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When to repot a Phal

This is a discussion on When to repot a Phal within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Some of my Phalaenopsis are really tight in their pots and there are a lot ...

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  1. #1
    Gwenrose is offline Junior Member
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    Question When to repot a Phal

    Some of my Phalaenopsis are really tight in their pots and there are a lot of roots. I know they like to be compact, but some of the roots are growing out the bottom of the pots and I've got a couple in the biggest clear pots I can buy. So when should I repot them and would it make a difference to them if I use ordinary plastic pots, the roots seem to like the light and I think that's why they grow and flower so well.

  2. #2
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    Unless the medium it is in is breaking down, I would leave it as is. Lots of roots, in and out of the pot, is normal and a good thing.

    I personally, don't make a pot selection until after I have depotted the plant and removed all the old media and have a look at the roots. You generally want to pot the plant in a pot that allows the roots to fit in but not too much extra room. Too much extra room (over potting we call it), can lead to root rot.

    Clear pots help make it easier to determine that the orchid is ready for water or not. Other than that, there is no reason not to use an opaque pot.

    The roots do most of the breathing for the plant. And orchids do like a 15- 20 F temperature change from day highs to night time lows. It helps trigger many phals into bloom.

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    I've enjoyed getting larger ceramic or terra cotta pots when they need them, though I look for ones with the perforated sides and good drainage. I've had really good luck with those. I find they can go a couple of years before re-potting, but three years is stretching it. I agree about matching pot size to root ball, but have to buy mine when I am in town. I often pick up suitable pots when I don't need them just because I see something I like and figure I will use. This one is really quite large for instance:
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    Gwenrose is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    Unless the medium it is in is breaking down, I would leave it as is. Lots of roots, in and out of the pot, is normal and a good thing.

    I personally, don't make a pot selection until after I have depotted the plant and removed all the old media and have a look at the roots. You generally want to pot the plant in a pot that allows the roots to fit in but not too much extra room. Too much extra room (over potting we call it), can lead to root rot.

    Clear pots help make it easier to determine that the orchid is ready for water or not. Other than that, there is no reason not to use an opaque pot.

    The roots do most of the breathing for the plant. And orchids do like a 15- 20 F temperature change from day highs to night time lows. It helps trigger many phals into bloom.
    Even if the roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot. I'm going to take a photo and that will give you a better idea of how it looks.

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    I've got perfectly happy Phals throwing spikes with roots all over the place! When the media breaks down and compacts, it can cut off the air to the roots and then they rot and you have a problem. Trying to repot when the media starts to break down would be a good time to do so. Roots all over means a happy plant. The hard part is to determine what is happening in the middle of the bottom of the pot... that is why I prefer to re-pot every couple of years while the media is still in decent shape. Also, I killed my favorite plant by putting it into a too fine a media, which compacted on the roots and, while it went on fine for a little, then it started downhill and I was too slow to pull it back out, lost it very quickly.

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