Phalaenopsis orchids should be repotted every one to two years in order to replenish the orchid potting media and maintain optimal growing conditions. Phalaenopsis orchids are potted in course-cut, chunky pieces of pine bark and other materials that provide the aeration and fast drainage that these orchids need for healthy root growth. Over time, these materials break down. The particles become smaller and more compact, no longer providing the airy spaces that promoted proper air flow and good drainage. Finer particles also hold more water than large, loose particles; and compacted soils retain water longer, creating a saturated environment that can cause orchid roots to rot. When you notice orchid potting materials starting to break down, it is time to repot your orchid.
Repot ailing orchids
You may want to repot your orchid sooner if it doesn’t seem to be doing well. Look for these signs of trouble:
- Over-watering. Check the decorative container and pour out any standing water. Remove your orchid’s clear grower pot from the decorative pot and inspect the roots. If you see any brown or mushy-looking roots, remove the plant from the pot and trim off any problem areas using a sterile knife. Repot your orchid in fresh, new potting mix. Always allow your orchid to drain thoroughly after watering or fertilizing.
- Pests. If your orchid develops a pest problem, isolate if from other plants to prevent spreading the problem. Spray your orchid lightly with a mild solution of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap diluted with water. Do not use dormant horticultural oils. They are too heavy for orchids and may harm your plant. You may want to repot your orchid so you can treat it thoroughly.
- Diseases. Remove any diseased areas with a sterile knife, treat the plant with a fungicide and repot it in fresh potting media in a new or sterilized pot.
You can also watch our video on how to repot orchids here.