I am new to this forum, due to an orchid question I haven't been able to find a consistent answer to anywhere else. Perhaps someone here might be able to help me?
Three and a half years ago, my boyfriend's uncle gave us a typical grocery store orchid. We stuck its little pot in the top of a heavy glass vase so my roommate's cat wouldn't keep knocking it over (and so the water wouldn't drain all over the counter), and it's been growing there ever since.
It seems to be pretty happy; it has re-bloomed like clockwork every year (though in 2011 it only had one stalk of flowers instead of two). But it's gotten the point where we're worried it's going to leap out of the pot! I'm guessing it needs repotting (and probably actually needed it a few years ago), but despite doing a fair amount of searching online, I can't figure this out: What do I do with all the air roots?
Here are photos, to give you an idea of how many air roots we're talking about
: orchid pics
I've looked for answers online, but haven't been able to find a plant in a similar situation. Some people say you can stick air roots into the bark mix; others say they should be left danging in the air. I did see mention of repotting when new roots are starting to sprout, which they are doing now.
But since the new roots are sprouting near the top of the plant (toward the bottom of the leaf area, but above all the old air roots), it seems like the old ones will need to be down in the potting mix in the new pot. But they're pretty stiff, so I'm worried that the repotting process will break many of them. Should I get a really large pot, to try to accommodate as many as possible with minimal bending? Or would a large pot result in a potting mix that wouldn't drain well enough?
As you can tell, I'm rather worried about disturbing it, after leaving it alone seemed to work so well for so long. But I don't think the little pot is going to work for much longer!
Any advice you can offer will be very much appreciated. Thanks for reading!