Understanding when and how to repot an orchid can keep it blooming every year. Repotting orchids is easy enough, just different from plants grown in soil.
Signs an orchid needs repotting:
- There are multiple roots growing beyond the pot.
- The potting mix has deteriorated.
- It’s planted in the wrong type of potting mix or container.
Choose the right size orchid pot
Orchids like their roots snug to the pot edge, so if you choose to go with a larger pot only go up one size. Orchid pots with vent holes in the side are a nice option because they give the roots exposure to air, but simple clay pots are one of the best choices.
The Right Potting Mix/Bark for Repotting an Orchid
Orchid bark mix helps create ideal growing conditions for plants that prefer quick draining yet moisture retentive soil. Because most orchid barks are chunky, it keeps the potting medium light and less compacted, allowing plenty of air circulation around the plant roots. Bags of orchid bark mix can be found in the same area as soil at most garden centers.
How to Report an Orchid – Step by Step
Gather the supplies needed to repot your orchid: Pot, orchid bark, pruners, and watering can.
Remove the orchid from its existing pot carefully.
Gently separate the roots from the old orchid bark. Then, use sterile pruners to trim any dried-up roots. The old potting mix and dead plant roots are great additions to compost.
Make a mound of fresh orchid bark in the center of your chosen pot. You will compress the roots and potting mix quite a bit by the end.
The orchid should be level with the top of the container. Gently hold the leaves and arrange the roots evenly over the mounded bark. Add a little more bark at a time; tightly packing each addition into the pot, under and around the roots.
The tight packing of the bark mimics the solid, stable tree crevices in the orchid’s natural environment. It also prevents bark from floating away whenever you water.
After you repot an orchid, soak the new bark mix with water.
Feed your orchid every two to three weeks. Use 20-20-20, liquid houseplant fertilizer that’s diluted to ¼ the recommended strength.
Once your orchid is repotted, it should flourish once again! For ways to extend the flowering time of your orchid, check out our 7 Tips to Keep Phalaenopsis Orchids Blooming.