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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Re-potting Orchids

Orchids are tree dwellers thusly they don't really grow in soil but are planted in bark. Special orchid bark as a matter of fact.

Orchids are commonly given as gifts in tiny containers or even in plastic sleeves. They like to have their roots crowded but after awhile they sap the energy out of the old bark and it is time for new.

We were just potting up some the other day and thought I would pass on a few notes about the

Choose a container with a hole in the bottom (no water logged roots that way).

The container should only be a little bigger than that of the original (crowding is good).

Leave air roots exposed. These are roots that have grown up out of the sides or crown of the plant over the pot or into the air. These roots like to be misted by the way.

Add slow release fertilizer to the orchid bark- Osmocote is good but not too much.

You can use pebbles or broken pot shards in the bottom of the pot to avoid the hole getting blocked.

Gently lift out your Orchid and place it in the pot and fill around the root ball with bark. Don't break up the roots or score them. This can damage the plant.

Clean the leaves with a damp cloth. Remove any dead leaves.

Orchids like light but not hot direct sun. They enjoy heat too but not to the extreme. Create humidity by misting occasionally.

Orchids will actually bloom again if you put them on a regular fertilizing schedule and give them good light- a room that gets strong morning sun is the best.

Cymbidium orchids are the easiest and actually live outdoors in a protected spot that gets morning sun.
The hothouse orchids are harder to get to rebloom but they can surprise you if they get their food and some nice warm diffuse light. Hey, that sound like a greenhouse!

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