When to Repot an Orchid

Repotting orchids is essential to their continued good health and growth. Orchids usually need repotting for one or a combination of two main factors: potting mix breaks down, often evidenced by dead roots, or the plant outgrowing the container.

In the first case, a larger pot may not be required, simply replace the growing medium. In the second case, the plant may need dividing or may be shifted into a larger pot. Choosing the right medium, mixture and texture, is also essential for the growth of your orchid. Moisture retention and aeration should be considered on a per plant basis. Fresh media should always be used.

A good general rule when choosing a pot size, is to pot for the bottom of the plant, the root system, and not for the top, the foliage.

The following considerations also apply to choosing when to repot an orchid.

  • For a newly acquired orchid, many orchidists like to repot as soon as practical. If the plant was acquired while blooming, wait for the flowers to fade before repotting. The benefit here is that repotting provides an opportunity to see the plant’s roots, and in doing so, get a better idea of the overall health of the plant.
  • For an orchid that is not newly acquired, the optimal time to repot is after the plant has bloomed and is beginning a new growth cycle. The emergence of a new leaf, new roots, or a new pseudobulb signals this time. As this new growth cycle begins consider whether the orchid will require repotting before this time comes again.
  • Repotting may also be required if an orchid has gotten infested with bugs. If bugs keep recurring it is sometimes because they have moved from the surface to below ground and are munching on the roots or the media. Removing all of the old mix, carefully cleaning and examining the roots and repotting in fresh mix is often a critical step in eradicating a persistent pest issue.

Basic guidelines on when each type of orchid should most likely require repotting are available in the Repotting Calendar. It is common for orchids to occasionally bloom off cycle and not follow the calendar. When this happens just follow the plant’s lead on when to repot.


Welcome to Jardim Therapy my blog about orchids and Brazil. Here you will find a few useful references, and some tip & tricks, along with posting of my own personal experience. I absolutely love orchids, and I want to help everyone interested in learning about these unique plants.

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