How To Repot Orchids - Backyard Boss
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How To Repot Orchids

Repotting orchids and other plants can seem overwhelming, and sometimes it can be difficult to know where you should start. With that in mind, give your plants the room they need to grow. It will ensure that the roots don’t become overcrowded and your plant continues to thrive, grow, and bloom for years to come.

Fortunately, this guide has all the best tips and tricks to ensure that repotting your orchid is a seamless and simple process. You’ll discover when to repot orchids, the tools you need, and step-by-step directions. With all the info, you’ll be able to safely repot your orchids and use the same knowledge on other indoor plants with similar needs!

When to Repot Orchids

Overgrown orchid roots
Image credits:
Timothy Dykes via Unsplash

Determining when your orchid needs repotting is arguably the most important part of this entire process. If your plant isn’t ready to be re-homed, you risk throwing off its growing cycle. The ideal time for repotting an orchid is right after it finishes flowering, when it begins to produce new growth.

Another sign that your orchid needs repotting is when the plant is overgrown. An orchid is one of the many tropical plants that like to be a little root bound because they traditionally grow on trees. When your orchid is overgrown, you may notice plenty of roots shooting above the soil. They may also wrap around the outside of the pot. This is when it’s time to repot and find a new home for your orchid.

Repot orchids annually or every other year to refresh the soil. You can opt for a larger pot if the orchid grows plenty of new roots, but sometimes a similarly sized pot will suffice. Avoid repotting if you don’t notice any overgrowth of rotting leaves.

If the leaves near the base of the plant are falling off, there’s a good chance it’s not getting enough nutrients. This may be a sign that it needs new soil or that it has outgrown its pot. You can determine the issue once you look at the plant’s roots and consider the last time you repotted it.

Tools You’ll Need for Repotting Orchids

Repotting of Orchid Flowers
Image credits: Maridav via Canva

Now that you’ve decided it’s time to repot your orchid, you’ll need to collect a few essential tools to ensure the process is hassle-free. Fortunately, this guide has compiled all the necessities required for repotting orchids.

  • Orchid potting mix
  • A pot the same size or the next size up
  • Gardening gloves
  • A trowel
  • Sterilized knife or scissors
  • Stake and clip

Repotting Orchids: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prepare the Repotting Materials

Indoor potted plant care in spring
Image credits: Cem Selvi via Shutterstock

While orchids require repotting every other year to refresh their soil, they may not always be ready to fill a larger pot. Simply opt for a pot with a little more space if the roots are overgrown. Also, some varieties of orchids prefer clear glass or plastic pots since their roots photosynthesize.

Orchids also need a specific type of potting mix to thrive. Orchid potting mix is usually soil-free and consists of a mixture of fir bark or coconut husks, charcoal, and perlite. This blend improves the aeration and drainage that orchids require. Most nurseries and garden centers will have potting mix specifically labeled for orchids.

Once you’ve determined the necessary pot size and potting mix, you can fill up the pot with soil. Then, soak the potting mix in water to ensure it is moist enough to sustain the orchid.

Step 2: Remove the Orchid from its Old Pot

Planting orchid in the bark
Image credits: Gheorghe Mindru via Shutterstock

Now that you have prepped your potting materials, it’s time to remove the orchid from its old pot. It can sometimes be tricky since orchids like to attach themselves to their pots. To start, carefully lift the plant from its container, loosening the roots and gently pulling them away from the pot. If they are stuck, use a sterilized knife to lightly pry them from the bottom and sides.

Step 3: Loosen the Roots

Repotting orchid with roots in woman hand
Image credits: O_Lypa via Shutterstock

Once you have removed the orchid from its old home, it’s a good time to loosen the roots. Using your hands, remove the old soil and use the knife or scissors to cut away any dead or rotten roots and leaves. Loosening the roots slightly and removing old debris will prepare the plant for its new home and newly prepared soil.

Step 4: Plant the Orchid

Hands holding transparent pot for orchids
Image credits: O_Lypa via Shutterstock

Now it’s time to plant the orchid! Start by placing some of the potting mixes at the bottom of the pot, followed by the roots of the plant. Try to direct old-growth towards the bottom of the pot and new growth towards the sides.

Then, pour some more potting mix on top of the root system. Shake the pot, tap the sides, and gently press the potting mix into the pot to ensure it has properly worked its way around the root system. This process is best done slowly and steadily to avoid any air pockets. Finally, make sure the plant is upright by using a stake and clip to hold it in place.

Get to Repotting!

Properly watering and caring for your orchid is a big job, but you can’t give the plant everything it needs if it’s suffocating in a pot that it has outgrown. Fortunately, repotting isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and your plant will thank you with plenty of growth and blooms.

With that in mind, it’s crucial to determine when your orchid needs repotting to ensure it will be happy until it’s time to repot again. But with the tools, tricks, and tips outlined in this guide, you should be all set to transplant your orchid without a hitch!

Have you tried to grow orchids? Let us know how your repotting experience went in the comments below!

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