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  • 1 Post By Carolla

Phal Orchid Repotting Question

This is a discussion on Phal Orchid Repotting Question within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; So, I bought a phalaenopsis ---- Vendor information removed - see FAQs on Posting ---- ...

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  1. #1
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Default Phal Orchid Repotting Question

    So, I bought a phalaenopsis ---- Vendor information removed - see FAQs on Posting ----
    the other day, and it looks amazing! The blooms on this thing are incredible! The leaves are firm, and all the roots look really healthy. However, it's currently in a clear plastic container in mostly dry sphagnum moss. From what I've gathered, it is common practice to place phals in plastic containers filled with sphagnum moss.

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    I already know with sphagnum moss, you only need to water it once every 3-4 weeks, after it's completely dry. However, I've read negative things about growing orchids in sphagnum moss: it holds on to salts from fertilizer and tap water, can suffocate roots, etc. I placed it on a plastic top on a tray of pebbles and water for humidity. Should I repot it in one of those ceramic orchid pots dotted with drainage holes in another media? Or is it fine the way it is?

  2. #2
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    My personal experience suggests you would want to re-pot it into a clay or ceramic pot with the ventilation holes (as you asked). I like to use a pretty coarse medium with a little sphagnum moss to retain moisture, Phals root rot pretty easily. I have no good experience in keeping them in sphagnum moss, but it may be my growing methods are not compatible with that, it seems to be a green house thing. Also, when I get the cheaper Phals from the big box stores, or from a grocery store, they are usually crammed into the sphagnum moss with a few roots growing along the sides and a tiny rootball in the middle and sopping wet, with the whole put into a non-draining decorative pot. I re-pot those immediately. Your climate and conditions may vary.

    What sort of store did you get the plant from? If a department store, grocery or big box store, you will probably want to re-pot your plant. They get Phals as disposable flowers rather than plants for people to grow on. If from a nursery or green house, it may be potted to grow on in its current pot.

    I suppose I need to look it up, but there is a sticky video here on how to re-pot Phals that should be very helpful. I would go to the "Articles" section of this forum and do some reading, there is tons of useful information there on things like potting media, how to grow various orchids, etc. It's a wonderful resource!

  3. #3
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the advice! After having seen that video on how to repot phals, I'm doing a little experiment here. I ordered the supplies I need for repotting, but it'll be a few days before it arrives. Since I'm waiting on my ceramic orchid pots and bark mix I had ordered online to be delivered, I went ahead and removed all the sphagnum moss from the orchid very gently. I also cut off a few dead roots. Here, you can see its healthy, green roots.
    Attachment 68757

    I've still got a tray full of pebbles and water underneath the orchids for humidity.

    Attachment 68758

    I have the orchid suspended in the empty clay pot using the stakes that held up its flowers.
    Attachment 68759

    I figure that since they're air plants, they can certainly do without any media for a few days, especially after being in sphagnum moss!

    Do you think they'll be ok, or will this experiment go terribly wrong?

  4. #4
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    I think that's a good idea. They are fine without media for a few days, mist the roots maybe a couple of times a day if you want. Keep the water off the leaves.

  5. #5
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Absolutely! Now the question is, should I cut off the flower spikes so it can concentrate on growing roots?

  6. #6
    Carolla's Avatar
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    I'm not getting the pictures, so it's hard to tell. Maybe the moderator has to ok them? Not sure.

  7. #7
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Name:  IMG_9822.jpeg
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    Here's one!

    As you can see, they're bare root, supported in the empty pot with stakes that were used to hold up its flowers.

    This is now day 2 without media, and the flowers still look great! Looks like I did ok with removing the sphagnum moss gently.

  8. #8
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    personally, I wold have held off until the flowers faded for the sphag medium looked in good condition.

  9. #9
    mmosley is offline Junior Member
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    I hope they'll be ok! I figure without flowers, it can now focus its energy on growing in its new bark media.
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