Questions upon questions plague us when it comes to the proper care of butterfly orchids and other species. This extraordinary beauty is different from the flowers and plants that we are accustomed to. After all, in order for your flower to thrive for a long time, it is necessary to follow a few rules – the right humidity, the right location, care after flowering, the interesting aerial roots and, of course, transplanting at certain intervals. The fact that sooner or later the orchid will have to repot or at least change the substrate, you probably already know. But since the flowering period can last quite a long time, many wonder when is the right time. Is it allowed to repot orchids during flowering? If so, under what conditions? Don’t worry, we’ll shed some light on this!
Table of contents
- Repotting orchids during flowering – is it allowed or is it too much stress?
- Exceptional cases for repotting orchids during the flowering period
- For which varieties is transplanting during the flowering period particularly risky?
Repotting orchids during flowering – Is it allowed or is it too much stress?
As you know, the formation and maintenance of flowers costs any plant enormous energy. For this reason, the regular and sufficient fertilizer application during this time is also of particular importance. It also takes a lot of energy for the plant to change its usual location or to get used to a new substrate. They also form new roots for this purpose – another feat of strength. For this reason, flowering is not a good time for this step.
Exceptional cases for transplanting orchids in the flowering period
Now, it can happen that certain problems require “emergency repotting”. Diseases or pests, for example, are a reason to break the general rule. Especially the moth orchids, also known as butterfly orchids or moth orchids, are characterized by very long flowering times and in some situations you cannot wait until after flowering without risking to lose the whole orchid.
In what cases can I repot orchids when they are in bloom?
- If the plant is infested with pests. Then you also need to treat the roots and completely replace the substrate. Pots that you reuse are first disinfected.
- Diseases or a fungal infestation also require that the plant be removed from its substrate, treated, and then planted in fresh substrate. The container is disinfected to destroy all pathogens.
- Drought stress (also called water stress) when, for example, the substrate is no longer good and should be replaced to be able to store enough water.
- Lack of space in the old pot also requires early repotting orchids during flowering.
- Too dense substrate promotes root rot and should be avoided. This happens especially when the substrate is old and already decaying. You should replace this as soon as possible with fresh, air-permeable such.
- Moldy substrate is harmful to the plant and should be replaced immediately.
When to repot orchids
So the answer to the question “when can I repot orchids” is really “after flowering” and you should try to adhere to that even if you have noticed any of the problems listed above. If possible, try to delay repotting despite this. So if the flowering is coming to an end anyway , you can try to delay repotting as follows:
- In case of pest infestation, a disease or fungal attack, first treat the plant with a suitable agent only externally, without removing it from the substrate (by spraying or dipping, for example).
- Remove infested plant parts that are above ground and visible.
- If the problems are due to lack of care or improper care, change it (for example, in case of drought stress, immediately water the plant well).
For which varieties is transplanting in the flowering period particularly risky?
Do you still want or need to transplant your orchids when they are in bloom? In the case of the Phalaenopsis orchid, this could certainly work. However, be prepared for the flower to recover much more slowly afterwards. In turn, with other, more delicate species, the risk of the plant dying on you increases. For this reason, you should think carefully about whether it is really necessary to repot your orchids now, when they are in bloom. Not all varieties are as adaptable as the butterfly orchid. Risky varieties include:
- Cattleya – learn more about this beauty in this article.
Transplanting orchids during flowering – What should you consider?
In principle, you proceed in exactly the same way as at the actual repotting time: carefully remove the plant from the pot, remove dead, diseased, dried or rotten parts of the plant and plant the flower in the new, high-quality substrate and, if necessary, in a new, larger container. And here follows the small but important difference, and it is in terms of watering:
Repot orchids – when to water?
Usually, the orchid is not watered for about 2 weeks afterwards, so that it can first get used to the new circumstances. However, if you repot orchids while they are in bloom, moisten the substrate right away with a spray bottle. Varieties that tolerate or even require moisture on the leaves, also moisten.
Now watch the flowers: if it suddenly begins to slacken, it means that you should either water more often. Or the plant does not have enough strength and needs additional fertilizer to give it the necessary nutrients. Especially the listed risk varieties, you should now always keep in mind after repotting orchids during flowering.