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Re-potting orchids

Inspired by February's Gardeners' World magazine, I bought 4 orchids from a supermarket to display on a marble topped dresser. They look great, but my record with houseplants is not brilliant.  Are they likely to be in orchid compost and, if not, should I re-pot them in orchid compost straight away? Also the pots they are in seem small to me - is this how they like to grow, or should I put them into bigger ones? Many thanks.

Posts

  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 336
    I have an orchid and although I dont know everything about them, I have picked up the basics.

    The orchid compost is like wood chunks. You can get it from garden centres and also online. They do like to be in a smaller pot. Not quite pot bound but not with lots of space. You will notice that the pot it is in is clear. They like that as the roots need light.

    It does not need a great deal of watering and dont stand them in water. When you water it, let the water run through the pot and let it drain a bit before you put it in the fancy pot. I keep an eye on it as different times of the year it needs more water than others. Now, I water it once every 2 weeks. 

    My friend has one and she swears by watering it with black tea (tepid) I have never done this so any thoughts on this from anyone else would be good please 😁



  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,761
    I’d just said to OH that I should repot mine,  when you say about the pot, it’s in a clear one now, you said that’s best for light, but then you said to put it in it’s outer pot, isn't that defeating the object of the clear pot. 
    Do you use any feed on yours? If so what? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Orchids like to be pot bound and don't need repotting very soon after you have purchased them.
    The ones in clear pots do need to stay that way as their roots prefer to have light (against all other roots!).
    They do need the humidity to be kept up. Spraying with rain water, if you can, will do this.
    Put them on a gravel tray and again this will help the humidity.
    The compost does need to be bark based but not bark for mulching. It should be mush smaller and if possible have some perlite in it as well.
    It all sounds as though orchids are difficult to grow and maintain but they aren't. Some of the "moth" orchids will flower for months on end and then start again from the original spikes.
    Lovely plants and they give so much for so long.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose North YorkshirePosts: 336
    It seems to defeat the object @Lyn I agree. Mine came in an outer ceramic type pot but it is much larger than the clear pot the orchid is in so I am guessing that the roots do get some light. 

    I do notice when I have seen pictures of other peoples orchids in bloom (on social media) they all seem to be in an outer pot too.

    Lyn said:
    I’d just said to OH that I should repot mine,  when you say about the pot, it’s in a clear one now, you said that’s best for light, but then you said to put it in it’s outer pot, isn't that defeating the object of the clear pot. 
    Do you use any feed on yours? If so what? 
    I have been trying to do some research around feeding or more specifically watering with tepid black tea. I know you can buy some orchid food made by bio. I had a look in our local wilkos when I was in last and it is in a bright pink bottle, costing around £3. I just water mine with tap water so would also be interested to know.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 1,502
    My daughter bought me an orchid in 2017. I have never reported or fed it and it has an outer pot about 1inch larger all round. It flowers every year and this year it flowered twice. 
    Can't help thinking that if I feed and repot it will probably die!
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,761
    Thanks everyone, my son bought mine for mother’s day in 2019 I’ve never repotted but I do spray the roots, that the roots that are above the pot. It’s flowered once a year since, in flower now. As @K67 says, I’m scared to repot in case it dies.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • MarkE1984MarkE1984 Pontypridd, WalesPosts: 53
    We had two which we reported this year as the roots were growing out of the pot and even split them in places. Hope we did the right thing rather than cut the roots back.

    We reported them some months back and they still seem to be in decent condition at the moment.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,687
    Presumably they're Phalaenopsis as different types of orchid have different requirements.

    No need to repot them now. They usually respond better to spring time repotting after they stop flowering. Just remove all growing medium teasing carefully all the roots and remove any dried out ones and put them in new medium, usually in the same pot. Only if they have too many aerial roots it's worth going for a larger pot. But if the bark is not looking too old, I'd do it next year. 

    Also I've had good experience with spray fertilisers for orchids as you can spray the leaves and roots when it's in active growth. 


    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Thanks everyone - some great advice!  Mine are in clear pots, but in ceramic pots too, though, like @PurpleRose, the ceramic pots are quite a bit bigger.  I'll leave repotting them until Spring - hopefully they'll still be alive! - and make sure I get the right compost. I'll probably invest in some spray fertiliser too. Thanks again!
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