Repotting Phalaenopsis Orchids Repotting Phalaenopsis Orchids

What You'll Need
Phalaenopsis orchid
New pot
Heavy scissors or a small knife, sterilized
Potting soil
Bark mixture

The Phalaenopsis orchid or "moth orchid" blooms in white, fuchsia and shades of yellow. Repotting this finicky flower can seem like a daunting task, but if you follow the right steps, you should have no problems. You don’t need much to repot your orchid, but you must be careful if this is your first time ever repotting a moth orchid.

Step 1 – Remove The Orchid

To prepare your work area, spread out several sheets of newspaper to collect any of the dirt that may spill out. Turn the plant upside down over the newspaper and hit or thump the sides to loosen the root system and soil from the pot. Gently pull out your orchid, and use a clean knife to loosen any roots that stick to the sides of the pot. Don't worry about damaging old roots—as demanding as orchids are, they’re pretty hardy.

Step 2 – Get Ready to Repot

Trim the roots and get your moth orchid ready for the new pot. Your pot should be able to accommodate about 2 years of growth, so make sure you buy one large enough for your plants.

To trim the roots, use your sterile scissors or shears to get rid of the dead ones first. Good roots are white and firm with light green growing tips, but dead roots are mushy and brown.

Step 3 – Repot The Orchid

Now that your orchid is ready for repotting, it’s time to get the pot ready, too. Orchids need absolutely stellar drainage, so put some packing peanuts or pot shards at the bottom of your new pot. (If you’re using a clay pot, be sure to soak it in warm water for a few minutes)

Before you add the potting mix, wet it with boiling water, allow it to cool, and drain it. This will prevent any harmful substances from coming into contact with your orchid, and will also help prevent diseases.

Put some bark mixture in an even layer on top of the potting shards. Use no more than about 1 inch of it for a large pot, ½-inch for a small pot. On top of the bark mixture, add some of the cooled and drained potting soil. Add some of the bark to it and mix it around, making for excellent drainage. Once it’s mixed,  put your orchid into it.

Add the rest of your soil to the top of this mixture and over the roots of the orchid, tamping it down lightly with your thumbs.

Step 4 – Finish Up

Finish by adding some more of the bark over the soil, and tap it down lightly. You’re all finished! After your orchid is repotted, it may need a few days to get used to the new environment. Once you have evidence of growth, you can resume your usual light and water regimen.

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