Repotting Phalaenopsis

Except for large overgrown plants, potting Phalaenopsis is easy. This is good because Phals like to be repotted. Many growers repot them annually as a matter of course. Although their thick roots can attach firmly to clay pots, they are generally easy to remove and even easier to remove from plastic pots. There are as many different techniques for potting Phalaenopsis as there are pots and medium. They all basically involve the same procedures; removing the plant from its old container and cutting away dead roots, then anchoring the plant firmly in a new container with fresh medium. Because of their lack of pseudobulbs to store water, we use a moisture-retentive choice of pot & medium such as sphagnum moss or fir bark in a plastic pot. Asking local growers will usually provide you with a successful combination.

One consideration unique to most Phalaenopsis is their tall flower spike. Whereas styrofoam peanuts may be acceptable drainage for other orchids, something heavier is preferred for Phals so that the plant is not too top-heavy when in flower. Another solution is to nest a plastic-potted Phal in a heavier clay pot when in flower.