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Tips and Tricks - Repotting

Bagging Back-Bulbs. Back-bulbs from valuable plants can often be coaxed onto putting out a new growth and roots by bagging. I use the long clear bags that the newspaper comes in. Make sure there are 2 drain holes in the bottom and one small hole near the top. Do not place in direct sun, under the edge of a bench is ok.

Saving Aerial Roots When Repotting. All aerial roots will die if placed in a pot and covered with mix. Save them by placing in an empty pot, wait till new branching/tips show, then cover little by little over a few weeks. All the roots will live.

New Green Root Tips Protect Roots with Sphagnum Moss
New Green Root Tips Protect Roots with Sphagnum Moss

Stimulate and Protect New Front Lead Roots. Cover the newest roots at the front lead with sphagnum moss. This will keep pests off and stimulate them to grow faster down into the mix. This will also will prevent new green tips from drying out and stop growing. The slightly higher moisture around the roots keeps green tips long and greatly speeds growth down into the mix.

Root New Leads Growing Out of Pot No Stress Orchid Divisions
Root New Leads Growing Out of Pot No Stress Orchid Divisions

No-Stress Division. Some plants are very difficult and too valuable to risk just cutting a division. Use this over-the pot method as shown and you will never stress the division or mother plant.

Protecting Rot-Sensitive New Growths. Many plants have a new growth that can hold water such as C. bowringiana and its hybrids. If conditions are right, the new growth will rot. Cover the new growth with a clear plastic cap till it gets larger and the "cup" disappears.

Forcing More Growths per Season. Most orchids are short/long-day sensitive and this can be used to force more growths per season. I received Bc. Hartland 'FCC' in May of 2011 with 7 small back bulbs. By December of 2012, the plant had 11 growths and 12 growths by spring 2013. In 2 years, it produced 5 new growths whereas under normal circumstances, it would produce only 2. When a new growth is mature, do the following: If it throws off new growth during long days, expose plant to only 8 hours of light for 2 to 3 weeks, then back to long days and a new eye will start to swell. If new growth begins with short days, place under bright lights (HID if possible) for 14 hours per day for 3 to 4 weeks till new eye swells. This will work even if the plant is carrying a pod which normally inhibits new growths.


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