Repotting Phalaenopsis - Information on Substrate, Time & Co

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The Phalaenopsis is one of the most beautiful ornamental plants, and especially the countless hybrids produce particularly large flowers. Most species grow on trees as so-called potting plants, others on mossy rocks. Between the leaves develop the upright and arched overhanging inflorescences that bloom over many years repeatedly from the same inflorescence or form each year one or more new inflorescences. If the flowered inflorescence, especially in hybrids, not completely removed, they can drive out of the remaining eyes again.
The right substrate
Since orchids in this country do not grow on trees, they need a suitable substrate to ensure optimum humidity in the root area. Since the roots of Phalaenopsis need a lot of air and light, the substrate should be correspondingly light and air permeable, it should be able to store water and also dry off quickly on the surface. The ideal substrate consists of coarse-grained components that are irregular in shape, resulting in larger cavities in the plant pot. Orchid substrate exists u. a. from organic components. However, these have the disadvantage that they gradually rot, which means that the water retention capacity is increased and the substrate surface dries more slowly. This in turn ensures too high humidity in the root area and possibly rot. To counteract this, orchids in organic substrates should be regularly repotted. High-quality orchid substrates are usually obtained from orchid breeders or specialist gardeners specializing in orchids. Substrates from the hardware store are usually not recommended. Of course you can make yourself a good substrate yourself. For this purpose, a mixture of pine or pine bark and small untreated pieces of wood or charcoal, in equal parts. Bark and pieces of wood should be thoroughly dry.
Tip: To make sure the bark or wood is dry, you can dry it for about an hour at 50 degrees in the oven or in the microwave at the highest level. This also kills possible germs.
Best time to repot
Basically, Phalaenopsis orchids should be repotted when there is root rot. Otherwise repotting every 2-3 years is recommended, because the substrate rots over time, so that not enough light and air can reach the roots. Best time for this is usually in the spring and fall. Flowering orchids should not be repotted because the plant then has to expend too much energy on the flower, which then lacks rooting.
Tip: For Phalaenopsis orchids, which need to be permanently flowered and repotted, one should cut off the flower stem, even if it is difficult.
Take orchids out of the pot
The roots of these plants are very sensitive, so that it can come to the victim even when Austopfen. To counteract this, one pours the orchid one day before, so that the roots can be well soaked with water, which in turn makes them softer and smoother. Then you do not just pull the orchid out of the pot, but knead the pot with its contents with your hands. This dissolves the roots of the pot edge and you can take them out of the pot without damage. If the roots are already growing down from the pot you should not pull them out, but rather cut the pot carefully.
Remove old substrate

  • If the orchid is out of the pot, first remove the loose substrate parts.
  • This works best with a gentle shake.
  • For particularly heavily rooted bales that separate individual roots.
  • Here, too, the casting pays off before repotting.
  • Wet roots are much easier to dissolve than dry ones.
  • Often, some substrate parts stick firmly to the roots.
  • These can easily stick to the plant.
Cut off dried and rotten roots
Once the old substrate is removed, you can take a closer look at the roots and check for possible damage or rot. Thereafter, dry, hollow, rotten and brownish roots are removed. Green, healthy roots remain untouched. The roots to be removed should be cut as close to the stem as possible, which keeps the cut surfaces relatively small. The appropriate tool should be sharp and disinfected beforehand to prevent transmission of plant diseases. For disinfecting is suitable spirit or you hold the blade briefly in an open flame. If diseased and dry roots are cut off, seal the cuts with a sealing paste. If necessary, you can also leave the orchid in the air for about 1-2 hours and let the cuts dry.This too can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Tip: The aerial roots should always be treated with great care, because they are very sensitive and can easily break off, which would stress the orchid tremendously.
Potted phalaenopsis orchids
Usually you can use the old pot again for repotting, if you clean it thoroughly before. Only if the root amount is very large, the use of a slightly larger pot is advisable. However, the new pot should not be too big, because then the orchid has great problems finding support. For potting, hold the orchid with one hand in the middle of the pot, so that the root neck is about 2 cm above the edge of the pot, and filled with the other hand side substrate. You turn the pot again and again until it is completely filled with substrate. To spread better between the roots, gently shake the pot several times.
Tip: The first 2-3 weeks after repotting must not be poured and the substrate should only be sprayed with water every day.
The right pot
As already mentioned, the roots of the orchid need not only air, but also enough light to perform photosynthesis, which is essential for their growth. In this regard, special, transparent orchid pots are often recommended. These have the advantage that the light gets to the roots and you can keep an eye on root growth. In this way, sick or dry roots can be detected and removed at an early stage. But there are also disadvantages to mention, because these transparent pots are not as UV-resistant as conventional flower pots and on the inner wall of the pot algae and mosses can form.
Orchitop, the new orchid pot
  • The so-called Orchitopf is still relatively new.
  • His pot walls consist of a rod construction.
  • These let both air and light to the roots.
  • This ensures a constant exchange of air.
  • The substrate can dry quickly and rotting is virtually eliminated.
  • The bottom of the pot is provided with sufficient vent holes.
  • As a result, excess water can always run well.
Tip: The new Orchitop is available in different colors, so you can choose it to match the flower color of each orchid.
Treatment after repotting
After repotting, the Phalaenopsis orchid should not be cast for 1-2 weeks, so that cut or break points can close well. Would be poured immediately, pathogens could easily penetrate and damage the plant accordingly. In order to keep the orchid moisturized, it should be sprayed with water every day for two weeks. The undersides of the leaves are sprayed mainly because only here are the numerous stomata over which the plants can absorb moisture. Over the tops of the leaves, the orchid can not absorb water, because they are covered with a waxy, impermeable layer, the so-called cuticle. In the first four weeks after repotting should not be fertilized.
In order to keep Phalaenopsis orchids healthy, regular repotting is essential. It should be paid attention to a light and air-permeable substrate but also the right pot, with the still relatively unknown Orchitop is highly recommended. Otherwise, care should be taken when pounding and potting to avoid injury to extremely sensitive roots. Now you only have to restrain yourself during the first few weeks of watering and fertilizing in order to make it as easy as possible for the orchid to grow.

Video Board: Best long lasting Orchid media so far - How to not repot too often.

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