An entertaining and yet informative information on Orchids

Orchid Repotting with Alex – Whittlesea U3A October 2019

Today our class was informed and entertained by Alex and Lenore on Cymbidium culture and how to re-pot our orchids. Too quickly the time passed as the information flowed from Alex.

Louise bought along her orchid which was given to her by her mother, “It has never flowered” she said and was amazed when Alex took it out of the pot and said how healthy it was. He commented on the yellow leaves, which apparently is a great sign in a Cymbidium and the spaghetti roots, the thicker the better! However he noted that if we put our orchids into a ceramic pot they do not grow as well.

He told us to especially look for a well-aired space; not too hot; to position our orchids. The positioning of Cymbidium orchids is as critical as the watering and feeding.

However, Alex says, “If I can do it, you can do it” but remember always use sterile pots and tools.

Using his “donger” he hit the plastic pots that the Cymbidium orchids were growing in and then he turned them out onto the table. Then he removed all of the growing mixture from the orchid and bare-rooted put the orchid into a plastic pot in a medium of graded bark chips or a specialized orchid mix making sure the back bulbs are at the back as it grows away from them.

He held the orchid upright turned the pot around clockwise and anti-clockwise in order to settle the orchid into the pot and surrounded it with the growing medium. Alex also told us that we could carefully cut some of the roots with a sharp pair of sterile secateurs. The pot must not be too big and the “medium dust” must be washed out of the re-potted orchid by making sure it was very well watered. Then put the re-potted orchid safely under a bench or somewhere out of the way for some time, making sure it is well watered. “Always label the plants,” said Alex as it may take up to two years to flower.

So much expert information!  He knew we may not retain it all so we were presented with a reinforcing fact sheet at the end of the talk. Alex also covered, positioning, watering, purchasing and fertilising in such a way we all wanted to go home and work on our plants.

Thank you, Alex, for your expertise and help.

(Article and photos provided by Mary Renshaw)