Heather N. Kolich, ANR Agent, UGA Extension Forsyth County

On the left, a plastic bin containing water and bark soil material to replant an orchid; on the right a woman's hand holding a root-bound orchid plant.

First, I filled a tub with orchid bark potting mix and water, allowing the bark to become saturated before adding it to the new pot. The chunky size of the bark allows for good drainage and plenty of air around the roots. Then I removed the orchid from the tiny container. The roots had spiraled around inside the container.

On the left a close image of the root ball of the orchid. It shows some unhealthy roots at the bottom. On the right, the same orchid after the root damage is trimmed away.

There were several desiccated or dead root portions, which I snipped off with sharp scissors. The old potting mix was compressed around the plant, so I carefully removed it. Orchids need air circulation around their roots.

A woman's hand holding an unpotted orchid, next to an empty pot. There are two discarded bloom spikes laying nearby.

I snipped off the spent bloom spikes to make room for new ones to grow.

On the left, a person putting bark soil into the pot to prepare for planting; on the right the orchid has been placed in the pot.

I added the moistened bark mix to the bottom of the pot, then spread the orchid’s roots, fitted it into the pot, and continued adding bark mix, leaving an inch between the top of the bark mix and the top of the pot.

The orchid is sitting happily in its new pot.

My repotted rescue orchid in its new home.

Posted in: