In nature, orchids are epiphytic plants, i.e. plants that cling to a support, usually a tree, and that live without soil. They do not parasitize their hosts, they simply use them to develop, without stealing their resources. They feed on ambient air and water as well as on the humus that forms around their roots. When growing them indoors, it is necessary to reproduce this natural environment and use a substrate designed specifically for this type of plant. They will not survive in standard potting soil. The Fafard Orchid Potting Mix is made of western bark chips and coconut fiber to provide the roots with all the aeration the plant needs to ensure its growth.
Like in houseplant potting soils, the nutrients in orchid potting soils become depleted. That is why you need to replenish it timely. In addition, your growing orchid may become cramped in its pot. To have beautiful and healthy orchids, it is best to repot them every two or three years. A good way to tell if your orchid needs to be repotted is to watch the roots: if they are coming out of the pot or are crowded at the bottom, it’s time to do it.
How to repot an orchid
Repotting orchids is not quite the same as repotting other houseplants. Here’s how to do it:
- Free your plant from its current pot by pressing gently. Be careful, the roots are fragile, go gently so as not to damage your beautiful plant.
- Remove the pieces of substrate between the roots
- Prune the dry, soft or brown roots and those which are very long. Prune the old flower stem too to make it bloom again.
- In a slightly larger pot than the previous one, place a base of Orchid Potting Mix and then place your plant upright in the center of the pot. The foliage of the orchid should be at the level with the rim of the pot.
- Add potting soil around the plant to fill in the space. Pile it well between the roots to stabilize it.
- Unlike other plants, you must allow time for the roots to heal before watering. It will take about two weeks before you soak it.
After the two-week healing period, you can resume care of your orchids as usual. To know everything about the care of this magnificent but a bit temperamental plant, read our advice on the subject