Repotting an Orchid
The orchid is a very popular plant and appreciated thanks to both its natural predisposition within the home, both to the full colors and vibrant that characterize its flowers. It is not, therefore, a plant that is difficult to place and cultivate, but, of course, it still needs some care and attention at different stages of the year and its life cycle. One circumstance in which, for example, it would be necessary to proceed with the right ones, is the one concerning the repotting, which, usually, is necessary after about two years from the moment of the purchase.
Repotting must be carried out with some care to avoid that the plant, during this operation, can suffer significant damage. Repotting orchids can also be the perfect time to take care of the health of this beautiful decorative indoor plant and take the opportunity to reserve the necessary care especially to substrate and roots.
Frequently, however, it is decided to repot an orchid plant for two circumstances:
- One occurs when the growing compost is visibly degraded and consumed. In fact, after a certain period of time, it runs out of function and becomes unsuitable to nourish and preserve the health of the plant and to allow it to flourish lushly.
- Another circumstance occurs when the plant is conspicuously grown, the roots come out and the pot is visibly too small.
Faced with these two eventualities, it is certainly necessary to intervene without taking care of the life phase of the plant or of the season in which it is found. If, on the contrary, you prefer to repot in due time, thus avoiding a timely intervention, you can do this by choosing the most appropriate time for the plant that is at the end of flowering or at the beginning of the growing season, which usually coincides with the end of summer.
It should be borne in mind, however, that not all orchids are the same. In fact, they belong to many species that may require different care, environmental conditions and attention. In general, however, the species of orchids that are purchased through the large distribution have a regular development and a flowering that takes place at a fairly precise rate, these types of orchids can be repotted even in spring. In any case, in case of doubt, it is preferable to wait for the spillway that takes place precisely at the beginning of autumn.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR REPOTTING
To repot an orchid it is clearly necessary to provide all the equipment and material necessary to carry out this operation in a proper manner, starting from the pot that should not be much larger than the one that will be replaced. The ideal pot for orchids is transparent, to promote photosynthesis, a process in which, in the case of this plant, the roots are also involved. It must also have holes in the base to facilitate drainage of the soil during watering. The second step is to get everything you need to make the compound that will prevent the plant to have problems with the roots and in turn also those related to mold and pests.
For this reason it will be necessary to create a high draining capacity compound. To make it, simply combine four equal parts of bark with one part of peat. The most suitable trees for this purpose are fir and pine, whose bark decomposes much longer than that of other trees.
It is a good habit to leave the bark in a bowl of water for a whole day so that the bark can be cleaned of substances that are “annoying” to the plant, such as, for example, dust and fragments of dirt. However, if you want to avoid this step, you can buy a ready-to-use compound specifically for orchids.
In addition to perfectly clean scissors, you will need a good orchid fertilizer for the final phase so that you can create a substrate rich in nutrients to help the plant grow and flourish further.
When everything you need is available you can start repotting with this technique that follows is certainly the most common. You start by extracting the entire plant from the old pot, paying particular attention to the roots. It may happen that the roots of the plant are so narrow, full-bodied and numerous that extraction is very difficult. Usually it is sufficient to soak the roots in water at room temperature or tending to heat to solve the problem, but if even in this way you can not extract the plant you can proceed by cutting the pot, but paying close attention to the roots of the orchid.
THE ROOTS OF THE ORCHID
Now that the plant is extracted it will be necessary to remove the residues of the old compound, then the old soil and old bark fragments from the roots. If some of these are dead, they can be cut off to prevent them from rotting further in the new substrate to be used. If, during this step, “wounds” and cuts are inadvertently caused to the plant, it is possible to remedy them by intervening with a special healer for orchids.
Before inserting the plant into the new pot, pieces of bark must be placed at the bottom of the pot and the plant to be repotted must be placed on them. At this point it is possible to fill the pot with the mixture in a delicate and uniform way.
If this procedure has been carried out correctly, it is possible to continue immediately with the normal activities useful for the health of the orchid, as a specific fertilizer, natural sprays to preserve the tone of the leaves and specific products to avoid limestone residues that may occur throughout the body of the plant. Finally, wet the whole plant well with strictly lukewarm water, preventing the soil from coming out.
UNFORESEEN EVENTS DURING REPOTTING
However, if the orchid has suffered traumas during repotting, even with incorrectly cut or broken roots, it is more appropriate to secure the plant for at least one week. This means that you do not have to change the temperature of the plant or add fertilisers or products. The only help that can really help is the cicatrizant which, by helping the recovery, will avoid contamination by fungi and parasites. It is also useful to bear in mind that repotting is a necessary procedure and must be carried out with extreme care. Even if the techniques for repotting orchids may vary slightly from one to another, it is always advisable to operate in virtue of respect for the plant. This is why it is useful to choose the best period, without waiting for the roots and consequently the entire plant to begin to be too cumbersome for the pot that hosts them. The same goes for avoiding that the orchid starts to show signs of suffering and that the blooms are less luxuriant. Delicacy and attention are the watchwords to perform a proper repotting, which is why it is always preferable to perform this operation with full knowledge of the facts and of course respecting the time of the plant, so as to ensure a lush re-flowering that only an orchid in full health is able to offer.