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  • Repotting a Large Cattleya - the wetfeet101b way.

    Hello Everyone, I just thought I'd share with you another repotting project that I had this afternoon for rather large cattleya. There was nothing wrong with the plant itself, but the wire basket that it was in was starting to rust and the last thing I want is to catch tetanus while working in the greenhouse.
    Some older leaves are showing severe sunburn, but those leaves have been there even before I got this plant. These leaves are sturdy!

    Here is the picture of the cattleya prior to repotting.

    Close up of the potting medium. It is a mix called Aussie Gold.

    Checking my stash to see if I have any suitable containers.

    Hah! found it! 12-inch slat basket that I already lined with fabric many months ago. Here is a replay of how I line my baskets. Get a strip of mesh fabric - I find scrap shadecloth ideal. Cut it to the width of the basket.

    Push the fabric in and fold inward.

    Get a second strip of mesh and fold it inward again, this time perpendicular to the first strip. There you have it, no need for strings, or wires, etc. Gravity will take care of the rest.

    Here's the potting mix after I removed the mesh around the old wire basket.

    Shaking off some of the loose potting mix from the rootball.

    Keeping the used Aussie Gold mix for treatment and reuse. I am reusing it for the same plant so it is pretty straightforward. Spray it with Physan 20, let it sit in the sun for a little bit and it is ready.

    *WARNING* I would avoid reusing potting mix (even Aussie Gold) into another plant. For fir bark and other commercial orchid mixes, I do not reuse them. It is cheaper and more convenient to use them as garden mulch.

    Removing more potting mix from the root ball. Grab the garden hose!

    Here's the plant after its shower.

    Just to show you how big this baby is. Thats me holding the plant. My fingers and wrist were kind of awkward trying to hold this plant properly without breaking anything.

    To the S.T.O.P. winners who got the Wedding Songs, this is how big they can get in three years

    "Dry" fit. Trying on the plant inside the basket without potting mix to gauge the fit.

    I filled the bottom half with fir bark to raise the plant.

    Here is the plant after setting it on top of the fir bark and pouring the Aussie Gold back in. I prefer to use garden wires to anchor the plants after being repotted.

    This gives the plant support while waiting for the potting mix to settle down and the new roots to dig in.

    Another shot of the plant after being repotted.

    Dont forget the tag!

    The plant will now be placed in a lower light area for a few days to give the plant time to recover from the repotting process. This spot receives between 3000-4000fc at noon.

    Once the plant has recovered, it will be placed back in its usual spot that receives 4500-5500fc at noon.

    Just to be on the safe side, I sprayed the plant again with a dilute solution of Physan 20 letting it seep into the potting mix.

    Learn more about repotting orchids at the OrchidTalk Orchid Forum

    I hope you enjoyed this repotting session.
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