium size chunks but for the most part it looks like moss of some type. It also has continuous release fertilizer. And on top of that I have been fertilizing regularly. I had better get different potting soil if I want to fertilize. Considering that I have disturbed the plant, it would be better to leave it alone rather that change the soil, right?

    Thanks Delphiguy. I would like to read more on growing orchids with bare roots, or even upside down. However,I am in Arizona, so I don't know if that is really a good idea for my moth orchid.

  5. #5
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    I don't like the sound of those withered gray roots. I would suggest buying some orchid bark (it sill say bark on the bag)-most garden center/ home improvement stores carry fir bark for orchid potting in their houseplant sections. Once you have the bark on hand soak it in a bucket of water overnight. Then remove your orchid from it's pot and soak those withered roots for at least 10 minutes in tepid water. Any roots that plump up, and/or turn white/green are live roots. Those that stay withered and feel mushy are rotting and need to be cut off before repotting in your new bark.

  6. #6
    ksb
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    Thank you! I will get orchid bark tomorrow! I am sure my orchids thanks you too!

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