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Phal. in too big a pot

This is a discussion on Phal. in too big a pot within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello Experts, Thanks for taking a look. I appreciate it. Past questions I have posted ...

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  1. #1
    Velamen is offline Member
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    Default Phal. in too big a pot

    Hello Experts,

    Thanks for taking a look. I appreciate it. Past questions I have posted here have been very well answered and have helped me save plants. Thanks.

    Now for another question. Last year, I bought my first orchid, a Phal. naturally, and after its blooming cycle was finished, I re-potted it. However, I re-potted the plant in a clay pot that is 2.5 times the size of its previous one. I later learned that orchids like tight, constrained medium to thrive and that, planting them in a larger container can actually prevent the plant from growing to the same size as before.

    This is what happened to my phal. By now, a year later, the second leaf of the new pair is smaller/thinner/not as long than the first leaf of the same pair and both are smaller than the bottom pair that were the top/new growth when I purchased the plant last year.

    So, it must be true: a medium too large for an orchid will SHRINK it! That being said, will this plant make it at all? Will it bloom (I doubt it)? Should I re-pot it again in a smaller medium? The phal., by the way, shows no sign of stress and its roots are piercing the top layer of bark. Its color is a medium green and otherwise seems "happy."

    Please advise,

    Don "Velamen"

  2. #2
    Orchids&Unicorns's Avatar
    Orchids&Unicorns is offline Junior Member
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    Pictures would probably help What do the roots look like? The point of pot size is mainly to help stop the roots from rotting. If the pot is too large then the media stays wet for too long. I expect that your phal maybe growing smaller leaves because your conditions are not as 'optimal' as the greenhouse it came from, which is normal. But it could also be any number of reasons such as light issues, root issues etc.

  3. #3
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    A phal can grow in a larger pot without a problem if you're careful but repotting it into the smallest pot the roots will comfortably fit in will increases your chances of the orchid growing well. Luckily phals do not mind being repotted.

  4. #4
    Velamen is offline Member
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    Sorry for the very belated reply. I repotted the phal and noticed that the roots had just a few bad roots that a snipped off with sterile tweezers. Look healthy overall. I think the problem was lighting. She is now under much better under (artificial) lighting. I assume the leaf will remain narrow in width (it's not so much the length as the limited width). I support the next cycle of growth of newer leaves may "go back" to the plant's original size when I bought it over a year ago.

    Thanks again for your advice. I really appreciate it.

    Don "Velamen"

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