How to Transfer an Orchid Plant
Though the orchid was once considered an exotic and expensive plant, efficient commercial production of the orchid has now made it one of the most popular flowering plants. Orchids are relatively easy to care for, but some tasks, such as repotting, require special techniques. When an orchid begins extending new shoots over the edge of its flowerpot–about every two years or so–it is a sign that it has outgrown its pot. If you have an orchid with a lot of aerial roots, follow the steps below to transfer the orchid to a larger flowerpot.
- Moderately Easy
things you’ll need:
- Orchid potting medium
- Fill the flowerpot about two-thirds full of orchid potting medium. Carefully remove the orchid from its existing pot so you don’t damage any new shoots. Leave behind the majority of the existing potting material.
- Set the plant in the larger pot and spread out its roots. If you have a monopodial (single stemmed) orchid to transfer, place the stem in the center of the new pot. If it’s sympodial (with multiple stems), position the orchid so two fingers can fit between the pot rim and the plant stems.
- Add more orchid potting medium into the flowerpot, and pack it well so that it holds the orchid in place. If you can turn the pot upside down and the orchid and potting medium remain in the flowerpot, then you have packed it sufficiently.
- Water the orchid once it is repotted. Keep the orchid potting medium moist, but allow it to dry out slightly between waterings. Orchids tend to do well in an east window. In the summer they may be set outdoors under a shade tree.
- When the orchid extends new shoots over the edge of the flowerpot, it is time to transfer it to a larger flowerpot again.
You can create your own orchid potting medium from medium-fine bark, milled sphagnum moss and perlite.
The University of Minnesota Extension suggests planting an orchid in a clear plastic container in order to encourage the roots to grow down into the potting medium and thereby reduce the number of aerial roots.