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  • 1 Post By tucker85

Tips for repotting orchids in sphag

This is a discussion on Tips for repotting orchids in sphag within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi everyone, I've had my phal for almost a year, so I am going to ...

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  1. #1
    cricket776 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Tips for repotting orchids in sphag

    Hi everyone,

    I've had my phal for almost a year, so I am going to repot it in a couple of weeks. I've been doing a lot of reading, and I'm going to stick with sphag for now. It suits my watering habits, and so far my orchid has been doing quite well and I can see green healthy roots. I'm meeting a local orchid grower at a show in two weeks to get some clear slotted pots (they also have the bump in the bottom center with slots so there is less media there to stay wet and lots of air circulation).

    I wanted to ask the senior members who have success with sphag, if they have any tips for me. I mostly want to know how firmly I should pack the moss around the roots. I know it needs to be packed well enough so that it doesn't come out of the pot when I lift the plant by the leaves, but I also feel like I shouldn't pack it too tight or I won't get good air circulation and it will stay soggy.

    Jeanette

  2. #2
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    Jeff Tucker
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    I’ve heard this idea about lifting an orchid by the leaves a couple times now. I totally disagree with that idea. No matter what you plant a phal in, if you lift it by the leaves, it will pull out of the pot. You can do that with cattleyas potted with rhizome clips because the clip will hold the plant in the pot. I don’t suggest doing that with phals..
    The clear slotted pots with the raised center that you’re talking about are excellent pots for phalaenopsis. One of the biggest favors you can do for your plant is to use the smallest pot size that the roots will comfortably fit in. I use 3”, 4” and 5” clear plastic pots for most of my phals.
    Back when I used sphagnum I would put it in the pot fairly loosely but with no big air spaces. Since you’re using clear pots you can take a bamboo skewer or the blunt end of an orchid stake and push the sphagnum down around the roots while you look through the side of the pot to see where it needs to go. In the book ‘Moth Orchids’ the author says that some people pack sphagnum loosely and some tightly but that the author liked it in between the two. Kind of medium packed.

  3. #3
    MattWoelfsen's Avatar
    MattWoelfsen is offline Senior Member
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    The biggest improvement over my Phal's culture was putting all my Phals in those clear, slotted, plastic pots-->large enough to fit all the roots. This provides three benefits: 1) I can see the roots-->if the roots are green, no water...if silver or gray, water; 2) The plastic pot is weight neutral. So when I pick up the plant (by the pot and not the leaves), I can see how light the plant is, if it is light, then I water. This takes some time to learn the individual plant's ability to absorb the water; 3) the slots on the pot helps the water escape and not pool around the plant's roots.

    I do have some Phals that are top heavy. For those plants, I put a layer of river stone at the bottom of the pot, so there is some weight. I use spagphnum moss for all of those Phals that were grown in moss. I have several Phals that were grown in bark. The sphagnum potted plants, require less water. I thought I would put all my plants in bark, but it seemed that the moss potted plants deteriorated in bark.

  4. #4
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    I have grown Phals in sphag and slotted clay pots. I never pack sphag tightly

  5. #5
    llstl56 is offline Junior Member
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    I use sphagnum moss for my baby Phal seedlings, it is the best medium to grow seedlings in.

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