By Megan Slack
Despite all their ornate and exotic beauty, orchids are incredibly versatile. These plants can bloom for several years despite moments of neglect – which, we confess – we're guilty of too.
Resurrecting orchids, or any plant, for that matter, is undeniably rewarding, and these durable flowers are one of the best indoor plants for learning the repotting method. Just imagine the satisfaction when they create new flowers and fill your interiors with tropical glory once again.
To ensure your orchid will flower for many years to come, we caught up with floricultural experts who reveal how to repot like a pro.
How often should we repot our orchids?
When planning your indoor plant ideas, it is essential to know how often the repotting process should take place. According to Liam Lapping of Flowercard, we should look to repot every 'two to three years to keep your orchid healthy and ensure growth.'
'The ideal time to replant an orchid is after the end of its flowering cycle, and a good rule of thumb is when the roots start pushing outwards from the pot,' he adds. Plus, orchid fan and columnist at Amateur Gardening magazine, Anne Swithinbank suggests repotting Miltonia Sunset orchids when spots appear on the leaves, as 'spotty leaves are a sign of stress, and suggest it is time to resume the plant.'
What does the repotting process involve?
To repot an orchid, Liam suggests picking up a potting mix, bowl, and scissors. We can also rebuy a pot, or as Ann suggests, we can also 'use the original (washed) pot.'
'Take the orchid from its pot, and be careful not to damage the plant, and remove any dead or rotting roots with scissors. Then, place the orchid into the new pot, ideally around one to two inches bigger than the original, so the growth level is at the top of the pot,' Liam explains.
'Add potting mix and push the mix down with your fingers near to the roots. Keep adding the mix until it is at the top of the pot – before staking your orchid to ensure it has additional support as it begins to regrow its stems and reflowers,' he says.
What do we need to remember after repotting?
To keep orchids flowering long into the future, we certainly can't give up on them after the repotting process is complete. Head Florist at Maison de Fleurs, Kate Kern, explains that you should 'check your orchid's roots often' to ensure they are a 'healthy green color.'
'If they look soft or brown, then there is often too much water in the pot, so it needs more space to drain the excess away. If they go white or grey, they might not be getting enough; we always water our orchids with a mister or spray, which means the orchids aren't overloaded with too much liquid at once,' Kate says.
Anne Swithinbank advises 'watering orchids once or twice a week in summer and fortnightly in winter.' She also recommends applying a soluble orchid fertilizer every fortnight during active growth and then 'flushing with water between to avoid a build up of residues.'
Armed with these tips, we're certain our orchids will remain at the forefront of our indoor garden ideas for many more years to come.
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