Repotting Orchids, Part 1: Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, is called the “gateway orchid” for beginning collectors: it requires very little care, and yields great rewards with blooms that last up to three months! Early success with a moth orchid leads growers to try other species and, finally, to orchid addiction. But how do you ensure early success?

As a new orchid grower, I was not aware you had to repot your orchids shortly after purchasing them because they are often packed in sphagnum moss, which provides too much moisture for the plant. I was also not aware that you should repot your orchids every one to two years to maintain healthy plants.

Anne Nies, a master’s degree candidate in the Garden and Northwestern University’s Plant Biology & Conservation program, is an expert in all things orchids, both native and tropical. She is also a member of the Illinois Orchid Society, which holds its spring and fall orchid shows at the Garden. She took some time this past fall to show me (and you) how to repot our orchids to maintain a healthy growing environment.

Our first video details step-by-step instructions for repotting a Phalaeanopsis orchid. Stay tuned for part two next week, when Anne reviews the different approach used in repotting a Paphiopedilum orchid, which has different watering and culture needs.

Video note: soaking the orchid you are repotting in virucide should not be a replacement for watering. After soaking the plant in the solution, repot and water well. Make sure your container has good drainage holes, is planted in a well-draining bark media (not moss), and the plant is never allowed to sit in a saucer of water.

Orchid lovers of all levels are sure to learn a lot more about orchids at the Garden’s annual Orchid Show

Author: 
Julie McCaffrey
Title: 
Media Relations Manager
Published: 
December 23, 2013
Category: 

Comments

Can you please tell me again what was the audition you used to soak the roots before repotting .
Thank you

Its called virucide

Could you please tell me the name of the solution again and the three things you mix for repotting thank you

The solution is virucide. The potting mix used in the video is made up of bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss.

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