Guest Author - Haidy Ear-Dupuy
It is not easy to find the right pots for orchid growing. There are so many choices of pots to choose from the stores. Often many of the pots are more decorative than practical. Think about your plantís comfort and characteristics before you buy.
One of the most common pots is the generic green plastic pots with multiple holes at the bottom. The stores often have plants in these pots, wrapped in nice colorful aluminums to make it more attractive. To make it more decorative, you can buy a slightly larger ceramic pot with pleasing decoration to hold your green potted orchids. The plastic pots tend to keep moisture in better than the orange terracotta pots.
If you can find the wooden baskets made from small pieces of wood stacked together, they are good for those who grow orchids with large chunky media such as charcoals or large pieces of wood. For those who grow orchids with wood chips it is better to get the terracotta pots with holes on the sides as well as on the bottom. You need to make sure that the woodchips are larger than the holes on the pots.
The true orchid pots are often full of holes. If you are using the terracotta pots, make sure you soak the pots well before you put your orchids into the pots. When watering the plants you would also need to let them sit in water for the pots to properly absorb the water. If they are too dry, the pots will start to take water from the plants.
If you are reusing the pots, make sure you disinfect the pots by soaking them in soap and wash them well in hot water as well as brushing any debris that may stick to the pots. Unclean pots can spread diseases to new plants.
Instead of pots, some people also prefer to graph their plants onto a piece of drift wood or cork. At specialist orchid growers you can often find the right pots whereas the normal hardware stores tend to carry pots that are used for common house plants and they may not be appropriate for orchids. Finding the right pots is important since orchids like to have period of dryness and the roots tend to easily rot when sit in water for too long. Thus the multiple holes allow for both good drainage as well as air circulation around the roots.