How To Repot Moth Orchids

By following these simple repotting instructions, you can keep your moth orchid in great condition. Author: Karen Weir-Jimerson

Typically, moth orchids bloom in the winter and then sprout new roots and leaves in the spring. Regardless of the season, the best time to repot is when the blossoms have faded and new growth has just begun.

Why is it necessary to repot your orchid, then? Instead of soil, orchids are grown in a loose potting medium, which can degrade over time and needs to be changed or refreshed. But it’s not challenging. Repotting an orchid actually involves taking it apart, removing the potting soil, and putting it back together with fresh media.

a fresh orchid pot Select a pot that can accommodate the root mass and potting soil. The size of the roots should be used to establish the appropriate pot size. Avoid selecting a container that is significantly larger than the original pot. Check that it has many of drainage holes or use a container designed especially for orchids (which has air holes around the circumference).

Osmanthus medium Orchid roots can flourish in a wide range of diverse medium types. Use the same substance that your orchid was first planted in, or swap it out. Rock, moss, peat moss, and bark are typical building materials. Use special potting soil only.

First, take off the root ball. The orchid should be taken out of its pot. Work the roots loose if they are stuck in the pot tightly. The roots might be delicate, so take care not to damage them.

Did you realize that orchid roots include chlorophyll? Orchids are frequently cultivated in clear plastic pots because of this. Extra light is absorbed by the roots to support plant growth.

Step 2: Prune away any dead stems and roots. The roots should be spread out over a tidy work area. Remove the potting soil from the vicinity of the living roots. Cut off and discard any dead stems and roots. Dead roots are light brown and dry. Orchid roots that are healthy and well-hydrated are gray green.

You might notice that the roots of your orchid are soft, mushy, and brown or yellow if it has received too much water. You can water your orchid a little less after repotting if you see this during the process to assist prevent overwatering.

3. Repot the orchid. In a new, larger container, place the orchid. Gently poke the roots’ surrounding potting soil. Remember that the medium’s purpose is to support the roots. then use well water. Make sure the water drains from the bottom of the container after passing through the medium. The container must not have any areas where water can collect because the roots shouldn’t be exposed to moisture for an extended period of time.

With our free Orchids Are Easy Idea Book, you can learn more about cultivating and caring for beautiful orchids.

When should my moth orchid be replanted?

Phalaenopsis orchids are among the easiest and most rewarding houseplants, despite their difficult name. Jane walks us through how to get yours to flower and grow!

Phalaenopsis orchids, Moth orchids, Phals—whatever you want to call them—these gorgeous plants are difficult to pass up when we encounter them at the nursery or the grocery store, their delicate, vivid blossoms pleading with us to bring them home. That is, until their blooms start to fade, fall off, and you are left with a stem and a few sad-looking leaves. At this point, the majority of people lose up, throw the whole thing away, and buy another. But Jane is here to demonstrate to you that you can maintain the magnificent appearance of these orchids with a little bit of care and understanding.

About Phalaenopsis Orchids

There are roughly 70 species of phalaenopsis that are found in nature, but many of cultivars and hybrids have been created over a long period of time. The lowlands of Indonesia, India, South-East Asia, the Philippines, and northern Australia are home to phalaenopsis orchids, which are essentially tropical plants that thrive in high temperatures and high humidity.

What Do They Need?

It should come as no surprise, given their ancestry, that these orchids prefer warmer climates, with a favored growing range of between 18 and 28 °C during the day and between 15 and 18 °C at night. This implies that you can grow these lovely orchids outside in Australia’s dependably warm regions, but for the majority of us, these orchids will thrive indoors where the temperature is more stable. Finding a cozy, well-lit area that is out of direct sunlight is all it takes to find a decent spot at your house. Windowsills may appear ideal, but keep in mind that draughts, air conditioning, and chilly glass can all throw these people for a loop.

These guys need humidity as well; ideally, it should be between 40 and 70 percent, but heat alone won’t do. Look at your orchid. If the humidity is too low, your plant will let you know by wrinkled leaves, slowed growth, and even bud drop. Now, try setting the orchid on a tray of pebbles filled with water before using a misting bottle or purchasing a room humidifier. The stones also prevent the pot from sitting IN the water, which can cause rots and fungus, creating the perfect mini-microclimate and preventing rot.

To Mist or Not To Mist?

Do you need to wet your orchids at all? Indeed, a lot of professional growers do, but they only do it when the ideal lighting, ventilation, humidity, and temperature are present in order to prevent any potential issues. Misting orchid leaves can raise the risk of bacterial or fungal outbreaks for home gardeners, and water on the fragile flowers can cause petals to swiftly decay. Misting offers absolutely no significant advantages to the orchid itself, and water in a tray helps control humidity better.

Cutting the Flower Spike

Your orchid should be ready for another flush of blossoms with the correct light, heat, and humidity, but there are a few things we can do to hasten the process. Once the flowers have fallen, you have three options: leave the flower spike (or stem) intact, trim it down to a node, or remove it totally. Phalaenopsis orchids can re-bloom on the old stalk.

A second flush of flowers may appear if the flower stem is left alone, but they will often be smaller than the first blooming. If the stems are left, they may eventually start to seem a little gangly and ungainly.

The flower spike will almost always produce another cluster of spectacular blooms after being pruned back to a node, frequently within 8 to 12 weeks. To do this, cut the stem, leaving only two nodes—the tiny, brown lines that were beneath the flowers—in place. A new flower spike will grow from one of these nodes.

If the spike starts to wilt, turn yellow, or turn brown, it should be cut off at the plant’s base to be removed because it will stop producing flowers. By removing the spent spike, the plant can focus its efforts on developing and growing its roots, which will probably produce a brand-new bloom spike.

When to repot

Moth orchids’ fleshy, thick roots are frequently seen creeping out of containers. Don’t worry; these lovely orchids are saprophytic or epiphytic, which means they grow on rocks or trees. This explains their climbing roots and the loose, chunky organic potting mixtures they are typically planted in. It is recommended to use a commercially available bark-based Orchid Mix blend when it is time to repot, which should happen either every 12–18 months or when there is no more growing medium left. Just make sure they have the Australian standards ticks and are appropriate for epiphytic orchids.

Choose a fresh pot for repotting that is only about 5 cm wider than the old one. Since the roots of orchids like to spread out rather than down, they really appreciate shallow containers as long as they have some breadth. Therefore, the pot doesn’t need to be any deeper. The two primary options for the novice grower when choosing a new pot are either the clear plastic pots they are frequently offered in, or a terracotta orchid container with holes for roots around the outside. The roots are believed to be able to absorb sunlight thanks to the clear plastic pots, which also make it simple to check the roots for pests or rots. Whatever container you choose, be sure it has enough drainage holes.

How to repot Phalaenopsis Orchids

Use the orchid mix straight from the bag without blending it with anything else.

Knock the out of its current pot gently to release the root ball. Remove any damaged or dead roots.

When repotting is finished, place the orchid in the middle of the pot, with the crown slightly below the lip and away from the top of the mix. Never bury them too deeply in pots; instead, use bamboo pegs to firmly anchor them.

Working the mixture in with your fingers or a tiny stake if necessary, add it in and around the roots.

To assist the fresh mix settle in and around the roots, lightly tap the new pot or container on the bench; do not pack it down.

Allow the pot to drain freely after giving it a thorough watering (until water drains from the drainage holes). Re-top the mixture if necessary to the recommended level.

Before returning the plant to its permanent location, leave the pot or container in the shadow for a few days to give it time to settle in and acclimate.

The optimal time to repot a moth orchid is when the flowering is through (often in the spring and fall) and you can see new aerial roots starting to sprout. Make sure to feed your orchid after pruning or repotting. Phals, like the majority of orchids, need to eat, therefore it’s ideal to feed them every three weeks with a specific orchid diet that’s strong in potassium to promote flowering (or in accordance with the product instructions). In the winter and during cooler months, feeding might be slowed.

What kind of potting soil works best for moth orchids?

A typical potting mix should not be used to pot the moth orchid. Always plant your orchids into a squat pot that is no deeper than 150175mm and has medium to coarse bark (818mm screened pine bark chips) and is slightly broader in diameter than the root ball.

For beginners, how do you repot an orchid?

Select a new pot that is one or two inches (2.5–5 cm) larger than the old one. Although regular terra cotta pots can still be used, specialized orchid planters include holes all around the surface to improve air circulation in the roots.

Put the orchid potting mix in a big dish, then pour hot water over it. Drain the potting mix after the water has reached room temperature.

The fact that orchids are extremely susceptible to bacteria and other pathogens is one of the most crucial things to understand while learning how to repot an orchid. Mix 1/2 cup (120 ml) of home bleach with 1 gallon (4 L) of water to create a solution. The planter and any other instruments you use should be soaked in this. Clean your hands before continuing.

Wash off the roots by gently removing the pot from the plant. Cut off any decaying or discolored roots using a pair of precise scissors. The soggy potting soil should be poured into the new planter, and the plant should be positioned with its base exactly at the top of the soil. With the aid of a chopstick, insert small pieces of planting medium between the roots. Until the new roots start to show, keep the orchid misted for at least a week.

An orchid’s repotting need not be scary. Just be mindful of the timing and create ideal growing circumstances to ensure the success of your cherished plant.