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Any Orchid experts around? Help with re-potting needed

(10 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Tue 25-Apr-17 06:22:28

I have bought my first Orchid at the weekend, its a very small Phalaenopsis, maybe 12-15cm high, in bloom with flowers approximately the size of pound coins. It's beautiful and I am determined not to kill it!
It is currently in a pot slightly larger than a £2 coin in diameter. There is very little ?soil visible and the roots are curling around the pot. From reading around the subject I understand they like to be a bit pot-bound, but the websites seem to suggest they need re-potting once the roots are curling around the inside of the pot, like mine does. However, they also suggest to re-pot when the plant has finished flowering and when you can see light green growth at the tips of the roots, ie when the roots seem to be growing. So my question is, should I re-pot now or wait until my plant fulfils the criteria above? Any advice very welcome, this includes anything useful about the general care too.

MaximumVolume Tue 25-Apr-17 06:31:06

I currently need to downgrade my pot as my orchid doesn't like having so much space & has never had a flower spike (I grew it from a keiki from a very old orchid). So I'd wait until the repotting criteria are met.

Handbaghag Tue 25-Apr-17 06:36:03

There are special bark type chips especially for orchids to re pot in. I would wait until it's flowered and then buy only a slightly bigger pot and re pot. Alternatively if you bought it from a garden centre, go back and show them the one you bought on their shelves and ask

newmumwithquestions Tue 25-Apr-17 06:44:34

I'm no expert but mine do re flower regularily so I must be doing something right. This is what I'd do:

Wait until it has finished flowering. Hopefully this will take a while - the flowers last ages. Mine are generally very root bound so don't worry if yours is.

Repot using orchid compost not standard compost.

Repot into a clear pot which is then either just on a saucer, or in a glass or clearish plastic 'over pot' - they like a bit of light to their roots (just google 'orchid pots' on eBay, they are often opaque not fully clear, that's fine)

In terms of standard care they don't like sitting in water so remove excess 10 mins after you have watered them. They do like a bit of moisture in the air though - mine are in the bathroom and seem happy.

justkeeponsmiling Tue 25-Apr-17 06:49:54

Wow brilliant thanks for all the tips! I will wait until it stops flowering and then repot. Thanks also for the general advice, I am not green fingered at all but determined to get better! It's such a beautiful plant, I would loath to kill it.

theanxiousgardener Tue 25-Apr-17 07:21:30

I was given a supermarket one as a birthday present three years ago, put it on a very warm and sunny windowsill and have done precisely zilch to it since, apart from occasional drinks of tap water. It's hardly stopped flowering since. Similarly, there are some on a windowsill at work which no one pays any attention to and yet they flower their hearts out.
I think they will tell you (by not flowering) if they're not happy and otherwise my experience suggests to leave well alone.

justkeeponsmiling Tue 25-Apr-17 08:36:34

That souns like my kind of plant anxious grin

Qwebec Wed 26-Apr-17 01:23:42

As said above wait till the flowers have wilted. Too much stress causes the flowers to abort. A tiny pot like yours is fine, but I upgrade relatively fast because I find the plants become too demanding, but there is absolutely no hurry.

When you decide to upsize, make sure your plant and the substrate is bone dry. Transfer in new substrate and wait 24h before watering.
Orchids have very fragile roots that are prone to break if tampered with. Open wounds can get infected and condemn a plant. By waiting you give time for healing to occur and minimize the risks.

MaximumVolume Youg orchids take many years to reach sexual maturity. In controlled conditions it is possible to force the plant to start flowering after only 2-3 years, but is is not something accessible for home grown plants.

justkeeponsmiling Wed 26-Apr-17 01:26:17

Fab advice thanks Qwebec

Qwebec Wed 26-Apr-17 01:27:03

Just want to add something to newmum's spot on post about watering.
Do it in the morning. If the core of your orchid is wet and night you risk getting core rot and it will only take a few days for your plant to die. Orchids are tough babies, this their main weakness.

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