You have received the beautiful exotic as a gift or have it already a few years and suddenly roots protrude over the edge of the pot? Then the time has come to transplant. But what should you pay attention to? We explain how to repot orchids and answer the most common questions for care during and after!
Table of Contents
- Repotting orchids: answers to the most important questions
- When is the right time?
- Repot orchids during the flowering period: Is it possible?
- Repotting orchids: Should you cut the aerial roots?
- What kind of soil should I use? Can the orchids be kept without soil?
- Which pot is the most suitable?
- Water the orchid before or after repotting?
- Divide orchids when repotting
Repotting orchids: answers to the most important questions
Unlike other plants, orchids are not repotted at certain times of the year, but when needed. We explain in which cases you repot the orchid and when it is better to leave the exotic alone.
When is the right time?
1. repot the orchids immediately after purchase: like all other plants, orchids are delivered in transport containers. However, these are only meant for a short time. If you want to enjoy your exotic for a long time, you should repot it immediately after purchase. Proper care after that is also very important, so that the orchid can get used to the new location faster.
2. special “soil” for orchids begins to rot after only two years. If you have not changed the substrate by then, rot may form and the whole flower may die. To prevent this, change the special orchid substrate every two years.
3. if the roots of the orchid suddenly protrude from the pot, then it is also time to repot the flower. But in this case, the pot size plays a crucial role.
Transplant orchids during the flowering period: Is it possible?
The only time that is unfavorable for repotting is during the flowering season. Therefore, from February to May, it is better to leave the orchid alone. A planned substrate change should take place in the fall or winter, but definitely before the flowering period. Even if the aerial roots protrude above the edge of the pot, you should not repot the orchid during flowering.
The only exception is after you buy it or if you receive a flowering orchid as a gift, then you should still repot it.
Repotting orchids: should you cut the aerial roots?
Orchids are among those plants that have aerial roots and can absorb water from the environment through these organs. Therefore, these specific roots are very important for the flower and should not simply be shortened or removed completely when repotting.
As with other plants, the rule of thumb for the exotic is to only cut off dried up roots. They are usually limp and feel “empty” when touched. However, it can happen that the orchid forms too many aerial roots.
In this case, in addition to transplanting into a large pot, changing the substrate will help. The new “orchid soil” should be as airy as possible and provide enough space for the excess aerial roots. When repotting then simply direct some roots down and cover with substrate.
Which soil should I use? Is it possible to keep the orchids without soil?
For the time being: In the rainforests the orchids do not grow on the ground, but attach themselves to trees. Therefore, they have different requirements for soil than the typical houseplants. The flower needs raw humus deposits. Substrates for orchids are made specifically for the exotic and contain all the essential nutrients that the plant needs.
By the way, you can repot certain types of orchids without soil. In this case, the roots are arranged in an empty jar. It is important that the leaves and aerial roots are not in the jar. In addition, the jar should be disinfected before use. Remove substrate residues from the roots and shoots.
Which pot is best suited?
Which pot you choose depends mainly on the growth of the orchid. As a general rule, all species that have one main shoot (monopodial) should be placed in the center of the pot. For the branched species (sympodial), the old roots are arranged at the edge of the tub, leaving the center free for the new roots.
Otherwise, you can find a wide selection of pots in garden centers. It is important to find the right pot for the species.
In practice, clay pots with holes, as well as transparent plastic pots have become popular. The drainage holes are very important for the orchid, because this is the only way to avoid waterlogging. A transparent pot also offers the advantage that you can see the roots. Especially beginners will find it easier to notice pests, rot and other problems and to react in time.
Water the orchid before or after repotting?
Give your orchid a soak the day before repotting. The roots should become soaked. The next day, immediately after repotting, you can pour water into a spray bottle and use it to spray the leaves and root area.
Divide orchids when repotting
When repotting is also the right time to divide the orchid. The right time to do this is in the fall. But you can also transplant the exotic just before the flowering period, and then directly cut the offshoots. The procedure depends on which group the particular species belongs to. Monopodial species can be propagated by side shoots. Sympodial species are propagated by cuttings .