First-time repotting - Substrate questions
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:11 AM
Bloop Bloop is offline
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First-time repotting - Substrate questions
Default First-time repotting - Substrate questions

Hi, I've been putting off repotting my Phalaenopsis because I can't settle on the right pots and substrate mix.

What I've generally gathered is that the phals would appreciate a mix with larger bark... Also, I might benefit from having something that retains a bit of moisture for them so I don't have to worry about watering quite as often.

The phals are receiving light from a south-facing window but are kept out of the direct sunlight. I mist them usually every morning, and my apartment usually has relatively high humidity (around 70%).

I currently have the Phals in clear plastic orchid pots inside decorative ceramic pots, which has worked well, but they've outgrown their pots.

I'm weighing the pros and cons of net pots vs. the plastic pots with slits in them. From what I've gathered, the net pots are better for orchids with pseudobulbs, unless you want to keep up with very frequent watering.

The substrate mixes I'm looking at are Schultz (I was going to use this one, but I just opened the bag and it was covered in mold), or Better Gro. I could also get Aussie Gold if I ordered it online.

Alternatively, I could make my own mix if I really knew what to put in it besides wood chips.

Any recommendations or opinions on this?

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Old 09-29-2013, 11:48 AM
cbuchman cbuchman is offline
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First-time repotting - Substrate questions Female

With that high humidity and the daily care, you can also think about mounting your phal.

I generally pot mine in large orchiata bark with a bit of sphagnum thrown in to retain some extra moisture. I use clay or plastic and just adjust the amount of sphagnum to account for the differences in evaporation.

After repotting you may need to adjust your watering to ensure that the Phal has just the right amount of moisture.

There are some good videos on YouTube on repotting Phals.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:58 PM
WhiteRabbit WhiteRabbit is offline
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I pot Phals in chunky bark mix, plastic pots. Better Gro medium bark or bark mix is suitable. To make your own mix, you can just add some perlite (medium sized), charcoal (horticultural, small or medium sized- not fine) if you like - I haven't used charcoal in orchid mix for a while, due to being unable to find any that wasn't too fine.

Other optional materials : pumice, lava rock.

If the bark is fairly chunky, you could probably use just that.

I like to tuck some styrofoam into the center of the root mass to facilitate even drying, as well as aeration.

Fresh bark will dry VERY quickly! Soaking it for several hours - a few days ( drain and allow to dry slightly) before using will help a bit, but it will still dry quickly the first few weeks. Potting into a clear pot and / or using a skewer is extremely helpful for monitoring moisture in the media.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:28 PM
Island Girl Island Girl is offline
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First-time repotting - Substrate questions Female

I agree with what Carrie, and WhiteRabbit said, and what I like to use (& is simple, and works for allot of different genera) is large/coarse bark (I like Orichata brand) with large/coarse sponge rock, and large/coarse horticultural charcoal. (sometimes I substitute lava rock/LECA in there for sponge rock, or charcoal.. Depending what I have on hand at the time) just use 2 parts bark, to 1 part sponge rock, to 1 part charcoal. If you want to water less often, or have low humidity, add in some chopped sphagnum moss to the mix. **Dont over think this, you will make it more difficult than need-be, and your orchids will decline b/c of indecisiveness. I did that myself when I first started out! Don't worry... They'll be ok in what you put them in, as long as they have air, and moisture, and aren't sopping wet all the time.

I'd say just use a plastic pot, as that's what you have grown accustomed to. Holes/slots are good, the roots love to have a little air movement. (net pots dry out faster, which is perfectly fine, if you don't mind watering more often... Also, if you grow indoors, you would want some type of tray/dish underneath the net pots, because when you water, it will drip out a lot easier)

And, as WhiteRabbit said, new bark dries a lot faster, so you will need to adjust your watering accordingly.

Here is a good step-by-step tutorial for repotting a Phal, it's got pics
Orchid Repotting Clinic - Phalaenopsis
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mix, phals, pots, repotting, substrate, questions, first-time

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