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  #1  
Old 05-12-2018, 10:46 PM
krossia krossia is offline
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When to repot/2 phal orchids in 1 pot Female
Default When to repot/2 phal orchids in 1 pot

Hey all!

So I am a complete beginner and I just bought my first 2 phals. They appear to be minis, but I guess we will see as they grow, lol. There was no specified name for them except phalaenopsis. I got them from Home Depot.

(I went just to pick up bug spray but they were just so beautiful and I was not strong enough.)

They are currently in a ceramic pot with no holes whatsoever and bound in moss. The leaves have some brown spots and some of the blooms are not doing too hot, and I am unable to see the roots. I want to repot them asap but I have some concerns.

Question 1) Would it be more harmful to repot when they are in heavy bloom, or to wait?

Question 2) One of the pots has 2 orchids in it (the colors and petal shapes are totally different). Should I repot this one as soon as possible, or should I wait to repot?


Sorry for the dumb questions! I swear I did research, lol, but these are my first orchids and I don't want to mess it up. Thank you for your help and time!
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2018, 10:53 PM
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Welcome!
If your Home Depot is anything like mine, they don't have a clue how to take care of orchids. I would repot now... if you are careful to not knock them around, the blooms should be fine. If some are on their way out, it could be unhappy plant or they have just reached their expiration date. But the plants are in a pot with no drainage, that situation needs to be remedied ASAP. Where there are two plants in one pot, I would suggest a separate pot for each. Also, if they are in sphagnum (which tends to be dense, airless, and hold too much water, try to remove what you can without damaging roots, but if a little gets left behind that's OK. I'd suggest small bark (you'll have to water more than with the sphagnum, but the plants will be a lot happier)
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:12 PM
krossia krossia is offline
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When to repot/2 phal orchids in 1 pot Female
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Thank you for your reply!

Yeah, they are clueless, lol. I couldn't find a potting mix that would even begin to work, so I ordered some online with express shipping when I got home so I will repot them hopefully sometime tomorrow.

One concern I have: what do I do if the roots of the double are very tangled? I am worried I am going to inadvertently cause a lot of trauma on them.

Question) Should I fertilize as I repot, or should I wait? If I wait, how long do you recommend?

Question) I also bought the clear, ventilated plastic pots. However, I am not entirely sure what size I should aim for. Do you have a trick that helps you tell how big of a pot you need? My reading has indicated that I should repot in a relatively tight-to-the-roots pot. Do you agree with this or should I go for bigger?
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:15 AM
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you have researched well. For pot size, you want to go just big enough to accommodate the roots (and if there are air roots that don't want to go down into a pot, don't force them) As far as the roots of the "double"... you'll just have to see. If they don't come apart easily, I'd be inclined to keep them together, just to not traumatize them any more than they already are. However, I suspect that they'll be pretty easy to separate. In general... it's best to be gentle and leave anything that is stuck in there. My guess is that you'll find less-than-wonderful roots, given how these were potted. If so, they'll grow new ones in their new environment. When you repot, it is important that the plant be stable - tap the pot so that the medium gets into the the spaces around the roots, press gently with your fingers or thumbs to firm it up. The reason for that is that if the plant wobbles, the tender growing tips of roots can be damaged. But of course you don't want to press so firmly that existing roots break... so "gently" does the job.

Fertilizer is one of the less important factors in orchid care. Others far more expert than I am will weigh in on this. But in general, orchids don't eat much. (Think of fertilizer as vitamins rather than "food") They grow slowly. So my inclination would be to wait a week or so and let the plants settle in and start to think about growing new roots before being in any hurry to fertilize.
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:21 AM
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Welcome to the Orchid Board.

Phals do well bare root if you water them enough, so no need to worry about unpotting them. There is an excellent thread here dealing with Phals. From the left yellow menu select Forums then Beginners. Near the top look for The Phal abuse ends here.
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Old 05-13-2018, 02:53 PM
krossia krossia is offline
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Thank you again for your insight, Roberta! I am super grateful for your help!

Question) If the roots are in very bad shape, do you recommend I cut some off? What would indicate they are bad enough to be cut, if that's the case?


Hey, estacion seca! I did see that thread, and I am working my way through it, but I could not find any of my questions on it so far, so I made my own thread.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:08 PM
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I generally tend to be conservative about cutting roots, even the bad ones. I give them a tug... if they break off, fine. If not, they still have some use, helping to anchor the plant if nothing else. If the velamin (the stuff on the outside of the root) is rotted, it's good to remove it - fingers work fine for the purpose, again if it comes off easily it isn't being useful. So you can clean it up without cutting (or much cutting) Also, that stringy center part of the root can provide some hydration by capillary action (not as efficient as a good root, but helps keep the plant going until it grows some more good ones)
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:56 PM
krossia krossia is offline
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Ahh, ok, I see! If there is rot, do I take off just that part or should I remove it and a little above it?
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:13 PM
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On the velamin, if it is mushy, it will come off easily If not, when in doubt leave it alone. About the only time I'd recommend surgery is if the plant itself has a soft, rotted spot - such things tend to spread. Then it's time for the single-edge razor blade, followed by a dusting of cinnamon (a natural fungicide - but never on the roots) But the roots, if they don't come loose with a gentle tug, they're probably still useful. Just like with people, it is best to avoid surgery unless really necessary.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:03 PM
krossia krossia is offline
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Alright, thank you so much Roberta! That's all the questions I had. My mix and supplies are coming tomorrow, there seems to have been a delay in the shipping, but I am excited to get them and get it done!

Thanks again for your time and assistance!
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