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Phalenopsis Repotting Discussion

This is a discussion on Phalenopsis Repotting Discussion within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Please post your tips, methods, do's and don'ts for repotting Phalenaopsis type plants in this ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Phalenopsis Repotting Discussion

    Please post your tips, methods, do's and don'ts for repotting Phalenaopsis type plants in this thread. Tell us what kind of everything - pot type, media, hormones, fungicides, tools, soak times, when to repot, why to repot, trim the roots, etc... Try to be specific when mentioning dilution rates for sprays, hormones, etc.

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    I feel I should bump this thread because I am about to repot old Virginia and this information could be extremely beneficial.

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    thenerd0584 is offline Junior Member
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    Ok uneducated question time: When should I repot my phal?

    I bought it back in April from a big home improvement store and it was in bloom. It remained that way until I brought it home. I figured it was just getting back at me for moving it from upstate NY to NJ. It seems to not be too mad as it growing a new leaf. But I figured that now that is out of bloom it might be time to repot but not really too sure.
    Last edited by thenerd0584; July 7th, 2006 at 05:34 PM.

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    Hi Nerd, and welcome to the forum!

    Everyone's going to have different answers on this one. But while there are 'rules' for the best times to repot, I have a couple of my own rules that supercede them.

    Whenever I buy a new plant, I want to repot it. (Sometimes I wait, which I'll explain, but usually I repot.) Many sources of orchids have them potted in the most inappropriate containers and mixes, that I want to inspect the roots and judge the condition of the plant as soon as I get it home.

    If the plant is blooming or near to blooming, you can risk 'blasting' the buds and flowers essentially shocking them where they quickly shrivel and fall off prematurely. So I take into account how long the blooms will last. For shorter lived flowers (ie, 2-3 weeks), I'll wait till they finish blooming, then I'll repot. For Paphs and Phals, which can bloom for 3-4 months, I'll repot immediately and risk the possilbe blast. Mine don't usually blast from repotting, but it can happen.

    My thinking is that over a period of several months, I could kill the plant if I'm watering into bad mix or a pot with insufficient drainage. Always put the plant's health ahead of the flower's.

    That's repotting when I first receive a plant. If I've had it, I wait till it overgrows its pot. That varies with different genera types of orchids. Some love being potbound. Some hate being disturbed. Some have winter rests, and you should wait till they resume active growth in the spring.

    None like to be put into a much larger pot. That's called overpotting. The plant wants some 'pot security.' Its roots want to caress the inside of the pot to some degree. If they're swimming in the middle of a large pot, the plant will put all its energy into new roots and you won't see new growth or flowers for awhile. I've done that. The plant catches up, usually after a year of wild abandon root growth, but not much happens with flowers. Better choosing a closer fitting pot.

    Another factor to consider is the potting mix you're using. Bark and coconut husk will breakdown after 2-3 years and should be repotted into new mix to allow better air flow to the roots. I love good quality sphagnum moss for many of my orchids, but that needs repotting yearly. That's what all my Phals are in, so they get potted when not in bloom. Usually around my ability to get to them, and how tired the moss looks. Phals grow actively year round, so there's no need to worry about their rest period. There is none.

    Also on Phals, don't let the aerial roots whig you out. They just like to do that. You won't bend upward reaching roots downward into a pot, so don't try You'll break the roots. You can sometimes catch downward reaching ones with a bigger pot - just don't overpot. Don't forget that orchid roots are also photosynthetic. It's ok if some hang in the air. Just mist and keep the humidity up and they'll be happy.

    Hopefully that helps you decide when to repot, even though I've given you no quick and easy rule. Please keep us posted!

    Julie
    Last edited by Piper; July 7th, 2006 at 10:01 PM.

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    Thanks Julie, I was wondering why my Phal was doing the crazy root thing, some of them are just pointing straight up.

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    Hi Tindo,

    They live to do that crazy root thing! It's their dance of joy!

    Julie

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    OK, here is a question, will Phals put seed pods on hold to grow roots and leaves? Cuase my pod on the same plant mentioned above hasnt gotten any bigger in the last 5 months, and the roots and leaves are growing like crazy, enough to make me look good.

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    Naw...I think furthering the population is always highest on a plant's mind. They'll suicide to get a flower fertilized.

    If your pod hasn't grown, it may be sterile. That's a common problem. (I'm really on shaky ground here - I'm working with my first pods at the moment.)

    As for your question, I think roots and leaves would come secondary to a pod, but I'm a neophyte of orchid sex, so take my advice with lots of salt!

    Julie

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    Sorry it took me so long to respond. Thanks Julie that was very helpful.

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    No problem, JR!

    Julie

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