Repotting Dendrochilum tenellum?
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Old 06-25-2021, 01:46 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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Repotting Dendrochilum tenellum? Female
Default Repotting Dendrochilum tenellum?

I have a very potbound tenellum. Very to the pot is bulging and the foliage is looking slightly pale. I've read they hate repotting but, I need to do something soon. Any information or suggestions are welcome.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:06 PM
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Repotting Dendrochilum tenellum? Female

I'd just pull it out of the pot and drop in to a larger one, fill in with more media. If you don't try to clean up the root zone (don't disturb roots), it likely won't even notice that it was moved. I like bulb pans for Dendrochilums - they don't root deep, but like to spread out.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:09 PM
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Repotting Dendrochilum tenellum? Male

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Last edited by voyager; 08-01-2021 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 08-02-2021, 09:34 AM
Shadeflower Shadeflower is offline
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Repotting Dendrochilum tenellum?

Hi Dooly, to me some orchids not liking a repot just doesn't sit right with me. Nobody performed a survey and interviewed all the different orchids to ask them which ones liked it and which ones did not. No the orchids never told anyone they didn't like it so orchids don't like or dislike being repotted.

In fact if you do it so carefully they might not even notice they were repotted.

That to me is the important bit.

Yes you get some orchids that supposedly don't like repotting. This doesn't mean someone went out and asked the orchids their preferences- no - all orchid need repots and thus should want a repot.

The problem occurs if you damage roots doing the repotting. The more experienced you are the less damage you do but if you have degraded organic material that needs removing there is also higher chance of damaging roots than if you can just pot the orchid straight from a smaller pot to a larger one.

The dislike for repotting is for those orchids that do not like to produce new roots readily.

Generally modern hybrids are great root producers but certain species less so and it they lose a root during repotting then it can take up to 2 years to replace the damage.

Someone might interpret the orchids time to recover as them not liking the repot but it all just depends on the substrate and how much damage removing said substrate does.

In my experience degrading substrate gives poor results and needs replacing once it degrades, fresh substrate with the right humidity should encourage new growth.

The question should not be what does the orchid want, the question should be what does the orchid need.
I doubt anyone who has claimed in the past that an orchid didn't like their repot did an experiment with several candidates comparing what would happen if they
didn't repot. Orchids grow, they outgrow their pots, repotting is a part of growing a lot of the faster growing varieties. It's a necessary step that should not be labeled as a bad thing to do - just as one that needs to be done as carefully as possible.

My tips would be:
1) soak all roots well in a bucket of lukewarm water for half an hour to make them soft and flexible
2) massage around the outside of the pot, lifting the plastic out of shape and listen for roots detaching from the outside as you flex the plastic slightly as you rub around the outside.
3) cut the pot with some scissors. This makes removing a bulging pot much easier
4) try to not rip too many roots from the bottom of the pot as you lift the orchid out

Last edited by Shadeflower; 08-02-2021 at 09:56 AM..
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