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Talk about your orchids and share photos of them here

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By Monkeypoint
Posts:  4
Joined:  Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:52 pm
I bought this Phal last April and about 5 weeks ago, it began growing a new spike. I used this Bonsai soil mix as the potting medium: Ingredients: 40% Pumice, 40% Bonsai Block(calcined clay), 20% Pine Bark Fines. pH: 6.4
Absorption Rate: .077 ounces per cubic inch
Evaporation Rate: 53.24% over 24 hours. 81.8% over 48 hours.
Bulk Density: .273 ounces per cubic inch
Particle Size: ¼ Inch
Minimum Size: 1/8th
Maximum Size: 3/8ths

The soil mixes absorb a good volume of water and release more than half it over 24 hours. More than 80 percent of the water is released over 48 hours. This helps prevent wet feet and optimizes the wet / dry root cycle.

This phal, along with 2 others seem to be doing well in the medium. My question is should I repot using a medium specifically for orchids?

Second question: is it okay to repot an orchid while it's growing a new spike? It's not root-bound. I repotted it in late October of last year, so would it be best just to leave it alone? I have a second orchid growing in the same medium that is also producing a new spike. It's in a bigger clear pot, seems to be doing well - leaves are a bright green, spike is growing. But I can't see the roots through the medium so I'm erring on the side of watering less often (every 8-9 days). But going by the evaporation rate of the medium, maybe I should be watering more often? I repotted this one about a month ago in the same medium but in a bigger clear pot.
orchid11.JPG (606.33 KiB) Viewed 4976 times
detail of orchid mix
detail of orchid mix
orchid10.JPG (554.85 KiB) Viewed 4976 times
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By evenwind
Posts:  2031
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
Unless there's some kind of problem, I wouldn't repot until after the plant has finished blooming. Also, when you do repot, keep the medium very airy - maybe 1/2" to 3/4" orchid bark pieces instead of fines. Phals grow perfectly well with almost no medium at all as long as the roots get soaked on a regular basis.
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By DragonsEye
Posts:  1193
Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
The time to repot is when an orchid is actively growing roots .... which this one is. So if you wish to repot, now might not be a bad time. I would hesitate to do so since the spike is so far along, and, being a klutz, I'd probably accidently snap it off.

Phals are not terribly picky about their media. As long as it allows sufficient air to get to the roots all is generally good. If the media you have them in is working for you, then keep using it.

As far as when to water ... how heavy would be a pot of the media when totally dry? If it is fairly light then you could use weight (wet vs dry) to give you a rough idea.
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By DragonsEye
Posts:  1193
Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
wcrosman wrote: Thu Feb 23, 2023 3:55 pm Once repotted a cattleya in spike and the spike died. I haven’t had another spike since.
How long have you had the Catt? If it has been over a year without a new growth maturing and flowering, then it would be indicative of either a root issue or inadequate growing conditions.
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By wcrosman
Posts:  275
Joined:  Thu Apr 14, 2022 2:03 am
It just finished growing two new leaves in the last month. I repotted it after they finished and there were no spikes.

Divided the rhizomes. Roots looked excellent. It is in the same location as my Phals 2 of which are in bloom and 3 others with flower spikes blooming soon. It is treated the same as my phals because the the nursery I purchased it from said it needs the same growing conditions as my phals.
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