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Frequency of repotting slippers

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swamprad

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I have seen varying advice on how often slippers should be repotted: some say every 6 months is best, others 1 year or 2 years. It seems reasonable to me to plan to repot all my slippers every Spring. Any comments?

Of course, the BIG QUESTION is what medium to use. (I have a hard time making decisions, lol.) I appreciate the excellent advice I have gotten from many of you on this issue in the past. I still haven't decided between s/h or a bark mix from Kelly's Korner or somewhere else. One very excellent piece of advice was to try a few inexpensive plants in s/h and see what happens. But if I replant everything (I only have about 30 slippers) this Spring, I guess I could do half in s/h and half in bark mix and see which plants do the best over the next year. I'm still considering my options!

Another question: Do you bark mix growers often repot into the same pot, just with fresh mix? I don't think most of my plants will really need a bigger pot, just fresh mix.

And another question for you s/h growers: Do you only repot when the plant outgrows the pot, possibly after several years? After all, your mix isn't breaking down. Just wanted to make sure I understand.

Thanks to everyone for your help!!
 
C

Corbin

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I do not know about s/h but as for those in bark mix, unless a plant has put on new growths to the point it is to crowded, I just change the mix and repot in the same pot.
 

rdlsreno

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I always report when needed. Just always be ready with the mix and pots!

Ramon:)
 

Candace

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Mark, for s/h growing, I repot only when the plant has outgrown it, it looks like it may be going down hill or the pot gets so full of algae I can't stand it. You're understanding it correctly, though, no need to repot due to media breakdown.

I would recommend you only start with a few plants in s/h to experiment. I think it's a good idea to test out a couple of plants with any new medium, not just s/h.
 

rdlsreno

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When ever it is needed and keep a good supply of mix and pots!

Ramon:)
 
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goldenrose

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When I repot a plant it depends on the root system as to what size pot it goes back into.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I think its best to repot most paphs within a year. Bark breaks down, and CHC...well, there's been a thread or two on this...seems CHC is great for a few months, then many paphs do poorly..yellow leaves, roots only on top of the mix...The exceptions are the multiflorals, which seem to easily go 3 years in a mix regardless of what is used, and, for me, at least, the brachys...which hate old mix but also hate repotting. I just load them up with extra aerating materials, wait an extra year or so, and keep my fingers crossed.....Take care, Eric
 
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Grandma M

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Mark, for s/h growing, I repot only when the plant has outgrown it, it looks like it may be going down hill or the pot gets so full of algae I can't stand it. You're understanding it correctly, though, no need to repot due to media breakdown.

I would recommend you only start with a few plants in s/h to experiment. I think it's a good idea to test out a couple of plants with any new medium, not just s/h.
I agree with Candice. I have 90% of my orchids in S/H and I do well with it with my growing conditions. What works for me may not work in a different situation. The only way to know is to try a few different ones.
 

Roy

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I repot seedlings in 50mm pots after 6 months if I can, some go 12mths. Larger seedlings once a year, mature flowering size or bigger plants every 2 - 3 years. All into fresh bark base mix. I believe that once a plant has matured to flowering size or better they flower ok the first year, best on the 2nd year after repot and good on the 3rd if let go. This works for me. I think that mature plants require a stablization period after repotting and this is proven with my plants.
 

NYEric

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S/H - you've heard of water-boarding right!?!
Anyway, if the media is braking down, or the plant is outgowing the pot/mix then repot.
 

Ray

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That's right, Eric. S/H is a time-tested way to torture your plants into thriving (for me, anyway).

As far as paph repotting goes, I generally side with Candace, but have found that repotting can sometimes kick-start growth.
 

Candace

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S/H - you've heard of water-boarding right!?!
Ha Ha. Good one:>

but have found that repotting can sometimes kick-start growth.
That may be true and I have to admit that by me having so many plants, I tend to do as little repotting as I can get away with.
 
E

Ernie

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Dude, everyone's conditions are totally different. We can suggest things all day. Experimenting is part of the fun of orchid growing. Tinker around a little- you can't just decide "I'm going to go semi-hydro" and expect it to work. Anything WILL work if you have enough time and money to MAKE it work. To save time and money, make wise decisions out of the gate and be flexible if things aren't working out. Use mix components and pots that you can acquire readily and affordably; decide on the size of those mix components based on how often you want to water and repot as well as your light and humidity and air movement and feeding regimen and ... Seems to me like you're off to a good start by experimenting and that this post was an attempt at getting some moral support. :) We support your effort!

Anyway, a real answer... my methods are tending to using an open bark mix (medium bark in bottom 1/3-2/3 with fine bark mix tapped in on top) and repotting in the FALL. Yep, Ernie's crazy. We reopt with bone dry mix because it flows into the pot and around the roots very freely and packs itself without any pressure by simply tapping and shaking the pot while supporting the plant. Under these circumstances, it takes the bark some time to begin holding water well. Under our conditions, it has proven not as good to repot like this in spring. Why? When is root rot likely to set in??? When the mix is breaking down and there is less air per water in the pot AND cooler temps don't help the matter any. So, fresh, less water retentive mix in the fall allows the roots to dry out faster when the plants need water less (as growth slows a little with the temp drop in fall) and the bark gradually "matures" to a nice water holding capacity by the time the plant needs good water retention in spring through summer. Can't say I have any hard data, but have good practical experience thus far. Again, maybe it works because we make it work??? However, we find ourselves repotting nearly year round with little negative impact on our Paphs as long as don't bust up the roots.

-Ernie
 

swamprad

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Hahahaha, Ernie, you have me pegged exactly right! I'll take all the moral support I can get, lol.....
 
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