Repotting My Orchids! I Am Scared !!

by Daksha
(Leicester )

I have a few orchids - please dont ask what sort?? But I love them so much, all that I've been doing is once the flowers are gone, I cut the dead flowers off. I think I need to repot them as I haven't since I bought them, I thought best to repot them in plastic pots coz they already in them already, went to B&Q they informed me that they no longer have them! OMG where can I get these and please how should I repot them ?

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Aug 16, 2011
Don't Be Scared, You CAN Do This!
by: Melissa

Hi Daksha,

Thanks for your questions.

It is a little hard for me to give you specific advice about orchids if I do not know what kind they are.

There are 30,000 kinds of orchids. While some have similiar cultural needs some are very different. It depends on the orchid.

This reminds me that I want to do a page as a gallery with pictures of various kinds of popular orchids to help people identify them if they do not have tags or do not know the names.

You may or may not need to repot them. If the media is breaking down then perhaps you should consider it.

I also keep meaning to do a video of how to repot. Thanks for the questions that are a great reminder that these two pages would be helpful to my visitors.

As to plastic pots, I tend to put a lot of my orchids in plastic pots and the fact that they are already in plastic pots is a good sign.

You size the pot by about a centimeter larger than the root ball of the orchid after you have removed all the old media and any dead roots. So depending on the orchids and the size of the root ball, you may be able to use the old pots again. If you do, clean them with hot soapy water and rinse very well. You could also use a very dilute chlorine solution (wear gloves) to clean them but do not leave it on long and definitely rinse it off.

I looked online in your area of the world and there are quite a few garden centres. So search online and find the ones close to you and call them and ask them. Many garden stores should carry them. Mostly they are green here in the US. But I buy clearish ones and use them alot. I love them for Phalaenopsis. The garden stores may be able to give you advice about repotting and about your orchids as well.

This is a quick explaination of the basics of repotting. Soak the orchid so the roots are wet so the old media comes off more easily. Then upend the orchid and the pot and remove the orchid from the pot. (This is best to do outside or somewhere that can get dirty.) Knock all the old media from the roots and discard. Rinse them as necessary. If there are rotten roots, remove them using either sterilized garden shears or a new single edged razor blade. If you are cutting rotten plant material do not use the same razor blade on healthy material. Discard the razor blade when done.

What is done next depends on the orchid and the media. So I will answer for Phalaenopsis (a popular orchid) and orchid fir bark.

Put some orchid fir bark (not soil, looks like little pieces of wood, not at all like dirt). Put the orchid roots in the pot and fill the orchid fir bark around the plant. I gently use a chopstick to push the bark snuggly around the roots. Make sure the crown of the plant is above the media.

If you can figure out what kind of orchids they are or send a digital picture I "might" be able to make an identification.

Hope this helps,


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