What Orchid Pots to Use

What orchid pots should I use?

Updated 12/11/17

Orchids naturally grow in the nooks and crannies of trees, in tropical environments (as shown below), or in some cases rooted in the ground. When potting orchids we need to mimic this environment. Check out my post on Orchids Grown in Nature.

There are a lot of options when it comes to potting orchids (clay, plastic, ceramic etc). It is important to the health of your orchid to have the “right pot.”

The right pot should include;

  • An environment that allows their roots to both be “hugged” and “feel” free. You will want to pot your orchids in the smallest pot that the roots will fit in with a little wiggle room for new growth.
  • Orchids also need a lot of humidity, which is typically not found in our homes. The “right” pot helps by holding some moisture around the roots. If your orchids does not have healthy roots then you are in trouble! Orchids show their health through new root and leaf growth. The orchid blooming system is in direct result of their root/leaf system. Check out my post on Humidity.
  • Drainage, drainage, drainage. Without proper drainage – your orchid WILL die. Orchids do not like their root system to be constantly wet, for example setting them in standing water or potting in a pot without a drainage hole. I have an entire post on this…click my link titled READ THIS FIRST.

The pots I use;

I use clear plastic pots. I do this because I can easily see when their roots are thriving and when they are suffering without disturbing their environmentPlus I can place these clear pot in a decorative outer pot when I want to display them.Clear plastic pots also make it easy to see when to water.

20111113-221311.jpgIn the this picture both orchids are healthy but the one on the right needs to be watered and the one on the left was freshly watered. Clear pots not only give you a clear view of their root system but it also helps the plant engage in photosynthesis. Since orchids grow naturally on a tree and are exposed dappled light, clear pots help make photosynthesis through the orchid roots possible.

Clear pots are also easy to clean, disinfect, and reuse. Be careful in reusing pots – they must be totally disinfected. I recommend dipping them in Physan 20 and click on my post titled How To Repot your orchid.

Hope that helps,


Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid.

32 Comments on “What Orchid Pots to Use

  1. About a year ago I repotted two of my orchids into orchid pots (the ceramic ones with all the wholes) they are loving the pots, the spot I have them in so they are growing like crazy! They are currently flowing so I can do any thing yet but my question is; how do I get them out of these pots to replant them? The roots are growing out of the holes and top! How do I know when to repot? Can I just take the bark out so they have more room? Then break the pot when needed?

    • Hi,

      You want to repot when they have grown out of their current pots and/or every two to three years. You can soak the entire plant in water to make the roots more malleable and see if you can gently guide them out from the holes. If not then yes you can break the pot.

      Don’t do anything until after they have bloomed though so the orchid isn’t shocked and prematurely loses it’s blooms.


  2. Where do you get your clear pots from? I can only find them on amazon but I am worried about not seeing them in person and getting the wrong size.

  3. My orchid has a flower stem which has been growing, but, the tip suddenly went dry and I fear it will not generate blooms after all. It seems to have stagnated. Is there anything I can do to help it along. I haven’t had this issue before. I’ve successfully gotten it to bloom yearly since I received it and am disappointed to see that the expected blooms seem to have died before creating a full bud. It seems to have bud blast before even having a bud. Thank you for any advice you can provide.

  4. Hello Hannah,

    I repotted my orchid into just a ceramic pot back in August, and it seems to be doing fine (growing new leaves and blooms), its nearly three years old. But now after reading your post, I am wondering whether to re pot it again into a clear plastic pot. Would you suggest leaving it be in the ceramic pot, or repotting it into a clear plastic one?

  5. Do you think it is okay to leave orchid in a clear plastic container with drainage at the bottom and then set inside a larger decorative pot that I placed rocks on the bottom? I have two this way & they seem to be doing great! One just sprouted a new leaf and the other just lots it’s buds but the leaves look great. Thank you! Obsessed with your blog by the way 🙂

    • Hi,

      I don’t like to do this because orchids need a lot of airflow. Putting them inside a decorative pot that doesn’t have any holes etc can trap the air and not let the orchid receive what it needs.

      Thank you for the blog compliment 🙂


  6. I just received some dendrobiums and potted them in plastic orchid pots. I however feel that I have potted them in larger pots. Should I again repot them in smaller pots or wait for some months before doing that?

  7. Hi Hannah, I have enjoyed reading your blog this morning. I received an orchid from a friend 3 weeks ago. It is a Phalaenopis and has beautiful flowers on it. I just got “Orchid: Plant Food Mist” by Miricle Gro in the mail and thought after 3 weeks it was time for my plant’s first water and fertilizer. After spraying the entire plant, I went back and read the label, then your blogs and realized that I sprayed the leaves! I know, bad :-/ Did I just ruin my beautiful orchid? Also, i love in Denver, so it’s dry out here and I just took it out of the pot it was in. It is now only in its clear plastic pot on my table in indirect sunlight.

    • Hi,

      I would love to help! No you didn’t ruin anything – just wash the leaves off with water from your kitchen sink.


  8. Hi, I was wondering what your opinion is on ” ceramic orchid pots” (the ones with the holes all over). I was gifted one, but it seems it just lets all the moisture out and roots start growing through the holes (which then get ripped off when repotting). Plus it’s kind of messy – this is my first orchid, so I just bought the Miracle-Gro orchid bark mix at the local hardware store – and it all just falls through the holes.
    It’s been over a year and the plant is still alive (shockingly!), but it’s been through some tough times and hasn’t even attempted to grow a new shoot. We didn’t have a window with a good source of natural light, so I bought a grow light, but it was burning the leaves. Then my husband brought in a plant that infested all our plants with gnats (all had to be repotted which is why I now know that the holes in the ceramic pots will rip off the roots). Not sure I’m really a fan of those pots, but maybe if I were using moss instead? It’s a beautiful pot, but it seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth and the clear plastic ones you suggest, might be the way to go.

    • Hi Sondra,

      I would love to help. I had these fancy pots that had an insert that my roots would grow through and it was so annoying!! I just went back to the basic plastic one. They are cheaper and just easier. You could pot it in plastic and then place it the pretty pot?? Ceramic pots work fine if just for function. But again plastic is easier to maintain and clean.

      Also bark tends to fall out – one of the reasons I like moss better. But bark works fine as mix.


      • Thank you! I’ll be visiting that repotme site you refer to.. One more question. . I just repotted the orchid because of the gnat problem – can I repot it in a few weeks when I get the moss and new pots? Or will that stress the plant too much?

      • Sondra,

        I am sure that will be fine – I have had to do that for other reasons and my orchids seem to handle it pretty well.


  9. do you still need humidity tray with the dual core oxygen pot and do you leave water in tho bottom of them?

    • Hi,

      Yes, I use both both because they provide two different things. One enhances humidity while the other provides it.

      The dual oxygen pots “enhances humidity in the space between the two pots on the sides and at the bottom. Air flow is significantly improved which reduces potential root rot while increasing humidity. A further advantage of this design is that it contains the roots inside the pot by encouraging root growth “around and down” rather than over the top of the rim (from http://www.repotme.com)”

      While the humidity trays actually provide humidity by placing water in the bottom of the tray and letting it slowly evaporate.

      And yes I keep water in my trays year round.

      Does that make sense?

      Hope that Helps,


  10. How much to water in the winter? If my plant is in a 5 in pot should I get 5.5 pot? When should I fertile and how much? How often should I water?


  11. I wonder how many comments I’ve posted… 🙂 Do you know where people sell clear pots? I’ve went to a nursery and Home Depot. Any suggestions?
    Sorry for my time-consuming comments I know you’re busy.
    P.S. Your blog is the most informative/easy-to-understand information source I’ve ever come across!

  12. I’m wondering if you’ve tried the new Orchitop corasel (or whatever) pots. I don’t buy from them not because they suck (they taught me things!) but the shipping is expensive I live in Canada… Not keen on spending %0 dollars on shipping!

    • John,

      Super interesting! Just watched the YouTube video on it. I have never used these pots…they are a bit expensive but seem really cool!


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