How Do You Repot A Vanda Orchid: Expert Tell You

Discover expert tips on repotting a Vanda orchid, including choosing the right time and materials, preparing the pot and medium, and caring for your newly repotted plant.

Choosing the Right Time and Materials for Repotting

Vanda orchids should be repotted during spring or summer when the roots have filled their existing pot. Before beginning, have a clean orchid bark medium, new orchid pot, and garden shears ready.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

vanda, roots, brown tree log on forest during daytime
Photo by conner bowe / Unsplash

Preparing the New Pot and Orchid Medium

The first step is to properly prepare the new pot and growing medium for the vanda orchid. The new orchid pot should be [Orchid pot] washed well with soapy water to remove any dust or residues and allow to dry thoroughly. The orchid bark medium should also be sterilized using one of two methods:

  1. Place the orchid bark in the oven at 200°F for 30 minutes to kill any fungal spores or pests.

  2. Soak the orchid bark in a 10% bleach solution for 10 minutes, then rinse well with water until the bleach smell is gone.

Either fresh orchid bark or sterilized orchid bark from the previous repotting can be used. The sterilized orchid bark should then be moistened with water before being placed in the orchid pot. Only fill the pot with enough bark to allow for ample root spread, leaving 3-4 inches of space from the pot rim. The moistened orchid bark will ensure the vanda roots have enough moisture during repotting to prevent dehydration shock.

vanda, roots, brown textile
Photo by NASA / Unsplash

Gently Removing the Vanda Orchid from its Current Pot

The next step in repotting a vanda orchid is removing it carefully from its existing pot without damaging any roots. The pot should first be [Flower pot] turned upside down to loosen the orchid from the pot sides. Gently tap or shake the pot to dislodge the orchid and root mass. Then, slowly pull the orchid and roots out of the pot.

If the roots have formed a dense tangled mass that is difficult to remove, sliced the pot around the roots with a knife or along seams if it is a plastic pot. Lift the orchid from the pot pieces being careful not to yank or pull on individual roots.

Once removed, shake or rinse the root mass with lukewarm water to remove as much of the old orchid medium as possible. The goal is to remove 80-90% of the old medium to allow for new medium and improved aeration of the roots. An old toothbrush or shovel can assist in removing any stubborn pieces of medium.

If the roots are long, they may need to be gently bent or shaped to fit into the new pot. However, avoid forcing roots into unnatural positions as this can damage them. Instead, choose a pot that will accommodate the natural shape of the root mass. Once shaped, the vanda orchid is ready for transplantation into its new medium.

vanda, orchid, pink and white moth orchids in bloom
Photo by Samantha Fortney / Unsplash

Trimming the Roots and Inspecting for Signs of Disease

Once the vanda orchid has been removed from the old pot, it is important to [Plant disease] evaluate the condition of the roots and make any needed trimmings before planting in the new medium. inspect each root closely for the following issues:

Rotted or dead roots: Any roots that are dark brown, mushy, or shriveled should be cut off using sterilizedsecateurs or garden shears. Sever at least half an inch into healthy tissue.

Pests: Check for signs of root mealybugs, scale insects, or fungal growth. Infected areas of roots should be pruned and remaining roots thoroughly rinsed.

Fungal disease: Discard any roots displaying fungal growth like cobwebs, discolorationor galls. Fungal disease can easily spread through the medium so sterilizing the new pot and medium is critical.

After cutting away any unhealthy roots, shape the remaining healthier roots so they lay straightand evenly spread out.This helps maximize contact with the fresh medium and water for optimal uptake. Avoid excessive root pruning if possible, aiming for no more than 20% of the total rootsystem.

With a clean, healthy root system, the vanda orchid can be planted snugly into its new home. Fill in the orchid bark around the roots, ensuring all roots are buried and not left exposedon the surface of the medium. This helps prevent dehydration and fungal issues.

vanda, medium, a man sitting in the dark holding a cell phone
Photo by Rafay Ansari / Unsplash

Planting the Vanda Orchid in Its New Pot

Once the roots of the vanda orchid have been [Flower pot] trimmed and cleaned, it is ready for placement in the new pot filled with fresh [Orchid pot] orchid bark medium. Place the orchid centrally over the new medium and gentlylower it into the pot.

Gently spread out the roots in an evenly radial pattern, burrowing them into the moist orchid bark. Space the roots apart and ensure they lay flat, not tangled or bunched. The goal is to fill as much of the available medium in the pot with roots for optimal water andnutrient uptake.

If the roots are long, fold or coil them into the medium rather than forcing them. Vanda orchid roots do not mind being folded or curved but do not bend any individual root more than 90°. This ensures they are not damaged during placement.

As the roots are spread, fill in the spaces between them with additional orchid bark tobury them completely. Filling the medium around the roots also helps secure the orchid in place within the pot.

Check for any roots left exposed on the surface of the medium and bury them. Exposed roots are prone to drying out and fungal issues which can damage the plant.

Once all roots are covered, tap gently on the sides of the pot to further settle the orchid andmedium. The level of medium should be 3-4 inches below the top rim to allow for watering.Your repotted vanda orchid is now ready for its first watering in its new home.

vanda, medium, a man in a blue suit smiling for the camera
Photo by Foto Sushi / Unsplash

Caring for Your Repotted Vanda Orchid

After repotting your vanda orchid in fresh medium, there are a few key steps to ensure it settles into its new home and resumes healthy growth:

Thorough watering: Immediately water the newly potted orchid until water drains freely from the drainage holes. This helps settle the medium around the roots and provides needed moisture after repotting.

Resuming fertilizer: If fertilizing regularly, you can resume your normal fertilizer schedule and concentration once new growth appears, around 2-4 weeks after repotting.

Indirect sunlight: Place the orchid in [Orchid] indirect sunlight for 2-4 weeks to prevent sunburn of new roots and growth. Gradually increase light exposure over time as the plant acclimates.

Proper airflow: Provide good air circulation around the orchid to discourage fungal issues, especially until new roots emerge from the medium. Avoid crowding neighboring plants.

Balanced humidity: Maintain average humidity around 50-70% for vanda orchids, either with a [Humidifier] humidifier or pebble tray. Check leaves for signs of dehydration and adjust humidity accordingly.

Monitor new growth: Check the orchid weekly for signs of new root growth and leaves. The first 1-2 weeks after repotting, focus on proper watering and conditions to minimize stress.

Avoid overwatering: Only water when the medium is [Orchid medium] mostly dry to avoid promoting fungal growth. Roots require both moisture and oxygen, so allow days between waterings when new growth appears.

With patience and proper care after repotting, your vanda orchid should quickly resettle into its fresh medium and resume active growth. Regular monitoring and adjusting of conditions will ensure a smooth transition to its new home.

vanda, orchid, pink moth orchids in bloom
Photo by Corina Rainer / Unsplash

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