Transplanting Orchids

 

IMG_3598So, I am going to be honest here. I tend to kill plants. I don’t mean to, I really love them. But holy moly I’ve killed more than I’d really like to say. I am sure my husband is shaking his head right now as he reads this. Possibly even rubbing his face with exhaustion. But you love me hunny, remember that. Anyway, the odd thing is that I have been able to keep orchids alive. Which I hear are ones that can feel close to  impossible to keep alive. For whatever reason I have been able to hang on to three little plants.

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Well these three little ladies have been yelling at me to give them more space. So I did a little research and found some very interesting things.

  1. Orchids do not grow in soil. They need ample space to grow so by using “medium” such as bark, moss and/or perlite, it gives the orchids exactly what they need to thrive. Enough coverage to stay protected but enough space and air to grow.
  2. Orchids grow in the air. Their seeds are made to float in the air. However, they need a fungus called mycorrhiza in order to actually germinate.  Once germinated they eventually land on trees and continue to grow. Their long roots will grab much needed nutrients from the tree they attached themselves to.
  3. They do not need to be watered often. They do not like to be wet constantly. This is why soil is not needed for them to thrive. They need air flow and room.

With all this in mind, let repot ourselves some orchids, shall we.

First thing to do is water your plant the day before so that all the roots are rehydrated but not soggy.

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Then you want to build your “medium” which is essentially what protects the orchids root system, like what soil does for plants. I used a mixture of moss and tree mulch. Fill a bucket with however much needed and fill with water. Let the mixture soak for 15-30 minutes.

While your mixture is soaking, take your orchid out of its pot carefully. My roots were so overgrown that it took some massaging to get them loose. Once you have your orchid free, cut all roots that are black, hollow, or over grown. You want to use clean scissors or cutting shears, you do not want to transfer any diseases to the plant.

After you trim all the roots, sprinkle some cinnamon over the roots you cut. Cinnamon is a anti fungal. It will prohibit fungus or bacteria to enter the plant through the root system. After I put a little of my medium mixture on the bottom of the new pot, I sprinkled a little cinnamon on that to.

Place your orchid as high as the rim of the pot and fill the pot with your mixture. You want your plant to be stable. So if you think your are done filling it, take your pot and gently move the plant back and forth. If your plant does not move, then you are good to go. If it moves then pack more mixture in your pot.

There is no need to water your plant after repotting because your mixture had been soaking already. The plant will pull moisture from the bark, moss or perlite that you used. Over the next two weeks you will need to water a little more then usual but after that return to your normal watering schedule.

I have to admit, the thought of repotting my orchids scared me. I didn’t want to mess with them and chance killing my little beauties. I was nervous of the process until I actually researched it. But I have to say, it was super easy and my plants, fingers crossed, seem very happy in their new little homes.

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So, if you have some orchids that have roots saying good morning to you everyday, get them into a bigger home yo!

Happy repotting!

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