It is almost time to repot your orchids if you live in the southern hemisphere. You want to report in August-November depending on the weather in the place you live if you live in the southern hemisphere, or March-June in the northern hemisphere, once again depending on the weather in your area. Basically, you want to repot right before the growing season, because it will recover from the stress of repotting more quickly. Let’s get into the steps:
1. Soak the roots
Soak your roots for about 20 minutes before repotting. There are two reasons for this:
- It allows your orchids to soak up some moisture before the stress of repotting. In the case of sympodial orchids, this allows some water to be stored in the pseudobulbs before handling the delicate root system.
- It loosens the roots’ hold on the growing medium, meaning that they’re less likely to get damaged when you replace the growing medium
2. ~Finesse~ the root bulb out of the pot
If it’s in a plastic pot, the root bulb should come out fairly easily if you squeeze the pot. Otherwise, feel free to turn the orchid sideways and wiggle it out of the pot slowly. The second option is preferable if you have a larger orchid. Just be careful not to damage the leaves if you do this. You’ll end up with something that looks like this:
3. Remove old medium
This step does not apply to those using inorganic medium like clay beads, because they don’t decompose. For organic mediums like moss, coco coir or bark, repot every 1-2 years to avoid killing the roots with decomposing and acidic medium.
Try to gently hose or wash the medium off the roots without damaging them. Roots that are firmly attached can be soaked. After that, manually remove the medium as gently as possible.
4. Add new medium and the orchid into larger pot
Add new medium into a larger pot, and then pot the orchid up like you would with any regular plant. This part is pretty self-explanatory.
5. Water your newly repotted plant and enjoy!
Repotting your orchids is easier said than done, because the medium can be so hard to remove. Play some music, hang out with a pet and chat with someone while you’re doing it so that you can at least get some enjoyment out of it when it inevitably takes forever.