Re-boot your Orchids

We are home in Norway for a few weeks and after coming across an article on Just Add Ice Orchids about repotting orchids, I did a Scooby Doo “ruh-roh”.  Are we supposed to repot orchids?

Some of my Phalaenopsis orchids are 10 maybe 15 years old but I never repot them.  Over the years I have acquired quite a few of them. I have around 20 plants in various states of blooming / rest.  They are cheaper than cut flowers and they look nice for a few months.  When I come home after a few months in Germany, they usually look like this:

Can you believe that they look like this after months of abandonment?  The leaves are a little wrinkly and you can see that the roots are dry but he is blooming, so I leave him be.  Either they don’t like me very much and therefore thrive in my absence or they are so independent that they never really needed me in the first place.  I prefer to think that the latter is the case.

However, repotting they should have, says the orchid care site and once a year at that.  OK maybe it is time to pay more attention to my mistreated plants and it would be nice to move home to a house full of blooming orchids.  So, off to the garden store to buy orchid potting medium.  I bought four bags of four liters each and that was too much so I have enough for next year’s repotting or pop in with your orchids and I will repot them for you.

What you need:

A large container

Water

Garbage bag

Orchid potting medium

Scissors

Time

What to do:

Fill your container with water.

Pull your orchids out of their pots and shake loose potting medium.  Do not worry if you cannot get it all off right now.

Put the orchid(s) in the water for 24 hours.  Soak.

Here are my orchids soaking in the tub. I also found an Amaryllis in a cardboard box in the potting shed trying to get out. I thought maybe he could get some dirt too!

Trim dead, dried roots and brown stems away.  Peel off the rest of the potting medium.

Before

After

Before

After

Place back in plastic pot.

Back in the pot

Back fill potting medium and water.  *

Finished

Wait for the glorious blooms to come!

*Do not fertilize for at least a month.  PS. I have never fertilized my poor orchids.

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