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Repotting Orchids

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008

Before you know it, spring will be here and flowers will be in bloom. If you're the owner of a potted orchid, you'll soon begin to see your plant budding. Now is the time to make sure your orchid is in its best health to show off its flowers.

There are two types of orchids: terrestrial and epiphytic. Terrestrials, like the paphioppedilum, commonly known as "lady's slipper," grow in the ground. Epiphytics, like the phalaenopsis, naturally grow balanced on a limb of a tree with its roots in air.

Both kinds of orchids need to be kept in bright, indirect sunlight, evenly moistened, and fertilized regularly in order to bloom at the right time. Orchids love humidity, so grow your plants over a tray of pebbles with water or keep them in the bathroom. The first step in making sure your orchid is in shape is to get rid of its dead or dying leaves. If it needs repotting, you should do so before it is in bloom. Terrestrial orchids are repotted like other plants -- just make sure to use the special terrestrial orchid growing mix; ephiphytes, however, require something different.

Repotting Ephiphytes How-To
1. Remove all dead roots, which are dark in color or soft.

2. Center plant and roots in pot.

3. Add orchid to a bark-and-wood-chips mix.

4. To water, submerge plant in tepid water for 20 minutes, then drain and fertilize every other watering. Add orchid fertilizer to water following directions on the package. Water epiphytes well and allow to dry out slightly between waterings, approximately every five days.

Comments (4)

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    Oops, just read where tahni would like to order pots online. Look on Ebay. There is a great seller who offers an abundance of shapes.
    Hope that helps. I do love my orchid plants.

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    I found beautiful orchid pots at my local upscale nursery/garden center. There is a wide selection available and I suggest pots with separate saucers for easily adding the gravel to the saucers for humidity. My pots have saucers attached to the bottom and cannot be removed, but I love the pots anyway.

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    Where do I get the orchid pots Martha had in her show? I love them and can't get things like that here. Hoping I can order them online.

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    Where do I get the orchid pots Martha had in her show? I love them and can't get things like that here. Hoping I can order them online.