Repotting a Psychopsis papilio

leeflea(7a)August 9, 2012

I have a Psychopsis papilio 'Lace' which is is desperate need of repotting as it's been in the same 4 inch pot with tree fern fiber medium for 4 yrs. Recently, I cut off the bloom spike as it had been blooming for about 18 months and it needed a rest according to a well known nurseryman in the orchid world.

2 of them I've killed repotting although I followed the instructions from the nursery from which I bought them.

Might someone please be kind enough to tell me the proper way to repot this particular orchid. Or should I just play it safe and 'pot on' the plant? Do I put it back in the same 4 inch pot for example? Is this the proper time of the year to repot? If not, then when is? I've enough tree fern fiber and that is what I was told to repot it in when the time came.

So, if anyone has had any experience with doing this, please help me out.

Thank you,


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I pot mine in wood chips and sphag. They don't seem to like to go totally dry, so this works for me. I've repotted mine during a growth period. I've never had a problem.

Wait until you see some new growth and roots. You don't need to remove all the old media if it still looks good. Just move up to the next size pot with fresh media.

My plants are all sending up new growths now. If I were going to repot, I'd do it now.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:05PM
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I'm interested to here the answer as well. I killed one of mine after repotting but the other ones seemed to go threw it O.K., however it's now been a year and a half and it has't rebloomed. What's with that? I guessing that you are doing the correct thing potting in tree fern as it takes so long to break down. Wish I had thought of tree firn although I don't think I have any of it other than in some mounts.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Jane and Bob, Thank you both for your input on repotting the Psychopsis. It seems the longer I grow orchids, the more I realize how little I know.
Jane, I will indeed take your advice and do as you have suggested. However, just to be on the safer side, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a while. LOL.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 3:02PM
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From what I know, Psychopsis papilio likes well drain growing medium, more leg room, and hates its roots be disturbed. So when you repoting it, try not to disturb its root as less as possible. The best time is spring.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:45PM
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For repotting my psychopsis I took an old piece of tree fern used for mounting, broke it into tiny pieces and repotted. The plant sulked for a long while but is now putting out new growth and seems happy. I also have discovered that I have to water more in this medium but it drains fast and the plant loves it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Thank you all for the help. I will with trepidation try to do it but wish me luck. Leeflea.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:06PM
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P.S. If I may ask, how often should I water mine? It's in a 4 inch slitted clay pot. Now, I'm watering it twice a week and feeding it every two weeks. I'm assuming that I'm watering it on a proper schedule as I've not noticed any ill effects of over watering. It's in a S S/W facing window with sheer curtains. I'm having to rotate it every other day to keep the spike from growing towards the window and I've not the money for a green house. I'm obsessed with this plant as you might can tell and I want it to do well. Leeflea.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 3:13PM
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I water every other day now but it gets 90 degrees in the greenhouse around noon time. I don't think I will need to water that often when the weather cools.I always water in the morning and I feel the medium to make sure it needs water.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:35PM
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I am curious if any of you have ever had the new growth grow rapidly then have the leaf unable to stay upright? Mine put out a new growth but has not formed a PB. The leaf is taller then the old leaves (about 14")and falls over unless I support it with a stick. I think I may be over fertilizing or letting the plant stay too dry for too long. Any advice?
Thanks ahead of time.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:03PM
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