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  #1  
Old 03-26-2010, 06:28 PM
PetitPrince PetitPrince is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
Default Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP

Hello!

I have a Phalaenopsis orchid that I bought at the Home Depot on November, 2009. She was in bloom and later on, she naturally shed her flowers and dried her spike little by little all the way down to the bottom, at which point I cut out. Now, I was thinking of repotting her because several roots have grown out of the media (bark) already and are sticking out, above, and around the pieces of bark. This would be the first time I repot her since I bought her back in November. After seeing her roots like that, I thought she was outgrowing her pot, and that she needed to be repotted into a bigger pot. However, right now, she is also beginning to grow a green spike. The spike is still small, but it already reaches a height of approximately 1.2 inches. I am not very savvy about caring for orchids or plants in general, which is why I am not sure whether the buds have already appeared. I see a tiny little green protuberance on it, but I am not sure whether it is really a bud. It seems more like part of the spike itself. But since I read somewhere that one shouldn’t repot the orchid if there are already buds on the spike, I wanted to make sure.

I hope somebody can help me with this by giving me some advice on whether I should repot or wait till the spike blooms and then dies naturally before repotting the orchid. But if I wait, it worries me that it will be way into the summer before I can repot her again, and I understand one should only repot while the weather is not too hot. On the other hand, if she stays too long in a pot that she is already outgrowing, wouldn’t that also be harmful for her? I really would not want her to die. She looks very nice!!! She has one little bottom leaf that is yellowing out, but the rest look very healthy.

I am including a few pictures to illustrate what I am trying to explain.


Thanks to anyone that can help.
Attached Thumbnails
Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP-pinky_enentiermar2010b-jpg   Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP-pinky_firstemergingspikemar2010-jpg   Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP-pinky_firstemergingspikemar2010c-jpg   Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP-pinky_rootsfromabovemar2010-jpg   Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP-pinky_rootsmar2010-jpg  


Last edited by PetitPrince; 03-26-2010 at 06:31 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:05 PM
tinabee tinabee is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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Your plant looks very happy where it is, and yes.....that is a bud coming out of the bloom spike. It will take a while for it to bloom, so be patient. No need to repot right now.....when you have aerial roots tumbling around all over the place and the inside of the pot is full of roots, and/or the media looks broken down, then repot.

I might add, it looks like you have a habit of underwatering your phal. I notice the exposed roots look dry, and even some of the roots inside of the pot look dried out. You might want to water a little bit more often, when the potting media is almost, but not all of the way dry.

The yellow leaf on the bottom is normal. All phals do that to shed older leaves. You do not really have to wait until a certain time of year to repot. I repot when I need to, not when the calendar or season says I should. If you leave this phal in it's pot too long, it may develop root rot if the potting media begins breaking down. Other than that, phals like being underpotted for their size. It won't hurt them.

Last edited by tinabee; 03-26-2010 at 07:10 PM..
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2010, 07:43 PM
SFC SFC is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP Female
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I agree with tinabee, your orchid looks happy. Judging by the state of your bark mix it doesn't look like you will need to repot for a while, but like tinabee said you will want to repot when the potting mix starts really breaking down.
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:48 PM
PetitPrince PetitPrince is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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Tinabee! Thank you so much for your reply and instructions. You know? I was also talking to someone in the afternoon who mentioned that Home Depot orchids don't come with good potting medium, and when the spike is still in a fledgling stage, it is okay to repot. So now that I look at the bark in the pot, it seems to me that is not in very good shape. My fear is waiting too long to repot and have the roots die off because the bark medium has broken down. So I am going to try to repot her now before the spike is still little.

You also said that my roots look dry and perhaps I am underwatering her. I water her once a week, and give her about 7 or 8 ounces of water, and let it drain completely before putting her back inside the decorative planter. Should I give her water more often than once a week? Or is it that 7 or 8 ounces of water is too little?

Thank you so much for your advice!

Liz
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2010, 04:38 AM
trdyl trdyl is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP Male
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Liz, Welcome to OB!

Yes, you are underwatering. When I was growing mine in a bark mix while they were indoors. I would give them a minimum shower of 15 minutes once a week. Bark does not soak up water quickly. This was usully good for plants in 5 inch pots and larger. Smaller pots would have to be watered at least twice a week.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2010, 06:42 AM
tinabee tinabee is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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IF you do want to repot....(again, you don't need to right now.....trust me. ) stay with the same sort of bark mix, since that's what the roots are acclimated to.
I would suggest re-using the pot it is already in so you can keep an eye on what is going on with your phal.

As far as watering goes, I always take mine to the kitchen sink, and let that water just completely soak through the plant so that the drain holes are running. I make sure that media is soaked very well. 7-8 oz. of water won't do it.

Before repotting the phal. soak your bark mix for 24 hours. After that, follow repotting instructions as shown on the forum.

Just be sure you wash the inside and outside of the pot very well with soap, scrub out any and all stuff than may be sticking to the drain holes, and rinse out with water mixed with a little bit of bleach to disinfect it.

Last edited by tinabee; 03-27-2010 at 06:44 AM..
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2010, 12:10 PM
PetitPrince PetitPrince is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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Hi Tinabee and Ted! Thank you both for your responses and advice. I will make sure I give her more water. I had been under the wrong impression that they need very little water, and that too much water was bad for them. This in addition to all I had read about being careful with their getting fungus easily if the crown is left wet, etc. So I guess I was a little bit over preoccupied with not doing her harm by overwatering. I gave her water last Thursday, so I will giver her more today.

Thanks again for your help.
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2010, 12:40 PM
tinabee tinabee is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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Before you do that, stick one of those bamboo barbeque skewers in the media. Leave it there. Each day, check it. When it feels like there is very little moisture left on the skewer, then water. It takes a little practice to get the method down pat, but once mastered is foolproof.

If you want more info type "skewer" in the Forum search and you should come up with lots of info there.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2010, 03:45 PM
PetitPrince PetitPrince is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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Hi Tinabee! The bamboo skewer trick is a great idea! Thanks for the tip. Actually, I had already watered a bit my orchid before reading this message. So I hope I haven't over done it.

Do you happen to know whether the Miracle Grow Orchid Fertilizer (30-10-10) is good to use? I just came back from a nursery and Home Depot and that's all they had. I had read somewhere to do 20-20-20 instead and I wasn't sure whether I should use Miracle Grow since it seems so commercial. So I didn't buy it. I am torn. I am heading out to another nursery, I hope I have better luck finding more variety of fertilizers and also finding fir bark based medium combined with perlite and something else. I had read that a combination of fir bark, perlite, medium charcoal and tree fern would be good. Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what kind of medium she came in. All I know is that there is bark in the pot.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2010, 04:44 PM
Orchid126 Orchid126 is offline
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Not sure if I should repot my orchid ? HELP
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Unlike other orchids, phals don't mind being repoted even when in bloom.

If Miracle Grow fertilizer is all you can get, go for the one for tomatoes. The 30-10-10 is very high in nitrogen and will only encourage leaves and not blooms.

There is a saying that you can't water an orchid enough, but you can water too often. What it means is, when you do water, water thoroughly. And then let the plant get almost dry before watering again. (Some orchids want to dry out completely).

When you do repot, put a layer of packing peanuts on the bottom to prevent the roots from sitting in water and to provide more air to the roots. Just make sure they're not the kind that disolve. And do as tinabee says about repotting.
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