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Spring is a time for rejuvenation. It is a time for growth and ideal time to repot the orchids. There are times though when orchids have to be repotted spring or not. When the orchids outgrow their containers and when the mix that the orchids are planted on is deteriorating, repotting has to be done. Deteriorating potting mix will result to orchid roots that are black and mushy. The deterioration will result in bark that easily crumbles when rubbed by the fingers. The orchid has outgrown its container when the moss that it is planted on is already compact. A compact moss holds less water limiting the activity of the roots of the orchid affecting its health.

The following are suggestions in selecting a potting material for the orchid to thrive better and longer.

You can use moss or bark. Moss and bark will breakdown overtime which is fine. You can use pumice. Pumice will not break down. If you want to extend the effective use of your potting material combine moss or bark with pumice. You can use the potting material that the orchid is growing in. The important thing to observe though is that whatever the method and potting materials used, plan the repotting so that it does not become compacted easily. Loss moss or bark will hold nutrients better and longer.

When deciding to use bark, place the bark in a container and pour in hot water (short of boiling point) and after a while, drain the water off. This will loosen bark materials as well as its surface tension. Then the bark could hold more water for the orchid. Most growers use fir bark where it is available. For aeration, add Perlite with the bark.

If you decide on moss, choose sphagnum. Sphagnum is a premium moss for the orchids. It has very long thick fibers that enable it to retain water 20 times its weight.

Before repotting, soak the roots of the orchids in water for several minutes to soften the roots and prevent it from breaking during repotting. When that is done, take a close look at the roots of the plant and cut the rots that are not plump, firm, mushy, or shriveled. Healthy roots of orchids are normally white with green tips.

Finally, the container where the orchids are to be placed must be large enough to grow the plant for as long as the medium that is used will last.