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  • 1 Post By chrisj
  • 1 Post By tucker85
  • 1 Post By Anteater

repot or leave it alone?

This is a discussion on repot or leave it alone? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I was given a sad phalaenopsis that was found on the street. Well, two actually. ...

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  1. #1
    chrisj is offline Junior Member
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    Default repot or leave it alone?

    I was given a sad phalaenopsis that was found on the street. Well, two actually. One did fine and has blossomed for me. The other sat for 6 months, and I was sure it would die, but it now is growing a new leaf and has a root emerging about an inch above the growing medium (moss). The biggest old leaf is wrinkly, but not limp. It isn't as firm in the pot as my really happy orchids, but it isn't flopping over, either.

    I haven't looked at the roots, because I don't want to interfere with its recovery. I water it, mist it, and give it a bit of fertilizer occasionally.

    Should I leave it be for the time being, or try repotting it so the new root is below the level of the moss?

    Just FYI, I am a real windowsill gardener. I have four regular-sized phalaenopsises, including the rescue plants, (one is several years old and re-blooms regularly) and two minis that were also rescue plants. One of them bloomed for me. I have one dendrobium which has re-blossomed for me, but I really don't know what I am doing. I just don't like seeing plants die! I tried attaching a picture..I hope it worked!
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  2. #2
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    I hesitate to tell you to change anything since you've had success with your other rescue orchids. I usually think that people should keep doing what they're doing if it's successful. But generally speaking, orchids should be in smaller pots than that. In fact I would say a pot about half that size would be appropriate. That's not to say you won't be able to grow it in that pot. You may be able to. But a smaller pot would increase the odds for success.

  3. #3
    Anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Judging from that picture, I would leave it be. That new root looks very healthy. The potting media looks very dry in this picture, especially if it is straight sphagnum. I would water it immediately.

    As far as having a Phal root growing above the moss, it is the nature of the plant. It doesn't matter if you repot the plant and stick all its roots below the media, it will eventually have roots growing above it. Even though it drives me nuts sometimes, it is actually a plus, because I can make better judgements of the plant's health by having roots readily available to look at, rather than ones that grow below the surface that I can't see.

  4. #4
    chrisj is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you so much for the advice! I guess I will combine the suggestions, and leave it for now, but when it does get re-potted, size it down. Anteater, rest assured, the medium is actually quite moist right now, so I will hold off watering until it's a bit drier. It does seem like it's broken down some, but not really badly.

  5. #5
    pavel's Avatar
    pavel is offline change is the only constant
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    I would have to give a caveat to Jeff's advice -- it depends on the root system the plant has as well as the media and your growing conditions. Of course to evaluate that, you would need to unpot the phal to sneak a peek. If you are really wondering, go ahead and do so. I would water the plant well first before doing so as the roots will be less likely to stay stuck to the plastic and break or tear.

    I once had a phal in a very large pot ... a 3 gallon if I remember correctly. The plant itself was not huge, but the root system certainly was. They would not have fit in anything smaller.

    In Jeff's "neck of the woods", growing in sphag is highly undesireable as the sphag tends to hold far too much water and quickly gets moldy. But he is in Florida and -- correct me if I am misremembering, Jeff - grows most of his plants outside. In my conditions -- indoors in what is often extremely dry air -- I can grow phals in sphag (though I am not one to pack it tightly). What size pot is that which you are using? Hard to be sure from the photo, but it doesn't look too large to me. As far as that new root goes, can be guided to grow down into the media. After misting the root well, give it a few minutes to soak up some of the water so it becomes a bit more flexible. Then place a weight on the root. Whatever you use, it doesn't have to be massive, just heavy enough to press the root downwards towards the media.

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