How to Repot an Orchid?

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How to Repot an Orchid?

Quick Answer:Repotting your orchid is a crucial step in maintaining its health and promoting vibrant growth. Orchids, known for their exquisite flowers and delicate structure, often need repotting every one to two years. This process not only refreshes the growing medium, which can become compacted and lose its ability to retain moisture and nutrients effectively but also allows you to inspect the root system for any signs of decay or disease. The best time to repot an orchid is usually after it has finished flowering when it’s entering a new growth cycle. Before you begin, it’s important to choose the right pot and potting mix. Orchids generally prefer smaller pots that provide snug accommodation for their roots and a special orchid mix that ensures adequate drainage and aeration.


The repotting process starts with gently removing the orchid from its current pot. Carefully tease out the roots and trim away any that are dead or rotting, using sterilized scissors or pruning shears. This is also a good opportunity to divide the plant if it has grown too large. When placing the orchid in its new pot, ensure that the base of the plant, where the roots meet the stem, sits just at the surface of the potting mix. Orchids do not like to be buried too deep in the soil. After repotting, water the plant thoroughly to settle the new mix around the roots, but then allow it to dry out slightly before the next watering. This helps to prevent root rot, a common issue after repotting.

Post-repotting care is as crucial as the repotting process itself. Keep your orchid in a stable environment with consistent temperatures and humidity levels. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight for a few weeks as it adjusts to its new pot. Also, hold off on fertilizing for a month to allow the roots to recover and establish themselves in the new potting medium. With these careful steps, your orchid will not only adjust smoothly to its new home but will also be poised for healthy growth and future blooming. Remember, patience is key; orchids may take some time to show new growth after repotting, but with proper care, they will continue to bring beauty and enjoyment for years to come.

Project Overview

  • Working Time: 20 minutes
  • Skill Level: Beginner

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 pair of pruners or scissors
  • 1 trowel or soil scoop

Materials

  • 1 clean container with drainage hole
  • 1 bag of orchid potting medium

Instructions

To prepare for repotting your orchid, water it thoroughly a day or two in advance to help it cope with the stress of being moved. Before you begin, ensure that you wash your hands and sterilize your pruners or scissors to prevent the spread of diseases between plants. Then, follow these steps:

  1. removing orchid from pot

    Gently pull the orchid out of its pot by grasping it as close to the roots as possible; avoid pulling it out with a single leaf, which could break.

  2. To repot an orchid, it is important to gently loosen the roots and remove as much of the growing medium, which is typically made of either bark chips or sphagnum moss. Unlike traditional potting mixes, these materials provide the necessary drainage and air pockets that orchid roots require to thrive.

  3. Trim off any dead roots that are soggy, shriveled, or discolored using scissors or pruners.

  4. Place your orchid into the new pot so that the base of the leaves sits an inch or so below the pot’s rim.

    Choose a pot that’s 1 inch (at the most 2 inches) larger in diameter across the top than your present pot. While specific pots on the market are created just for orchids, full of holes to expose the roots to more air, no unique pot is needed; a terra-cotta or plastic pot will work fine for most orchids.

    Add fresh orchid potting medium around your plant’s roots, tapping the pot firmly on a table or other flat surface to help the bark or moss settle evenly around the roots. Continue adding potting medium until the roots are entirely covered.

  5. Press down firmly on the potting medium’s top to ensure the orchid is well anchored.

  6. Water your newly repotted orchid well, empty out the saucer if you’re using one.

After repotting your orchid, you should continue taking care of it as usual. Make sure you place it in a spot that receives bright, indirect light, and water it when the potting mix is about to dry out. Some orchids can grow for one or two years before requiring repotting again, so you can relax and enjoy its beautiful blooms for some time before repeating the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can orchid potting mix be reused when repotting an orchid?

    Orchid bark potting mix shouldn’t be reused when repotting an orchid because, over time, it loses its ability to recirculate air and drain water due to decomposition. New orchid bark must be used for repotting.

  • When is the best time to repot an orchid?

    It’s best to repot orchids in spring or summer, right after they flower. You’ll know it’s time to repot when you see crowded roots growing out of the bottom or through the topsoil of the pot. Repotting every one or two years is usually needed.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
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TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.