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We use the following potting mixes and / or potting materials: Mix A holds the most water, mix B a little less than mix A, mix C a little less than mix B and so on.
Mix A - Sphagnum moss
Mix B - Semi-terrestrial mix
Mix C - Fine bark mix
Mix D - Medium bark mix
Mix E - Medium tree fern
Mix F - Long fibered coconut husk
Mix A - Sphagnum moss
Premium quality, long fibered sphagnum moss, nothing else added.
Repot every year with this mix.
Mix B -Semi - terrestrial mix




A variation on this mix will include 1 part lava rock or Aliven or a similar material.
Unless specified otherwise (for specific plants), repot every two years with this mix.
Mix C - Fine bark mix


Repot every two years with this mix.
Mix D - Medium bark mix


Repot every two years with this mix.
Mix E - Medium tree fern
This consists of 100 % medium tree fern.
Repot every two to three years with this mix.
Mix F - Long fibered coconut husk
This consists of 100 % long fibered coconut husk. Fluff the material before using it because it is too dense as it comes. Being too dense will reduce air circulation and will  hold water for too long.
Repot every three to five years with this mix.
We use this long lasting potting material :
- for lining Vandas baskets,
- for lining wire baskets for Stanhopeas or Vandaceous orchids,
- as a backing for some mounted plants,
Lining Vanda or wire baskets with long fibered coconut husks prevents the potting material (which can be medium bark, medium tree fern, coconut chunks,..) from falling through the openings of the Vanda or the wire basket. Use the material sparingly.
The composition of our potting mixes is available on a summary chart.
Potting comprises 2 parts
1 - unpotting the plant from the old container and grooming the plant,
2 - re-potting the plant and staking it if necessary.
Unpotting the plant from the old container
Water the plant first as it makes it easier to remove the old potting material.
Retrieve the plant from the pot and remove all the old potting material.  
Trim dead roots with sterilized shears or scissors.
You are now ready to (re)pot the plant, so let’s see which potting material we’ll use.
Which orchids to pot in sphagnum moss
When we mention “sphagnum moss”  or “moss” we mean the premium quality long fibered.  We do not use the seedling grade, which to our opinion, does not allow for enough air circulation.
As a general rule we use sphagnum moss for potting:




Mature miniature plants, such as Tolumnia, although potted usually in 2 to 3” clay pots, are not young plants and therefore we do not pot them in moss.
See at the end of this section the chart “Potting Mixes” for which potting mix to use for other plants.
Place the roots in the pot.  The plastic pot size should be just large enough to accommodate the roots. If you use a clay pot, use a pot that’s just one size larger
than the plastic pot, allowing for about 1” of space around the roots, a little more if you use a clay orchid pot.
Center the plant and hold it so that the junction of roots and lower leaves is flush with the top of the plastic pot, add peanuts to fill just below the inside rim of the plastic pot. If you are using a clay pot fill about 2/3 of the pot with peanuts.
Fluff the moss and fill with moss to the top rim of the pot without pushing too hard on the moss. 
While holding the plant from the base (where leaves and roots join), firm the moss down to the inside rim of the pot (if you are using a clay pot, firm the moss down to about 1/2” to 1” below the rim of the pot).
For best results moss must be well moist (but not dripping wet - if it’s dripping wet squeeze the water out of it).  When placed and firmed in the pot the sphagnum moss should pretty much stay in place.  If it does not, then the moss is too dry.
When done the base of the plant should be just a little higher than the moss so that leaves do not touch the moss and the top of the roots are just a little bit exposed.
If you were to remove the plant from the pot, you should see no more than 1/2” to at most 1” of potting material in a 4” to 5” pot.
Trim yellow, shriveled leaves and parts of leaves with spots.
If necessary stake the plan so that it does not wobble. If the plant wobbles the roots will  move every time you water or touch the pot and the roots will have a hard time establishing themselves.  We like to use a 12 gage galvanized metal stake folded in two (U shape) to hold the plant in place. After two or three months we just pull out the stakes without disturbing the plant.
Place the roots in the pot.  The plastic pot size should be just large enough to accommodate the roots plus about 1/2” space all around them. If you want to use a clay pot, use a pot that’s just one size larger than the plastic pot, allowing for about 1” of space around the roots, a little more if you use a clay orchid pot.
Center the plant and hold it so that the junction of roots and lower leaves is flush with the top of the pot, then place a 1” to 2” ( pot size up to 5”) or 2” to 3” (pot size 6” to 7”) layer of Styrofoam peanuts at the base of the pot, making sure to fill in between roots.
Add loosely the bark mix so as to fill to the top rim of the pot, then tap gently the side of the pot to settle the bark, then gently firm it down a little. Pushing too hard on the bark will crash the roots, so be gentle when firming it down. 
On some sympodial orchids such as Cymbidiums, Jumeleas, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium,  ... the new growth(s) will be very close to the base of the old growth(s), forming sort of a circle around the older growth(s).
The potting procedure for these type of young plants is the same as for Phalaenopsis.
But for many sympodial orchids, such as Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums,...the new growth(s) develop along a rhizome and usually tend to grow in the opposite direction of the old growth(s).
The procedure for potting these is the same as for Phalaenopsis except that instead of centering the plant you want the older portion of the plant as close to one edge of the pot as you can get it, leaving room on the opposite side of the pot for the new growth(s).
We said “usually tend to grow on the opposite side” because that’s how they will develop most of the time, but occasionally the new growth will be more of less adjacent to the previous one. Examine how your plant grows to decide where to leave room for the new growth to develop.
There are several ways to distinguish older growth from new growths :
1 - the color of new growth is usually lighter than the color of older growth,
2 - pseudobulbs of new growth are often flat until the (new) growth matures,
3 - the older growth is the smallest in size, and in many cases will be leafless.  
When done the base of the plant or the rhizome should be just a little higher than the moss so that leaves do not touch the moss and the top of the roots are just a little bit exposed.
Pots should be large enough to accommodate the plant and allow for 1 or 2 years worth of growth (depending on how frequently you want to repot your plants).  As for pot type, up to 6” we like to use Azalea (deep) pots, and above 6” we prefer to use pan (shallow) pots.  This is to maintain a proper balance between root system and amount of potting material, so as to avoid plants staying wet too long.
On some sympodial orchids such as Cymbidiums, Jumeleas, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium,...the new growth(s) will be very close to the base of the old growth(s), forming sort of a circle around the older growth(s).
The potting procedure for these type of young plants is the same as for Phalaenopsis.
But for many sympodial orchids, such as Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Oncidiums,...the new growth(s) develop along a rhizome and usually tend to grow in the opposite direction of the old growth(s).
The procedure for potting these is the same as for Phalaenopsis except that instead of centering the plant you want the older portion of the plant as close to one edge of the pot as you can get it, leaving room on the opposite side of the pot for the new growth(s).
We said “usually tend to grow on the opposite side” because that’s how they will develop most of the time, but occasionally the new growth will be more of less
adjacent to the previous one. Examine how your plant grows to decide where to leave room for the new growth to develop.
Repotting can be as much of a shock to plants as major surgery is to humans.
So for a few weeks after repotting a plant you want to nurture it a bit.
• Spray (mist) their leaves lightly twice a day for two weeks (healthy plants) to four weeks (weak and ailing plants).  Spray early in the day and again no later than mid day (no later than 12 noon in the winter).  Add to your misting water 2 or 3 drops of Superthrive and 2 or 3 drops of a rooting solution.  If you do not have rooting solution add 2 or 3 drops of a fertilizer high in phosphorous such as .
• For 3 to 4 weeks you so place the newly repotted plants at a location where they will be getting less light than what they usually get.  The lower light levels will reduce the stress caused by the repotting shock and will help the plants recover better and faster.
• Do not water for a week after repotting.  Water lightly (just enough to get the potting material moist, not enough for the water to run through the drainage holes) a week after repotting, adding to your water a few drops of rooting solution.
• As from a week later water thoroughly once a week.
• Use the rooting solution instead of fertilizer for the first 3 or 4 waterings after repotting.
The mix consists of

-4 parts fine bark,
-1 part sponge rock (= expanded perlite).
-1 part chopped (1/2” to 1”) sphagnum moss,
-1 part fine tree fern,
The mix consists of

-4 parts fine bark,
-1 part sponge rock (= expanded perlite).
The mix consists of

-4 parts medium bark,
-1 part sponge rock (= expanded perlite).
-all Phalaenopsis up to pot size    
       
-all other young plants up to a pot size
   
-plastic pot 6”,
-clay pot 7”
-plastic pot 2 1/2”
-clay pot 3 1/2”