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Orchids/transplanting my orchids

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Hi , i have several phalaeonopsis orchids that i think i need to repot but i really don't want to kill them doing it. one of my orchids has been continually blooming for 4 years now ,it took a rest last winter ,but only for about 2  months.the reason i think i need to transplant is that some of the roots look like they are starting to shrival.I tried to transplant some of them once before & they died ,so am leery about trying again. What do i use for transplanting? Also,when they keep flowering should I  just leave them alone? Should I just cut some of the roots off? The roots are underneath the plants as well as over the top of the plants.If you do recommend transplanting,when is the best time to do it?Also what kind of pots are best to use? I live in Golden,British Columbia,Canada. I would appreciate any help& advice you can give me

Answer
Sharon, phalaenopsis orchids, unlike orchids that have a rest period, can be repotted any time.  The caveat is that repotting can disturb roots, affecting existing flowers.  Since healthy roots are essential to growth, I advise that you not cut off the roots and damage the roots as little as possible when repotting.

When repotting, choose a commercially prepared orchid fir bark based potting mix. Select an amount you plan to use, strain out the finer particles and then soak it for an hour prior to use.  Dry mix repels water, so soaking it helps to wet the potting mix prior to use.

I prefer to use a plastic pot for phalaenopsis.  Use a pot about an inch larger in diameter.  Remove the plant from its pot and rinse of the roots with a light spray.  The, lower the roots into the new pot, gently turning the pot while lowering the root mass so the roots will rest naturally against the inner walls of the pot.  Then add the potting mix, filling the pot to the bottom of the lower leaves. Gently spraying the top of the mix, will help to settle it into the pot.  Allow it to freely drain before plant into its growing area. Wait at least a week to resume watering and water only in the morning.

Note that if you plant is top heavy, you can solve this by inserting your plastic pot into a clay pot.

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Wayne King

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Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.

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