Re-potting Phalaenopsis while in bloom

Drock(Z5 Boulder, CO)September 15, 2012

While I am well versed in general houseplant care, I am new to Orchids. I could not resist the deal that HD had on Orchids. Of course the Phal that I purchased was potted in Sphagnum moss in one of those plastic pot inserts. I am not a fan of the way Sphag retains moisture and would rather re-pot in a mix of fir bark, charcoal, medium grade Perlite and a pinch of Sphagnum.

The consensus seems to be not to re-pot Orchids in general while in bloom. However, there seems to be mixed opinions on re-potting Phalaenopsis Orchids while in bloom.

My Phal is in bloom and the roots look very healthy. I could wait until a more appropriate time to re-pot. But, I am concerned about root health if I keep it in Sphag. It is mid September, temps here in Boulder, Co are in the low 80s- upper 70s. My Phal gets filtered eastern sunlight and supplemental fluorescent. It looks to be healthy in all respects. What are the risks of re-potting at this time? How likely am I to lose the blooms if I re-pot now?


D Rock

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Phals. are generally not affected by re-potting when in bloom. If you are afraid to keep it in sphag. because of your growing conditions, then go ahead & re-pot it. I have done it many times without loosing blooms. Since you will be moving to bark, just be sure you do not let it get too dry. It sounds like you have it in a good location. Good luck - you've started an addiction.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Moving the plant to a loose bark mix may well cause the plant's flowers to wilt and buds to blast. Bark mixes require more water than plants potted in sphagnum. Long strand sphagnum or New Zealand moss is better when used in conjunction with a clay pot. Commercial growers use plastic pots to save on water. If the plant is in moss and a plastic pot, then simply keep the plant moist but not wet. Allow the plant to dry out, but not completely between watering. If the moss is totally broken down, then repot. But I wouldn't repot it for the sake of repotting if it doesn't need it, especially while the plant is in bloom. The best time to replant any orchid is when it is actively putting out new roots. This will mitigate transplant shock. Simply putting out new leaves isn't enough, the plant should be putting out green root tips to adequately re-root into new media.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:15AM
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If your concerned, then wait until the blooms fade off and then re-pot to your hearts content. The blooms usually last close to 2 months for me.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I just bought a phaleonopsis. It is in a 4 inch pot. It is in bloom and beautiful! Problem I'm having: There are two orchids in this tiny pot. It looks as though the bigger plants leaves are wilting. Can I successfully separate and repot, without killing the blooms?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 2:54PM
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I would not repot a plant in bloom unless an emergency. The odds are high you will lose the blooms. If you risk losing the plant than repot.

I agree with 'toyo1960.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 11:38PM
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A little late on this but this post came up in a search I just did. I just bought a mini phal from HD. It was in this little plastic cup, and inside the cup it was vacuum packed in plastic with a small hole in the bottom. It was potted in the moss and it looked completely broken down. Through the plastic I could see white stuff forming in the bottom and some of the roots were brown and mushy. I didn't think to look for this til I got home, so I did some emergency surgery and tore it out of the plastic, pulled out all the moss, drilled tons of holes in the little cup it came in, trimmed any brown mush from the roots, and repotted it in an orchid mix that I bought the same day. I read that you shouldn't, but I'm fairly certain the whole plant would have died had I left it that way til the blooms fell off. I left it dry for a day, watered it good yesterday, and today I see one of the flowers is sagging a little but it doesn't look terrible. I really just hope I saved the plant itself.

Also wondering how yours turned out?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:59PM
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