Do you prune phal roots to fit a smaller pot?
I saw Bob Gordon's *Culture of the Phalaenopsis Orchid* mentioned at Bedford Orchids as the best book dealing with phals. So I found one on Amazon.
He points out that big pots = big problems. Well, we knew that. However, he added that it's a self-solving problem because a plant in a big pot will soon have no roots and have to be moved back to a tiny pot.
That caught my attention because I do seem to have to do that to one plant or another every couple of months. Why I'm so addicted to rooting hormones. So I took it to heart.
He recommended *pruning phal roots* so they will fit in a smaller and shallower pot. In fact, he also recommended "lowering", ie cutting off the lower part of a long leafless stem -- you've all seen them. This is to allow the plant to fit properly in a more shallow pot.
He added "saving extra roots is a common mistake of beginners". He prunes them all to 5" max, to just fit a 5" deep azalea pot. It was a new take for me on the overpotting problem. I just had never thought of a pot that fit the existing roots as possibly too big.
So I've been repotting a few each day, lowering the too-long stems and pruning those long roots. Hoping to prevent the setbacks. It's very hard to get myself to do it. Like a true novice, I treasure every inch of those long roots. But he's right, as soon as they're cut, they fit into a pot at least a size smaller.
Since I didn't have the benefit of learning by apprenticeship-- all by books, I'm wondering what you old phal hands do?
Someone named Jerry Meola who sold phals said here a couple of years ago that he pruned roots on phals all the time, and they just branched and got thicker.