Ok, horticulture enthusiasts! We know some of you love technical details, so we're going to do a deeper dive into orchid repotting. Big picture: Just Add Ice Orchids generally need to be repotted every 1 to 3 years, depending on how rapidly the plant is growing and how quickly the potting medium breaks down. Keep reading for the nitty gritty details.
How Often Should I Repot My Orchid?
Orchid growers usually repot seedlings every year due to their rapid growth rate and constant need for nutrients during early development. OncePhalaenopsis orchids reach maturity, they can often remain in the same pot for several years. However, even when the root structure of a mature orchid plant does not outgrow its pot, the orchid will need to be repotted at least every other year to replace the potting medium that carries nutrients to the plant.
What Is the Best Potting Mix for Orchids?
When Just Add Ice Orchids arrive in local stores or on your doorstep, the orchid plants are fully mature and are planted in the optimal growth medium specifically for Phalaenopsis orchids. Over time, the potting media will break down into small pieces, filling in the air pockets around the orchid's roots and thereby making it harder for the plant to "breathe." In the wild, orchids grow on the sides of trees, and this epiphytic nature means orchid roots need access to air.
When it is time to repot your Just Add Ice Orchid, select an orchid potting mix formulated for Phalaenopsis orchids. Orchid-specific potting media is made up of bark, porous rocks, and mosses that allow for quick drainage and moderate moisture retention, giving roots access to the air and allowing them to dry in between waterings.
What Are the Signs That An Orchid Is Ready for Repotting?
The best time to repot your Phalaenopsis orchid is when your plant is no longer blooming. Until mature growth is achieved, you should repot orchid seedlings in a fine-grade planting material. Once they reach full maturity, you can plant them in a coarser, medium-grade potting material.
Using sterile scissors, trim away any mushy or hollow roots before placing your orchid into its new pot. If you're lucky enough to have an orchid in constant bloom, you can choose to repot your orchid anyway, but keep in mind that you may be sacrificing some blooms for the overall health of the plant.
If the roots still fit comfortably in their current pot, the planting medium can be changed and the orchid returned to its current container.
Pro Tip: Since orchid roots fade from bright green to silver when they need water, we recommend repotting your orchid in a clear plastic pot. That way, you can continue to monitor your orchid's roots and use root color to determine when to water your orchid.
Remember that disease begins at the roots and repotting is one way to keep those roots healthy.