Orchids forum: Beginner's luck but nonstop blooming orchid now needs repotting

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bijoux906
Jan 31, 2017 1:42 PM CST
I am a relative novice at growing orchids but have had beginner's luck over the couple of years I've had them, at least in terms of keeping them healthy and blooming. I have been reading that I should wait till they stop blooming to repot them, but I have 2 in full bloom which are really outgrowing their small plastic pots. One of them, I thought, announced it's need for a new container by spontaneously falling off the stand it was sitting on! (I realize that, even though it is staked, that should be redone because it's ridiculously topheavy with blooms.) The only time I can recall this particular orchid stopping blooming in the last couple of years was when I moved to a new location about 6 months ago--and then it stopped for maybe 6-8 weeks (but unfortunately I didn't then recognize the need to repot or the crucial timing of this maneuver). I suspect that there were intervals of not blooming in the past, but they were brief enough that I don't even remember them.

My question is, should I still wait till its blooming stops to repot it or are there exceptions to the rule about timing of repotting? (I realize this is actually a wonderful problem to have, but I am terrified of ruining this prolific orchid either by suffocating it in its pot or killing it by repotting it. I also have consistently adhered to watering weekly with 3 ice cubes and there is such a tangle of greenery overflowing the pot that I am having trouble finding room for the ice cubes!)

Linda



Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Jan 31, 2017 3:57 PM CST
Hi Linda,
Welcome to our happy spot Group hug .
Congratulations on having such a lucky dilemma ...
Posting a picture of your plant would help us all tremendously in giving you some advice.
Just on the info you have provided , I would venture a guess that you have a very generous Phalenopsis. While it is true that usually we wait for the blooms to finish before repotting, sometimes it just has to be done! Also when a plant has been in bloom as long as yours it's also ok to cut the flower spike off and let the plant have a rest, and rejuvenate ..
I would also (gently) suggest that you swap out the ice cubes for an equivalent amount of plain room temperature water...orchids do grow all over the world ..but nowhere that I know of where it snows or hails. Once we see what kind of plant you have we will be able to give you more specific and helpful advice. In the meantime, check out some of the informative threads at the top of our page..you may find just the answer you need there..and again, welcome!
lindsey

bijoux906
Feb 3, 2017 3:04 PM CST
Thanks so much for your reply. I am going to try to upload some photos I took (I am not at all tech-savvy). When I removed this orchid from the pot it was sitting in, the overgrowth within its way-too-small plastic container was far worse than I'd even realized!

I also noticed something new and even more concerning: a kind of fuzz that looks to me like it's infested or infected with something. I am especially hoping my limited computer skills will permit me to upload the pucture I took of this. Or should I post under another thread about this problem?

Thumb of 2017-02-03/bijoux906/89f3d6
Thumb of 2017-02-03/bijoux906/399f52
Thumb of 2017-02-03/bijoux906/9dfe16
Thumb of 2017-02-03/bijoux906/315209

Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
Image
sugarcane
Feb 3, 2017 5:24 PM CST
Hi Linda,
Great job on getting your photos up..see, it's not so hard!
Your plant is definately a Phalenopsis..and if it were mine, I would cut all the flower spikes off and repot it in a general purpose bark mix which both Lowe's and Home Depot sell in bags. Look for the mix that has little bits of charcoal and white perlite in it. Get a new pot that's about an inch wider than the one this plant is currently in. You may have to use scissors or clippers to cut the old pot off. Normally we would gently 'tease' the old potting media off the roots..but from this picture , it doesn't look like there's much left! You can plant it in either another plastic pot, or a heavier clay orchid ( with extra drainage holes/slits) pot, which might help with keeping the plant from tipping over. Just make sure the plant is put at the same depth in ,it's new pot and pack the new planting media around the root ball...If you can figure out a way to secure it while it's growing new roots, either with a pot clip or a bamboo stake that will speed up the process. Keep us posted on your progress...you CAN do this!
lindsey
[Last edited by sugarcane - Feb 3, 2017 6:03 PM (+)]
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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 4, 2017 11:43 AM CST
Bijoux, nice orchid growth...........however, I HAVE to ask...........what are the stones in your bracelet???? I'm a jewelry person..........cannot have too much of the "good stuff". If asked, the Spousal Unit would say that I am most definitely "high maintainance" in the jewelry department. Ummmm...........probably plants too, truth be told............. Rolling on the floor laughing

bijoux906
Feb 5, 2017 5:13 PM CST
Thanks much Lindsey for your instructive and encouraging reply. You've guven me the courage to cut the flower stalks off!

But first....I'm very concerned about my plant's apparent disease. (Tell me
if I should be starting a new thread.) The last two photos were intended to illustrate it but fell short, and I can retake. The next to the last one shows it best--the tiny white dot surrounded by bluish (in the picture) gray fuzz, appearing in the "V" where the stem becomes brown rather than green. It is less white and less cottony than the pics I've seen of mealybugs and there definitely is no visible bug--at least not yet. In gact zi didn't really see the white spot except in the photo. It looks just like a small piece of fuzz from a wool sweater. I haven't seen it anywhere other than on that one stem yet. One thing I can and will do Immediately is to isolate it. If I repot it right away, can I just cut off that stem or is it likely to be more systemic?

bijoux906
Feb 5, 2017 5:27 PM CST
Anna, I guess it is only natural that orchid fans would also find themselves entranced by other beautiful objects­čśŐ. My bracelet was given to me by a seller of vintage jewelry from whom I'd made a more significant purchase that same day. He told me that the stones were just crystals, set in gold vermeil, but I've always thought they quite resembled real stones! I share your love of jewelry, especially vintage or antique pieces, and actually make my own beadwoven jewelry, incorporating vintage elements.

And I know a whole lot more about jewelry than I do about orchids! However, the kind folks on this forum are definitely helping me to expand my knowledge in this domain as well.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 5, 2017 6:59 PM CST
I'm a Tanzanite freak. :>)
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
Image
sugarcane
Feb 5, 2017 7:01 PM CST
Linda,
Anything on the flower spikes.. is unimportant ( if you cut them off) check VERY CLOSELY on the leaves and in the nooks and crannies for mealy bugs.. if you find any use a Q tip and some alcohol to take care of them... once you get your plant repotted, I would use something like Bayer's 3 in 1 for roses.. it's a systemic treatment so that it gets taken up in the plant and any bugs that are still hidden will be taken care of quickly. I mix it up in a bucket and set the plant in it up to the top of the pot and let it sit there awhile so it's totally wet.. I'll also splash or spray the leaves for 100% coverage. I DID THINK that was just sweater fuzz or lint., but if you know the difference.. go ahead and treat your plant with some kind of systemic and watch it closely..?the reasoning for submerging your plant is often times bugs will be living in the media as well as on your plant..
lindsey

bijoux906
Feb 7, 2017 1:53 PM CST
Thanks again, Lindsey, for your guidance. When I went to carefully inspect the leaves, another thing jumped out at me as seemingly abnormal and that is marks on the surface of the leaves that look as if the surface has been cut--and then fairly large blemishes on the surface of a smaller leaf that look scale-like, though I don't know what botanical scale actually looks like, just that it is to be dreaded­čś▒!

Here are some photos:


Thumb of 2017-02-07/bijoux906/d4d872
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Thumb of 2017-02-07/bijoux906/f41060

Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
Image
sugarcane
Feb 7, 2017 3:25 PM CST
Linda,
These large blemishes could be anything...it's very hard for me to say.
But generally with Phals. Bugs will live quite happily without us being able to see them.. that's why I usually submerge the plant as much as I can and then use a paper towel to dry off the crown of the plant as it is incredibly prone to rot.
Thumb of 2017-02-07/sugarcane/a720b5
If you see something that looks like a faint yellow spot, look at the underside of the leaf and you might find a brave colony in plain sight..it might look something like this.



Thumb of 2017-02-07/sugarcane/e0359a
See the spot on the right hand side? This plant did not suffer from bugs though..it was a fungal problem and the other brown spot on the left is how is looks.
The large crack I see is probably a water issue..sometimes the plant takes it up faster than it has room for..sometimes it's a feeding deficiency..like what you'll see on the top of tomatoes. If the leaf is green, it's doing its job.

lindsey

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