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Repotting Orchids


By balcony


When the orchid compost arrived I spent an hour repotting the 3 I have in the kitchen.

The worst one was obviously the oldest one, (the middle one), I had which must be around 4-5 years old. (No, its 7 years old, I just found some photos of it that Google had backed up!) It is yellow & has flowered for me every year. It came with 2 scapes & was only the 2nd one I ever had up till then.

I watched some videos on YouTube some days ago about how to go about the operation. So starting with the smallest one (#1) seemed to be the best way to start. As it’s something I’ve never done before – (being scared of killing them!) – I thought if I can do this one well the others shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Orchid #1 before being repotted

I began with the youngest & smallest of the plants. (Above) Fortunately its roots were in better condition. I repotted all 3 back in the pots they came out of, after giving them a wash in hot soapy water, seems Orchids are quite prone to diseases so washing the pots thoroughly would have stopped them from getting ill.

Orchid #1 after being repotted

Orchid #2 before being repotted

The 2nd one was also in better condition than I expected though I did have to remove a few roots that were rotten. One thing I discovered was that the last two plants they had put Sphagnum moss in them! The yellow one especially had it packing the sides of the pot!

Orchid #3 before repotting

As the yellow one was in such a bad condition when I repotted it I very much doubt it will flower again this year – that is even if it survives! Lots of the roots were totally rotten & I had to cut them way.

How to keep the newly pruned roots free from diseases – by sprinkling cinnamon over them!

One of the videos I watched was in Spanish! I liked how the Spanish guy did it best. He not only shows you what to do but shows you the same plants some months later! He also shows you how to keep the newly pruned roots free from diseases – by sprinkling cinnamon over them! Being as it’s an antiseptic it helps to help them heal & stops them from rotting.

Once I had put the new compost in the plants looked so much better!

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This was of great interest to me as I also have 3 orchids lined up on the window sill in need of repotting! I shall now feel brave enough to take the plunge, buy some special compost and have a go.
Thank you Balcony.

10 Mar, 2023


Hope they thrive for you Balcony. I too was interested about the cinnamon. I knew it is good for us, but never heard of this use before. Probably some thing in it.

11 Mar, 2023


I'm so glad you found this blog interesting! I wanted to do it last year but couldn't find any Orchid compost around here. This year I looked on line & in eBay I found lots of compost! I ordered a bag & it came less than 24 hours later - but packed & posted by Amazon!!!

I watched some videos on YouTube & found a Spanish guy I'd subscribed to last year so i looked at one of his videos on repotting Orchids & followed his advice. It was he who suggested using cinnamon for its antiseptic qualities. So I "bit the bullet" & went ahead. I hope they do alright as well.

The 3rd one, the yellow one that was in such a terrible condition seems to have responded already! It's leaves now seem plumper but I will still have to wait a few more weeks to see how it does.

I will keep you updated.

11 Mar, 2023


Interesting ... I think I'll do mine after it flowers.

12 Mar, 2023


Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Balc. I found it very informative and interesting too, especially as I have no idea about orchids. Well, indoor plants generally and their care etc.
Keep us updated as progress continues. Best wishes.

12 Mar, 2023


Hywel, it doesn't seem to matter when you do it - in fact on one of the videos I watched the guy said it was a very good idea to do it as soon as you bring an Orchid home! It would obviously be in full flower so you needn't wait if you have Orchid compost 7 the time!

The first & smallest one I did had a scape with several buds on it, the other two have nothing at the moment. And I don't really expect the yellow one to flower this year as it was barely clinging on to life when I repotted it. Yet the few leaves it still conserved feel harder again. When I was repotting it they felt very soft & not hard as they should be when healthy!

12 Mar, 2023


I wrote this blog over a year ago but I said I would keep you updated.

Well the bad news first - the yellow one, though it seemed to respond at first to the harsh treatment I gave it, eventually died during the summer.

The good news is that the 2 white ones have responded very well to their, slightly less harsh treatment, & have been flowering for a couple of months! The first to start flowering this year has two scapes with flowers! The other one that started some weeks later has just one scape with flowers - for the moment at least!

22 May, 2024

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