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  #1  
Old 08-29-2020, 08:13 AM
JLem JLem is offline
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Repotting large Phalaenopsis
Default Repotting large Phalaenopsis

I have a large Phalaenopsis currently potted in a glass cube - it was the centerpiece from a friendís wedding a couple of years ago. It has done well, flowering twice. But it is toppling over and I think the glass cube is the wrong sort of container for it. So, Iíd like to repot this into a plastic orchid pot. But I donít know what size to use - everything I read says to use a pot one inch larger when repotting...but the original planting was not exactly correct to begin with. Itís current container is ~4Ē square. The leaves on the plant are 10-12 inches long and 2-4Ē wide. Iíve included some photos here, with a U.S. quarter for scale.

Any suggestions for what size pot to use? Other suggestions for repotting this? I should also probably mention that I have never attempted to repot an orchid before. Thanks.
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Last edited by JLem; 08-29-2020 at 08:17 AM..
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2020, 08:26 AM
JLem JLem is offline
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And hereís a photo of it in bloom (June 2019)
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Old 08-29-2020, 09:14 AM
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If that was a 4" cube, I'd probably use a 6" or 8" pot.

Larger puts you at risk of having the potting medium becoming soppy in the middle. One way to avoid that is to invert a smaller pot over the drainage hole before beginning, giving you a "cone" poking up into the center of the root system.
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Old 08-29-2020, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLem View Post
But I donít know what size to use - everything I read says to use a pot one inch larger when repotting.
There are general and very good 'rules of thumb' for potting, and for choosing media, and for watering method. And I think the aim overall for classically potted orchids is to avoid drowning roots, and to allow adequate air-movement and water movement activity among roots and among media. Roots need enough oxygen to survive. So avoid drowning.

The temperatures and temperature range are likely just fine in your growing area, as you've had this phal for a couple of years. So that's excellent.

I reckon that a large pot that is much bigger than the orchid is ok, and can work to your advantage in 'some' ways. If you dump most of the water down toward the outskirts (out toward the rim) of a large enough pot, then the chance of drowning roots can be reduced - while still allowing the humidity within the pot to be pretty good - and orchid roots can get water into them from the humid air within the pot. This also doesn't necessarily mean that the media further in toward the orchid must stay dry ------ it does not have to stay dry. So the grower can choose to add 'some' water further in too - but not as much (when compared to the amount dumped outside).

There are various other ways of watering ----- all can be very effective. Whichever is used can be down to choice, and some choices may be due to constraints like where and how they grow their orchid (eg. indoors on a kitchen bench, or office desk, or outdoors etc).

Just adding some details that could be useful to you in future. Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here and Click Here
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:59 PM
oregon woodsmoke oregon woodsmoke is offline
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If the current planter is 4 inches across, move the orchid into a 6 inch orchid pot. Since the plant is big and heavy, put a few marbles or stones in the bottom of the new pot to act as weights for balance.

I don't think there is much danger of the center of the mix getting too wet if you use an airy planting mix with bark that will let air into the center of the roots.

Or use the clear pot with the slits in the sides and then you can put that into a ceramic orchid pot, with the holes in the sides to give weight to the roots to keep the plant from pulling its planter over.
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Old 08-29-2020, 07:11 PM
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If the plant is very top-heavy, consider a terracotta pot (for the weight). Or a shallow bulb pan wide enough to hold the roots - to give a larger footprint for stability without adding a lot of extra volume.
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Old 08-31-2020, 04:33 PM
JLem JLem is offline
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Thanks all. The plant will definitely be top heavy, so I will use a terracotta/ceramic outer pot. It sounds like I should go with a 6" plastic, slotted inner pot, so I will go with that.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:03 PM
JScott JScott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
If the plant is very top-heavy, consider a terracotta pot (for the weight). Or a shallow bulb pan wide enough to hold the roots - to give a larger footprint for stability without adding a lot of extra volume.
I would like to second the bulb pan suggestion. I've started growing some of my plants in bulb pans, and I love it. They do great, and there's less danger of having soggy media in the middle while the top and sides are dry.
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