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Big Phalaenopsis Repot

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Dudu, Feb 11, 2023.

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  1. Dudu

    Dudu New Member

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    I'm looking for advice on how to transplant this large plant in a way that does as little harm as possible. The medium in which it is planted is old. The aerial roots are 40-50 cm long and begin to dry. The leaves are pressed against the window.
    Any ideas how to handle this?
     

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  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    If I had to repo that, I’d put it in a pot about the same diameter as the leaf span, and used LECA (clay aggregate) as the medium.
     
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would add to Ray's advice, don't try to put the roots outside of the pot in the medium. Aerial roots are different from those that grow into the medium.
     
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  4. Dudu

    Dudu New Member

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    Hello,
    thank you for advice. I'm not sure if I shouldn't put at least some aerial roots in the substrate. Maybe the latest?? The old roots do not look very good and the new roots form too high to grow into the substrate.
    The leaf span is 55cm. I'm going to pot it into the biggest orchid pot I have and secure it with bamboo sticks.
     

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  5. Dudu

    Dudu New Member

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    So I did it this way. Hope, she will do well. Also I am going to buy a tall decorative pot for her, so the roots will not touch the ground.
     

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  6. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    In the wild, those big, broad leaves can function well as “sails” in a windstorm, potentially ripping the upper part of the plant right off that relatively narrow base. Aerial roots, originating from somewhat higher in the plant, can act as “guy wires” to stabilize it.

    As an experiment, I put some phals into relatively shallow trays that were larger in diameter that the plants’ leaf spans. All of the aerial roots grew down into the medium.

    Back when I was developing the “semi-hydroponic” growing technique, I had ongoing discussions with Rod Venger (of the former Venger’s Orchids in Colorado Springs), who was developing “water culture”. He brought in a friend who a PhD candidate (at Texas A&M, I think) who had been researching orchid roots.

    He showed that the roots “tailored” themselves on a cellular level based upon the root environment, so they could function optimally in that environment, and that, once they had grown, they cannot change (backing up Marni’s good advice about not submerging the aerial roots when you repot).

    When you repot a plant, changing the rhizosphere, you immediately render the existing roots as sub-optimal, and they will start to fail. That is why the best time to repot a plant is when new roots are emerging - they will be tailored to the new environment and support the plant as the old ones die and decompose.

    Interestingly, aerial roots appear to be the most “adaptable”, in that new growth at the tips will adapt to the new environment more readily than will other roots.
     
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  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Ray. That is great information!
     
  8. ryan248

    ryan248 Well-Known Member

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    Perfect, beautiful leaves! Good job!