How to Repot an Orchid

How do I repot an orchid?

updated 2/28/17

It is essential to repot orchids every 1-2 years because they either will be growing outside their pots and/or because the mix you use will eventually break down. I repot every new orchid I have as soon as it drops its last bloom because they have probably been in the same mix for quite some time and they need new fresh mix to be happy and thrive.

Repotting orchids can be fun and easy if you know what to do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! If you want to know when to repot, look at my previous post. In this post I will tell you how to repot.

Note: I use Sphagnum moss to repot my orchids. I do this because I like it better than bark and it works well in my climate. You DO NOT have to use moss. You can use a bark mixture (most mixes are made from bark). This will work just fine.

Items you will need;

  • Bowl for soaking orchid in
  • A colander to rinse orchid and for new mix
  • Clean environment to work in
  • Sterilized cutting tool
  • Damp potting mix
  • Cinnamon…yes, the ordinary spice from the grocery store. It’s a natural fungicide
  • Packing peanuts…not necessary but helpful
  • New fresh pot

Okay here goes….
1. Cut back the former spike that the orchid bloomed from at the base.

2. Soak your orchid in the sink so it’s easy to pull out of its container. I put mine in a bowl of water, in its container, for a few minutes. Then grab the orchid at its base and gently pull it out of its current container. If you CAN’T pull it out I suggest you gently break the current pot.

2. After you have gently pulled the orchid from the pot you will want to pull offΒ the moss/bark/mix from around the roots. Try to get it all because you really want to give it fresh new mix. I do this over the colander so the moss and bark don’t clog the drain.

At this time you can get a good look at the roots. They should be green/white and plump with nice healthy tips. You can wash/spray the roots with water to get all the little bits of moss/bark off of them.

3. Next we are going to cut off any dying or rotting roots. Get your sterilized tool (dipped in Physan 20 or alcohol) and simply cut the root just above the rot in the healthy tissue. Some roots will be a slight yellow color, this is okay!! Don’t over cut or the plant can’t survive! Only cut the dark brown rotting/dying roots. These are often slimy and look gross.

4. This is not a necessary step but I like to let my plants take a dip in a gallon size bucket of watered down Physan 20, in order to kill any bacteria. I normally do this for 1-2 minutes.

5. After they have had their dip, I then sprinkle cinnamon on any freshly cut roots to prevent the spread of bacteria. Cinnamon is a natural fungicide.

6. Now it’s time to place it in a new pot. I like clear pots (I have a post on this) so I can see what is going on with my orchids throughout the year. You will have to assess whether to keep it in the same size pot or go up a size depending on the root size. I have packing peanuts on hand in case the plant is in between sizes. In this case, take the packing peanuts and place them at the bottom of the pot to make it the right size. Orchids seem to like packing peanuts and will often grow right through them! You want an orchid to have enough room to grow but still be in a container that is snug. Orchids are not like normal houseplant in which you pot them in a much bigger container to let them grow…they like being snug (as shown in the picture below).

Note: While repotting it is important keep everything clean so as to not spread any potential disease. You will want to be cautious when reusing pots, they need to be sterilized between plants. Sometimes it is easier to use new pots than it is to try to clean the old pot. I put all my old clear pots through a cycle in my dishwasher before reusing them.

7. Once you have decided on a pot size, simply put the orchid in the pot holding it at the base level of the top of the pot. Then take your potting mix blend and tuck it in and around the roots. You can pack it tight or light depending on how much you want to water and the surroundings of where you keep your plants. The tighter it is packed, the slower it will dry out, and the less water it will require. I normally pack my orchids somewhere in the middle.

Note: All potting mix should be soaked and rinsed off in a colander before use. This will remove any little particles that may have built up and also wets the mix so it’s less “shocking” to the orchid upon repotting it.

I use Sphagnum moss (I mostly have Phalaenopsis orchids) and I like to soak it, squeeze out extra moisture and then fluff it up again before putting it the new pot. If you use bark just rinse it off in the colander.

8. For the next day or two keep it out of direct sunlight to let it get acquainted with the new surroundings.

9. I then spray my plants with GET OFF ME! Natural Pest Control Spray and clean my orchid leaves with Wash Me! Natural Leaf Cleanerβ„’ from www.rePotme.com, which keeps the bugs off and cleans the leaves. Orchids LOVE clean leaves!!

10. And don’t forget to label it so you know next year what you did as far as this orchid: Went up a size? Went down a size? What did the roots look like? I take notes on mine…it makes it easier when you have 20 plus orchids!

And you’re done:)

Here is a helpful video from rePotme…

Check out this tutorial for visuals….

Hope that helps,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions. And email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com

 

114 Comments on “How to Repot an Orchid

  1. Hi, help! This is my first orchid & I have had it for 6-8 months now. I was going to re-pot it because after reading your blog I thought that it needed a new pot since 2 of the leaves have recently turned yellow & some new leaves are starting to grow along with a new bud. Unfortunately I have also noticed root rot! =( I poured some hydrogen peroxide on the base and heard the fizzing… My question is should I now hold off on re-potting it ??? I want to try & save it from dying!

    Thanks for the help!

    -Elise

      • Okay, got it, I also read that one should use gardening shears or sterilized scissors to remove rotting roots, should I do that asap?? or right before I repot the orchid?

      • I do it as I am repotting it. Once you have washed all the old mix off and you have a clear view of the roots and before you place in the new pot with fresh new mix.

        Hannah

  2. help i got the orchid from a friend and realized she used charcoal (semi crushed) and Styrofoam, i have taken out of pot which had not drain hole, do i clean off the charcoal? what do i do, the stem is slowly turning yellow on one of the stems

  3. Just repotted my phalaenopsis from the 11 cm pot i bought it in. unfortunately the only clear pot i could find at the local garden centre was a 17 cm pot. i used bark as was what came in and did everything else as correct as could but am now worried the roots won`t get enough light as the are completely hidden in the bark. should i find a smaller pot to repot it again?

    • Hi,

      Are the roots at least snug? It’s ok if they can see the light they will grow towards it. But you don’t want it in a huge pot.

      Hannah

    • Only the top aerial roots are seeing daylight. Am thinking it is too big a pot. Definitely can’t call it a snug fit. Can’t see the roots lower down, only bark. Was my first orchid and am new to keeping them, really flowered well and don’t want to ruin it. Glad of the information on the blog.

  4. I have a plant that was given to me by a friend that had the plant in her office. I just went to replant it, it has exterior roots but all the roots in the planting medium are dead! How should I replant this orchid? Suggestions please!

  5. Hi! I just purchased my first phalaenopsis orchid yesterday at Lowe’s. It was totally an impulse purchase. I’ve been reading, pretty obsessively, since about care and repotting, etc. Its a tiny little baby, potted in a 2″ plastic pot inserted into a ceramic pot with no drain holes. The roots look really good inside the plastic pot. It’s moist, but not drowning. It still has 3 blooms, so I know not to repot it yet. My question is, will a jump to a 3″ pot be too big? I’m worried that the roots won’t be cramped enough to for its liking. I. Sure I’m overthinking this, but I want it to grow to be a big baby! I have a nice green thumb, so I know I’m capable. Also, your blog is extremely helpful.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    Meagan

  6. Hi Hannah,

    Thanks for your great blog post! I am new to orchids and have just repotted my orchids for the first time with the classic mix from repotme.com. My question is, are air pockets ok in the pot after repotting? I can’t seem to get the moss into some of the areas in between roots. Thanks!

  7. Hi
    I was wondering if you could offer some advice about my mini orchid. I bought him from ikea approx 6 months ago – he was the saddest one of the bunch and had already been reduced so I thought I’d see if I could bring him on. He has been doing amazingly in my bathroom!! Had two really pretty bouts of blooms and produced 2 new leaves and lots of aireal roots. However I’m worried he seems to be taking his party right out of his pot! I’m scared to repot now as I know this is best carried out at the end of his bloom however I’m worried if he continues growing this way he’ll end up falling out! Help! I’ll also send some photos via email.
    Thanks.
    Gem

    • Hi,

      Got your pictures.

      I would wait till its done blooming because repotting it now could cause the blooms to come off prematurely. I know it seems to be growing out of its pot but it doesn’t look too bad and you can repot after the blooms fall.

      It looks pretty wet. Make sure you are only watering it when it’s very dry and best of luck saving the sad orchids! It’s so beautiful,

      Hannah

  8. Thanks so much for this site, I think I am finally break my orchid curse. So I just repotted my first orchid and I used moss but I wondered afterward if maybe I got the moss too wet. I know orchids don’t like soggy roots, so how wet is too wet when using moss as your potting medium?

    • Hi,

      I soak my moss and the squeeze it out before I use it repot. It is fine if your was super wet. It will dry out. Don’t water it until the moss is crunchy and dry. And then follow the watering instructions on the blog. Best of luck!

      Hannah

  9. Hi Hannah,

    You’re posts have been extremely helpful. Thank you!

    I just got this orchid from a friends house and was wondering what to do with it. Most of the roots are brown and dry while very few have some silvery green to them. Almost all of the roots are hanging out of the pot and some of the roots are cracked or broken. It has green leaves they are however drooping down the pot. What are your thoughts on how to about this one?

  10. Hi Hannah

    I cut 3 spikes that were browning after all the blooms fell. This was 2 weeks ago. I noticed the inch of the spike from the bottom browned after I cut it. Is this normal? I cut it down again but I’m not sure if I was supposed to do that. I continue to water it weekly with fertilizer. I didn’t repot it because I feel my orchid has quite a bit of room. Should the cut stems be brown?

  11. Hi there!

    Love your site and wish I had found it sooner! I’ve just repotted my first orchid but I think I may have cut off too many roots! The site I had read considered yellow roots to be rotten so I cut them off. Since repotting, the leaves stopped growing and became droopy. I could see through the pot that the existing roots weren’t green after watering so I pulled it out and some of these roots has definitely rotted so I cut them off. There are now only a few healthy roots left and it’s looking very, very sad! 😦

    Will it survive? Is there anything I can do to help give it a boost?

    Thanks!
    Annabel

    • Hi,

      I am so sorry! I have had orchids survive with very little roots but it’s hard. Just make sure to not over water it. Only water it when it’s very very dry. I have a blog post on watering.

      The leaves tend to look droopy after repotting so this could be normal.

      Was it potted on a pot previously with no drainage holes?

      Hannah

      • Thanks for such a prompt response, Hannah!

        Eek! I feel like that’s a nice way of saying,”You’re screwed!” Just read your watering post. “Most people see their orchid suffering and assume it needs more water.” – guilty! I feel so irresponsible!

        Aside from overwatering, there is drainage and I did let it stand before putting it back in the decorative pot.

        I think I can see signs of a new leaf coming through but I could just be hopeful! I’ll keep you posted!

      • You are not screwed unless you have no leaves or no roots:) there is always hope if you have those. Just be patient and let it dry out completely before watering it again. Best of luck,

        Hannah

  12. Hannah

    I hope you can help me. Today whilst watering my Phalanenopsis orchid I decided to cut a stem which I thought had no flowers. I had just cut it when I realized that this was the stem with the flowers. I quickly used scotch tape and added the flowers back onto the stem. Will this save the flowers or should I be doing something else.

    • Hi,

      I am so sorry that happened. Most likely it will start a new stem somewhere else. This has happened to me before and there is nothing you can really do for the broken flower stem.

      Hannah

  13. Hi
    love ur site. Quick question – i have a phal orchid that had recently stopped blooming and it fell off the counter it was on and spilled out. I tried to “stuff” it back in but its not too snug. There is a few things i know now after reading ur blog that i did some things wrong. My concern tho is that all the stems and under the leaves now have what look like water drops but are kinda sticky. I hope nothing is wrong…??? Can u pls advise me. Its my favorite and i dont want anything to happen to it…. :/

    • Hi,

      Thank you for the sweet compliment! It sounds like you have scale… Can you send me a picture myfirstorchid@gmail.com

      My orchid had this. Sticky drops and small little scab looking balls. You treat it with alcohol – take cotton balls or pads and wipe away the the sticky parts and the scaly parts. Keep it away from the other plants. You can also treat it with meem oil. Scale if treated is not the end of the world. You can google it to look at pics to see if that is what your orchid has.

      You don’t need to worry about the stuff that fell out and it not being that snug. That is ok.

      Hannah

  14. Hi Hannah!

    So earlier today I just repotted my phalaenopsis. I am a beginner orchid carer so this is my first time repotting my orchid. I followed all of your steps on repotting and cutting unhealthy roots, etc. I feel confident that I did everything that I was suppose to do but I still feel a little concerned. Is there anyway I can show you some photos that I had taken while repotting my orchid? I just want to have an absolute conformation that I did everything well in order for my orchid to further grow πŸ™‚

  15. Dear Hannah,

    I’m new to orchids, just started growing them two years ago. I have a few phalaenopsis that I collected over years and they are having new flower spikes about 1-3 inches. They are in bark medium and I need to water them every 3-4 days because now we have the heat on for winter, they are near the window. In the past I tried transplanted a few of them but sadly only one survived :(. Now my concern is that next month I will be away on vacations for 3 weeks and I don’t how I could keep the medium moist during that time and the orchids will still be blooming and not die. I was thinking of changing the medium to moss ( I currently have one orchid with moss medium and it stays moist for 2-3 weeks at one watering) but I don’t want to disturb the plants that they will not continue the growing of flower spikes. I hope you could give me some suggestions.

    Thank you so much,

    Knok

    • Knok,

      I would love to help!

      Just to be clear are they currently in bloom? If they are not in bloom you could repot them in moss. I like moss because it dries out less quickly and you can tell when it needs watering. My orchids could easily go 2 – 3 weeks without watering because of the moss.

      Also putting them on a humidity tray will help keep some moisture. You can make one out of pretty much anything. I have a link on this…

      https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/how-to-make-a-humidity-tray/

      Let me know if that helps,

      Hannah

      • Thank you Hannah. the orchids are just have new spikes in progress, not in blooming yet. Can I repot them without cutting the old dead roots? I have a bad experience with repotting the orchids from last time, I did 4 of them and only one survived.

        Thank you again.
        Knok

      • Knot,

        Hi again… I would not repot them until they are done blooming. Repotting shocks an orchid and could affect the bloom spikes (bud blast – I have a post on this). I would water it really well before you leave and place them on humidity trays.

        Hope that helps,

        Hannah

      • Oh.. okay, my misunderstanding. I thought you meant I could repot them when the spikes are small (3 inchese without bud). I will take your suggestion not to repot but water them very well. Thank you so much Hanna :). Have a great one! … Knok

      • I have never repotted orchids once the bloom spikes start because I am nervous it will hurt the plant. I am so sorry for the confusion.

        Best of luck,

        Hannah

  16. Hi, have you ever reported a phal that was growing in bark and changed the media to lava rock? I am thinking about doing this and wondered if you had any experience with it. Thanks.

    • Hi,

      I am familiar with going from bark to moss or vice versa. If you wanted a good answer to lava rock I would recommend emailing the http://www.repotme.com folks. There is a link to email them at the top of the page and the guy (David) always knows the stuff I don’t.

      Hope that helps,

      Hannah

  17. Hi! I received a potted orchid today. I did some quick research and learned to check the roots, but since it’s in a green pot, I had to take the orchid out of the pot and jimmy the potting medium around to see the roots. I cut off the dead ones (it looks like it was somewhat overwatered at the florist) with sterilized shears, then put the orchid back in the pot and added the potting medium back in. Was this wrong to do? The orchid is in full bloom and I’m hoping I didn’t disturb it!

    I also ordered a clear pot on Amazon – will it be ok to transfer it to the clear pot when it comes? I’m new to orchids so the idea of being to see the roots through the plastic appeals to me, but I don’t want to ruin the orchid by doing so.

    • Char,

      I would love to help! I am sure the roots will be fine but normally I don’t cut anything until I repot it. And you only want to cut rotting black ones.

      And yes you can place the orchid in the clear or when you get it – that’s called Drop Potting. Just take it out of the one and place it gently on the new one. You don’t want to fully repot until the blooms fall off which they will soon because full repotting (changing the mix and giving it fresh new mix) will shock an orchid and the blooms may fall off prematurely.

      I have a post titled Drop Potting and one one repotting. Also check out my post on Orchid Blooms: Dying Naturally and Cutting an Orchid Stem for when you repot.

      Hope that helps,

      Hannah

  18. Hi there!

    I had a question about my root systems on a couple phals of mine. I currently have 3 phals that are 1 year old and one that was just purchased a week ago and is in bloom. Im relatively new to orchids but have done some research and adjust accordingly(your site being most helpful).
    Ive just repotted my 3 older phals after reading about some ideas off your site and they are all currently growing new leaves. They have done very well in that aspect but dont seem to bud much(thus my reason for trying your ideas). They used to be in bark and i would water once a week with ice cubes(idea off another site) and mist daily. After reading everything off your site, i now have them in the sphagnum moss with the humidity tray underneath. I will be running water through now instead of the ice cubes after reading what you had to say about that. And im wondering myself if that, like you said, is the reason they havnt bloomed much.

    My question now is about the roots. You made a comment in the “repotting” tutorial about it being ‘OK’ if they are yellow. My first thought when i see yellow is that they arent totally healthy. Is this wrong to assume? Are they ok if the roots are yellow? There seems to be a mix between green/silver roots and yellow roots.

    Id love a comment back if you have time! Thanks so much!

    • Lisa,

      Hi and thank you for the compliments. Orchids roots are tricky. Yes when they are slightly yellow and/or white that is not totally preferred to green ones but I say this because a lot of people think if they are yellow or whitish then they are dead and cut them off. Roots only are dead if they are black and mushy.

      Also orchids don’t bloom for a variety of reason. Changing from bark to moss is not necessarily the answer. I prefer moss because it easier, for me, to tell when they need to be watered and I like how they hold moisture for longer.

      I have had orchids that didn’t bloom for years because of how they were treated before I got them. It is a lot of stress to an orchid to be shipped to stores (especially places like grocery stores that don’t have any natural light) and then brought to our homes. Many times they are over or under watered at these stores causing damage.

      The best thing you can do is place them near a good window. Water them only when they are dry and wait. As long as you are not overwatering them at your place then they will eventually bloom. It’s totally worth the wait!

      Let me know if you have further questions and I hope that helps,

      Hannah

      • Thanks for getting back to me! I do have one more actually. Its about light.

        My living room has a large patio door, which is the only source of light for that room, but gets great light, as the sun shines through all day. During the summer, i have the orchids right next to the window because while the light is there, my roof prevents the sun from actually hitting them. And they also get the fresh air flow. During the winter/spring(which is now), the sun is lower and directly hits plants that i have at that window. So this time of year I move them directly across my living room. They still get great light, but not as great as in summer. Im very afraid to leave them at the patio all year, as i dont want to burn them. I guess im just wondering how much is too much, or vice versa.

        Ive read your posts about light and the different shades the leaves turn. All of mine are slightly darker than when they first sprout, but never get to be an extreamely dark green. Is it safe to leave them by the patio? Im almost positive their leaves will get warm to the touch, as the plants i set there during winter to get warm.

      • I don’t like moving my orchids around because if they don’t bloom etc. I can’t pinpoint the problem. Of course I don’t want your orchids to get sunburned but if they are across the room from a window and not getting any direct light then this is not good. If there are windows on the other side of the room you may be ok.

        Hannah

  19. I left comments farther up in the feed when i rec’d my orchid and bought the shpagnum moss beginner kit. now i’m down to one leaf and have my plant in an “icu”. i bought my co-worker one, she did nothing with it, never repotted it and its flourishing. the moss killed my plant i think, kept it too wet. the roots are not black… they are HOLLOW skins??!! there’s barely a good root on it now. i killed it with love 😦 is it too far gone?

    • Don’t give up – until there are no leaves left!! Moss is fine to use – you just need to not water as frequently. People have used both mixes for years and nothing suggest moss kills orchids. Your doing a fine job – sometimes we just get a “troubled” plant.

      • I took it out of the moss (i always let it dry out really well for a few days before i watered, but noticed it did go downhill pretty quick after repotting…a few months) and put it in a clear vase with water and a few drops of fertillizer for 2 days and now i took it out of the water to dry out the one (BARELY) good root left. it’s really hanging on by a thread 😦 the leaf that it has left has been leathery-soft for about a week and the very tip is starting to yellow. i dont understand if the roots arent black and rotted why did they go to hollow skins? im trying not to give up hope on the one pitiful root it has left. i should have left it in its pot and left it alone 😦

      • i feel like such a failure. i have 18 plants alone just at work, not counting at home. in my office i have a dwarf lemon tree, a dwarf banana tree (will still get 10 foot tall) amongst many other tempermental plants 😦 im so sad lol

      • You are NOT a failure!!! Orchids are hit or miss. Some are totally hardy and grow in ridiculous circumstances and others freak out by simply re-potting them. But they do need to be tended too so if this one doesn’t work try again!

        I don’t think this is your fault and I think your doing everything right. This orchid could have simply been dying over time for awhile and you were just along for the ride.

        I have had many orchids die! I also have saved many near death orchids. When they die I feel like a failure but this is not true. Loving plants well makes you anything but a failure.

        Try again πŸ™‚

        Hannah

    • Thank you, you made me feel better knowing even experts sometimes have trouble with some of them πŸ™‚ If it’s the plants time to go and i want another one, are there websites that carefully ship them?

      • Ha! I am a learner just like everyone else. I am no expert – I have been doing this for a many years but I don’t think I am an expert;)

        Most flower shipment places are the same. It’s hard on an orchid to be shipped to your door. I have some from Proflowers that lived but they were kinda sad and the blooms (the first year) did not last long. But the years following they were good…

        Is there a nursery by you?

        Hannah

      • Closest thing to me would be a Lowe’s or Home Depot an hour away in the city and I’m not sure if they carry them anymore since it’s getting colder 😦

      • Thanks again! If this one lets go, i wont be shy about trying it again! πŸ™‚

  20. Hannah,

    I have a Phal orchid, I purchased it from a reputable flower shop this past June. The buds have all fallen off from the larger stem, so I was going to cut it back. There is a smaller stem that grew over the summer with two buds still remaining, so I am going to leave that one alone for a while. Would you suggest that I repot it? I vaguely remember something that said to wait a year after you’ve purchased it to repot it.

    Also, would you suggest that I cut back the larger stem at the base, or below one of the nodes? The stem has not begun to turn brown yet; and there is a semi-new leaf that has been growing out of the center.

    Thanks for your help!

    Kelly

    • Hi Kelly,

      You can wait till next year – if you like to repot.

      You can wait till the stem starts turning brown and then cut it back or cut it back, all the way, immediately. People do it both ways. I always cut it back to the base because I like the orchid to rest sooner after blooming (concentrating on creating new leaves and new roots) – in the hopes it will bloom bigger next year.

      Hannah

  21. A friend is giving me a GIANT orchid plant (it will be my first). I plan on repotting it following all the guidelines here. No clear orchid container I have seen will suffice. I can certainly find something clear and put holes in it. Is there a size at which orchids should be “separated” (is that possible with orchids?). It is a white Phalaenopsis which has bloomed nearly year round to everyone’s amazement. With perhaps 30 or more blossoms. Thanks in advance for your advice to this beginner in Florida

    • Chris,

      Hi! Sounds like an awesome plant!!

      You don’t necessarily need clear pots – I just prefer them.

      And some orchids you can separate but Phalaenopsis orchids only need to be separated if they grow an aerial keiki.

      I have a post on that.

      You can’t separate a normal Phalaenopsis because there is only one root system.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      Hannah

  22. I just repotted my very first orchid and I have a couple of questions. 1. Is it ok to reuse the original stake when my orchid (hopefully) blooms again? 2. If I prepared too much moss mix while repotting, it is ok to let it dry out a little bit and rebag it?
    Thanks for the advice.
    Dale

      • Thank you very much; I so appreciate your blog and advice. So far I have not killed my orchid. It seems to like where I decided to keep it (in the bathroom under an east facing window). It sits on the corner of the big soaking tub, and except for one split leaf, all the leaves are dark green, glossy, and huge! I look forward to it blooming next year.

  23. I just re potted my orchid in a mainly bark mix yesterday. Since the old mix wasn’t really decomposed, I took the freshest bit and mixed it in with the new bark mix. Is that okay? And also I can’t make the orchid stable in it’s new mix (old pot, I did wash it before the plant went back in). I can pick the plant up by it’s leaves and it won’t fall, but it’s not as stable as before I re potted it. Maybe it’s because I put decorative glass gems(pretty heavy) at the bottom to improve drainage. And are the glass gems okay? Fourth question: A new leaf at the top(still small) broke when I maybe treated it too rough when re potting. 😦 There’s still a tad bit left where the new leaf would join the center top of the orchid. I put cinnamon where the leaf broke (top center). If all goes well after this can it grow new leaves from the top center?(from the tad bit left)
    Sorry for the lengthy post. Four questions.
    Thanks gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ ,
    John

    • Hi John,

      1. I would normally give an orchid all fresh mix – so it has optimal nutrients. You don’t need to repot it again but in the future I would not re use mix.

      2. See answer three. It would probably be more stable if planted alone in a small pot.

      3. The glass is probably fine but you don’t need it. Orchids just need a pot that has drainage holes and like to be potted in very snug pots. Normally they are snuggled up in the crook of a tree – so that is what I try to replicate.

      4. The broken leaf will continue to grow from the base but will always look broken at the top – it will seal itself off and be kinda crooked. Don’t cut if off. It will still give the orchid energy – even though its broken at the top.

      Hannah

      • Thanks! I bought a bigger pot since the roots were winding around the drainage holes and forgot to get a smaller pot… Like in the re pot video, I think. I put the glass gems to make it more snug…
        Thanks gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ again,
        John

      • Sounds good! You may want to check out styrofoam packing peanuts… That’s what I use. They are not expensive and the roots can grow right through them:)

        Hannah

      • Do you know where you buy them? I checked Home Depot before and they weren’t there. (p.s. that’s a hardware store.) Neither does Canadian Tire, another hardware store(a bit of a giveaway to were I live) those two are the major ones in my city. They only sell bubble wrapping 😦 .
        John

      • John,

        I don’t know. That’s a good question… Most website I know that use it say to “sprinkle” it with cinnamon so maybe.

        I personally wouldn’t dump a whole bunch on a plant but that because in really bad situations I use physan 20.

        Hannah

      • There are Walmart supermarkets around here. I haven’t checked those yet. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen bags hanging around at the local post office, but I could have just skipped over them.
        Thanks,
        John

      • Checked Walmart – they only have bubble wrap. All the office supply stores have them like Office Depot, Office Max, U-Haul moving and check Amazon…

        Hannah

      • Thank you! For answering so many of my questions(80-100) and for checking those stores for packing peanuts(you didn’t have to, you probably have a lot already)! So the post offices. Hmm…
        Thanks gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚ gratitude πŸ™‚

      • I came so close to finding packing peanuts. Staples only sells ones that dissolve in water. 😦

    • Alright, that orchid, since repotting, has not been dying. BUT the bottom leaves have been wrinkled, and I have trouble keeping it regularly watered (I need to water it 3-4 days apart and it’s in a 5 inch pot). I used to only have to water it 11-14 days apart.
      Any suggestions?

      • Well watering it less will not hurt it. I have found that orchids that are neglected in this way – seem to be ok. As long as you are generally watering it.

        Also humidity trays help when you can’t water as frequently as you want – I do this and it helps.

        Hannah

      • Oh and it put out a new leaf after repotting, the broken one has grown, and there are signs of new roots. So that’s my definition of “not dying”.
        Thanks,
        John

  24. …..Also, where are the products you use available or would i be ok without them if I watch it carefully for rot or pests?

      • Thank you for that website, REPOTME.COM!! Love it! Got a beginners orchid pack coming with the moss, fertilizer and other goodies. Yay! My little town is about 2500 people, nearest city is an hour drive, so that works out wonderfully! Spent about 4 hrs doing reading on your site and the repotme.com and I’m feeling much more confident about my spur of the moment purchase πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Crystal,

        I love their fertilizer and moss! Yay!! So happy for you – let me know if you have any more questions:)

        Hannah

  25. Are there other preferred potting media other than shpagnum moss or bark? Mine have aerial roots up and out of the pot hanging over and would like to give it a bigger home but my small town doesn’t have anything other than dirt available to buy. 😦 Was going to go get some lava rock from outside at home and steralize it to try to mix in with what’s there but didn’t want to risk it without asking first πŸ™‚ Looks like what’s in there now is lava rock, coconut husks, bark and other chunky materials. Thanks!!

    • Crystal,

      I am sure there are but I am only familiar with bark and moss. I wish I could give you some helpful hints as to what to buy around you.

      There is no just general orchid potting mix at store near you?

      I have always gotten orchids that came in bark or moss and then repotted them in moss. Many other people use the bark mixtures and they are fine. My moss mixture actually has bits of bark and other stuff in it. It’s from http://www.repotme.com the Imperial Phalaenopsis one.

      Hannah

  26. Hi Hanna,

    When potting in mostly bark some perlite and spagnum- does the bark need soaking?

    Thanks again,

    Michele

    • Michele,

      All potting mix should be soaked and rinsed off in a colander (or something like that) before use. This will remove any little particles that may have built up and also wets the mix so it’s less “shocking” to the orchid upon repotting it.

      I use Sphagnum moss like you do and I like to soak it, squeeze out extra moisture and then fluff it up again before putting it the new pot.

      Hannah

  27. I just repotted my phalaenopsis and the leaves fell off. The roots otherwise looked healthy, but I didn’t see evidence of a new spike or new leaf growth. It just dropped its last flower the other day. I have already trimmed back the old spike in hopes that it will have enough energy to make a leaf… though I doubt it.

      • All of them. The roots look amazing, the spike was strong before I cut it back, there was no bud blast, the blooms lasted forever, I can’t figure it out. I have treated it with H2O2 in case there was some kind of fungus or bacteria… but honestly the leaves looked fine. Two of them were green and healthy,one had yellowed but I wasn’t concerned because I know that’s normal. I’m thinking maybe crown rot, if all the leaves fell off.

      • Alice,

        It does sound like crown rot. Unfortunately when all the leaves fall off there is a very small chance it will live…I have never seen one live after this has happened.

        I had one that had one leaf and survived but never one that had no leaves at all:(

        That is so frustrating!!! I am sorry.

        Hannah

      • When re-potting a orchid from moss to bark, the orchid has a longer ‘shock’ period and potentially death.
        Hoping this doesn’t happen to any of us orchid growers,
        John

      • John,

        Orchids are very hardy and will not potentially die if switched properly to a different medium.

        Hannah

      • Quote form RepotMe, Phal Care page:
        Many Phalaenopsis are sold potted in Sphagnum moss and often times the moss is very tightly packed around the roots to help the plants hold moisture as they are transported for sale. Once in our homes, however, the tightly packed moss often retains too much moisture. Seeing that the orchid is not drying out the tendency is to repot it into a mix sold in the big box stores right next to the orchids. Unfortunately these mixes are often times made from fir bark and peat moss. Phalaenopsis, however, dislike moving into fir bark mix when they were used to sphagnum resulting in additional stress.

      • Of course the main thing isn’t that bark or moss isn’t good, it’s probably just the different medium stress.
        Thanks,
        John

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