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Old 07-07-2022, 07:59 AM
HiOrcDen HiOrcDen is offline
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Repotting Questions Male
Default Repotting Questions

Two orchids I bought I believe a bit over a month ago were already brimming over the pot, and now moreso. They still look very healthy.

I'm wondering if it harms Orchids if they stay too long in a pot, or if it just stops their growth, kind of like a Bonsai.

In any case, I have a couple questions about repotting. I want to figure out the medium they're planted in (also need to know, is it important or at least advisable to use the same substrate?) One of the elements is wood chips. But they are a bit soft and spongy. Is this a different kind of Orchid bark, or do they get this way after some time? The other element are these white stones. They are similar to pumice, but have a rougher surface, and break down to sandy particles. Is this some kind of white charcoal? That's my best guess.

If anyone can identify these mediums, I'd appreciate it. I'd also like to know if there are any other suggestions for Orchid bark, other than Orchiata, and advantages/disadvantages.

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Old 07-07-2022, 08:24 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Repotting Questions Male

Epiphytic orchids use the pot and substrate primarily for mechanical stability. In the wild, their roots spread far and wide on the bark, so there is no drive to stop growth if in a small pot. If the aerial roots are unable to find additional solid matter to adhere to, it may, slow the plant’s growth a bit, but that’s about it.

The materials you referred to sound like coconut husk chips (but could also be bark - a photo would help), and the white stuff is probably perlite, sometimes called “sponge rock”, which is also of volcanic origin.

As far as the question about changing it, there are two things to consider, and the first and most-important is “does that potting medium work well with your specific cultural conditions and watering abilities to give the plant what it needs?”. If it does, there is no need to change. If it doesn’t, you must contend with transitioning the plant to a new root system. Rather than adding to a long post, please read this: preventing repotting woes
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Old 07-07-2022, 08:59 AM
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Louis_W Louis_W is offline
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Repotting Questions

The white material sounds like perlite and the spongy bark is probably just soggy and degraded.

The answers to your potting questions are very dependent on what species you are trying to grow and what your environment and care habits are. There is no "right" medium or pitting situation for any given plant. It all depends on how these factors fit together.

Two things I can say:

orchids do not respond to pots like bonsai do. They generally just grow over the side like yours is doing.

Orchids do not like soggy rotten media, so even if they don't need a larger pot you need to replace the bad media or you will start to loose roots and rot your plant

Can you be any more specific about these details? Perhaps some photos?
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