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Phal repotting advice

This is a discussion on Phal repotting advice within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello and happy new year! I'm ready to repot my Phals that I purchased at ...

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  1. #1
    dtimms is offline Junior Member
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    Question Phal repotting advice

    Hello and happy new year!

    I'm ready to repot my Phals that I purchased at a local grocery store while they were blooming. Both appear to have healthy roots. I'm not certain what size pot to move into, so I'm hoping for some advice.

    This is the first one. It is in a pot that is 4.5" across the top and 4.5" deep. The pot is FILLED with roots:
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    This is the second. The pot is not nearly as filled with roots, but the media looks really broken down. Just not sure if it needs a larger pot or not? Current pot is 4" wide and 3.5" deep:
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    Also, they are currently in bark. I probably allow them to get a little drier between waterings than I should, do you recommend switching to a sphagnum mix for phals or staying with bark/coconut husk? Obviously I'm a beginner...

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    The pre-mixed bagged potting materials you find at the local "big box" store will be fine. Look for the mix for phalaenopsis...and if you tend to overwater, a nice clay pot. Once you clean the roots they will be much more spread out on you. If those lovely roots are currently in a 3 inch pot, i'd recommend you go up to a 5 inch pot. You can use packing peanuts or broken up sheets of styrofoam in the middle of the roots and bottom of the pot to help with air movement around your roots. If you look around, you'll find a great repotting video on youtube by Bruce. One little trick with getting roots back into a pot...I turn the plant round and round so the roots go back into a circular bunch as I lower it into the pot. After repotting, don't forget to leave your phal in a shaded place for a couple weeks and hold off on watering again until you bring it out of the shade. Good Luck...

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    Thanks for your reply! The first one is in a 4.5", so I'll try to go up to 6.5" if I can find it? I'll watch the potting video!

    Any thoughts on the second one? Does it look like it also needs to go larger?
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    drew33998 is offline Member
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    i def wouldnt recommend a sphag mix just from my personal experience. the roots stay way too soggie( 2 weeks). the roots seem to be loving the conditions you are giving them so i would stick with a mix that is close to what is in the pots.(bark, charcoal,perlite) i would keep the second one in the same pot and repot the first in an inch larger diameter pot.

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    If those phals were mine, I'd re-pot the first one in a six inch pot, and the second one in a five or six inch pot ( clay, with slots on the sides ) I soak my bark mix over night before re-potting. The next day, after the orchid is potted in fresh bark mix, I do not water for seven days. Just my humble opinion...By the way, for a beginner, you're doing GREAT! Who was it that said : "If it isn't broke, don't fix it!" Betty :-)

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    dtimms is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Betty! I did put the first into a 6-inch, but I used plastic with slots because I have a toddler and I always worry about breakage! The other I put into one that's a little smaller than 5" but a lot deeper than the one it was in.

    I can't take much credit... despite being an "ice" orchid, that big guy had beautiful roots to start with and I've only had it for 6 months. I haven't killed it and it seems to be growing, so I do have that much going for me! But I would absolutely love to get it to bloom again for me, then I'd feel like I'd really arrived! :-)

  7. #7
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    Phalcycle is offline Phalaenopsis addict
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    I am an avid sphagnum moss grower, and swear by it. This stuff works wonders, but in my situation. If you are busy, and don't have time to water, use moss.

    As for pot size, the one in the 4x3.5, it should go back in same pot, just clean it.
    The 4.5x4.5 should go in a 5-5.5 inch pot.

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    dtimms is offline Junior Member
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    I did switch over to a sphagnum mix in the end. I wasn't sure how tightly to pack it and felt like I really shoved it in the pot, but when I put it in a darker spot to rest this week, it seems to have dried pretty quickly. I'm excited to get to know this new medium. I'll want to water when it's just about dry, correct?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtimms View Post
    I did switch over to a sphagnum mix in the end. I wasn't sure how tightly to pack it and felt like I really shoved it in the pot, but when I put it in a darker spot to rest this week, it seems to have dried pretty quickly. I'm excited to get to know this new medium. I'll want to water when it's just about dry, correct?
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    Since phals do not have p-bulbs to hold water, do not let them dry completely out. They need to remain moist, but not wet. Good that the pot you chose have slots in the sides for air. Good luck!

    Cheers,
    BD

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    dtimms is offline Junior Member
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    Ok, since they are pretty dry I'll take them put of post-potting hibernation early and give them a drink!

    Thanks for all of the advice!!!
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