Paphiopedilum orchid

How to repot orchids

Orchids need repotting every two or three years - here's how to do it.

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul

Takes just:

20 minutes

Occasionally, orchids need repotting to refresh their expanding root systems. Most orchids grown as houseplants are epiphytes in the wild, which means that they naturally grow attached to a tree branch, with their roots clinging to the bark. In order to mimic their preferred growing conditions, orchids should be potted in a specialist orchid compost or a mix of moss, bark chips and perlite.

Orchids living on branches get soaked regularly by tropical storms, but the water quickly drains away, and orchid compost is similarly free-draining. Over the years however, the bark chips and moss begin to break down and compact, reducing drainage. This is the main reason why you need to repot orchids.

Only repot orchids every two to three years, or whenever the plant becomes pot bound. Here's how to do it.

You will need

  • Plastic pot
  • Orchid compost
  • Secateurs or snips

Advertisement

Carefully lift the plant out of its pot and clean off the old compost. You may need to cut the pot open if it is pot bound.

Examine the root ball closely and trim off any dead or damaged roots using secateurs or snips.

If the roots have not fully filled the old pot, then it can be reused. Clean the pot using soapy water, then place the plant back in the pot and trickle orchid compost in between the roots, aiming to fill any spaces.

Occasionally, orchids need repotting to refresh their expanding root systems. 

If the plant is pot bound, then move it into a pot one size larger. Position the plant in the centre of the pot, then fill around the root ball with orchid compost, making sure to also fill any gaps. Avoid using terracotta pots, as the orchid’s roots will fasten themselves to the surface, making it difficult to repot in future.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to grow amaryllis

How to care for orchids

How to take begonia leaf cuttings

Related offers

Offer

Early rhubarb variety

Three bare-root rhubarbs for £9.97

Buy three bare-root rhubarb plants of the award-winning 'Timperley Early' for only £9.97. This great variety has been specially selected for its early maturing, strong vigour growth and can be harvested from February through to May.

Order now

HALF PRICE

Blooming Direct wisteria offer

Half price wisteria

Save 50 per cent when you buy a potted Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls' for only £14.99. Producing beautiful fragrant-blooms through from May to August, it is perfect for growing over doorways, arches and pergolas.

Use code: RGW133

Order now

SAVE 20%

Subscriber only content Sarah Raven save 20 per cent

Save 20% at Sarah Raven

Subscribers save 20 per cent across the entire range from Sarah Raven, including a massive range of flowers, fruits, vegetables, garden furniture, outdoor lights and much more.

Unlock now