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Re-potting my phals

This is a discussion on Re-potting my phals within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have repotted my phals in orchid mix (bark, charcoal and perlite). Somewhere I read ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Re-potting my phals

    I have repotted my phals in orchid mix (bark, charcoal and perlite). Somewhere I read that after repotting, you should be able to lift the pot up by the plant. I don't think I have packed the mix in tight enough, or can you pot too loose? At least the roots are getting plenty of air!
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    Gary

  2. #2
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    Also, when I repotted, I didn't get one of the phals planted deep enough. Should I repot and try to plant it lower in the pot?
    Thanks, Gary

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    Gary, I am not sure you got good advice there. Some orchids like to be potted very tight, others - not so much. I personally like to pot all of my orchids tightly, but I adjust the size of the medium I use to accommodate the needs of the plant. For instance, dendrobium orchids like to be potted very tightly - in my experience, and like to be a bit root bound. They however require that their roots dry out very quickly or they will rot. So, for them, I repot with a larger sized bark mix that is more free draining than say a phal. All that said, I would not lift a potted plant by the plant itself just after repotting. After established in the pot, maybe, but not after newly repotting.
    I am sure you have seen the RVO Phal Orchid Repotting Video & page, but if not look here: How to Repot a Phalaenopsis Orchid | River Valley Orchidworks
    cheers,
    BD

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    Default

    I have seen that advice about picking the pot up by the plant. I think the point they are trying to make is that the plant should be secure in the pot. They don't like to flop around loosely. New roots seem to grow faster if the plant "thinks" it is attached to its growing surface. I sometimes use a stake to prop up my repotted orchids to keep them more secure. For cattleyas and such, I often make a DIY rhizome clip out of twisty ties and tie a pseudobulb to a stake to hold it steady. But even phals seem to appreciate a stake right alongside the base of the plant to lean on. Otherwise, one or two strategically wedged pieces of bark seem like they can form a strut or bridge of sorts that makes the whole mix more stable without packing all the airspace full.

    If you aren't happy with how the repot turned out, it is better to fix it right away before the plant tries to adjust to its new environment. Don't try to squish your high phal down into its pot. It is better to dump the whole works out and start again.

  5. #5
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    phals as with many respond better with their biological processes or growing etc with the element of steady and secure in mind. As in nature 'epiphytes' and those orchids falling in that category are designed genetically this way, with their roots instantly on a mission to attach and support to the nearest feature around. A tree trunk or branch for eg naturally holds/ retains temporariliy or permanently a source of moisture. Mission complete.!!!!!

    The element of potting tightly is a risky one at that. The damage sustained to plant tissues as media is pressed/ forced into and against them is a risk open to a fair amount of potential to decline biologically especially with the threat of fungal / bacterial and viral pathogens on their own mission to search and destroy.!!

    Support can be applied and improvised in many ways avoiding risk potential of eventual death to orchid

  6. #6
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    Thank you very much. I didn't pack it in tightly because I didn't want to damage the roots. She has many very plump green roots and I only cut off a few (2 or 3) dead ones. I believe I will repot her deeper in the medium. Then I won't have to worry about her.
    As for lifting her pot and all, I think I saw it on youtube. In my quest to take good care of my orchids, I have visited any site that gave advice, good or bad. Unfortunately I am not experienced enough to determine what is good and what is bad.
    Thanks again,
    Gary

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