Guest Author - Susan Taylor
Spring is the best time to repot most of your orchids that are climbing out of their current pots or have been in the same medium for two years or more. If you have a large collection this can be quite a chore. As you start to think about repotting, do you have plants that are not doing well that you should consider for a different method of growing? Now is the time to plan ahead for mounting, growing in semi-hydroponics, or trying a new media.
Take the time to list out those plants that need repotting and write down the size of pot you will need. Make sure that you have enough of each size pot in advance so that you do not run out during the actual repotting process. Make sure that you have adequate supplies of the potting media you wish to use and the pot clips to hold the newly repotted plants in place. If you are growing plants that need vertical support, make sure that you have the correct number of wire pot supports. Hanging wire supports are also very important if youíre lucky enough to be able to hang pots from the top of your greenhouse or other garden supports. Once you have determined what you will need, order the pieces that you are lacking during this cold time of the year when it is virtually impossible or expensive to get plants shipped.
Check your growing tools too. If you are reusing pots, make sure that you sterilize them so that you do not infect your plants with viruses or pass insects on to healthy plants. Donít forget the metal pot clips when you are sterilizing. Are your clippers sharp and still working well? You will need a good supply of disposable razor blades for cutting rhizomes if you need to split plants. How about insecticides and fungicides for use while youíre repotting? This is an excellent time to apply insecticides to plants and you will need the fungicides to protect any cuts you make.
You will want to clean up any plants as you repot. Remove dead brown sheaths. Clean off the leaves with lemon juice, vinegar, skim milk or BotaniWipes so that the plant can absorb light easily. Clip off any dead roots and snip live roots so that they will be encouraged to grow more quickly.
After repotting, put the plant in a darker location than normal for about a month until it recovers and is ready to go forward with the spring and summer growth period.