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One of the most versatile tools in orchid repotting is the simple white packing peanut. It has a variety of uses
depending on what you need to accomplish. First, let's clarify just what kind of peanut we're talking about here. The cornstarch peanuts break down when
they come in contact with water and they are not suitable for use with orchids. Colored peanuts, such as pink
and green, have other purposes and are not generally considered as suitable for orchids. Pink means anti-static,
green peanuts are made from recycled material. For orchid repotting we want plain, white, polystyrene
The Miltonia Spectabilis alba that we repotted recently is an example of a plant that simply wants to grow
on a mount. We want to put it in a pot, but it would require a very shallow bulb pan almost to handle its
and shallow needs. Instead, though, we chose to pot our orchid in a standard clear pot with the bottom 1/3'rd
with peanuts. From there the plant was set on top of the pot and Oncidium Imperial Mix poured in around the thin
delicate roots. We chose Oncidium mix because Miltonia is a member of the Orchid subtribe Oncidiinae. The fine
particles of the Oncidium Imperial Orchid Mix distributed somewhat among the peanuts at the bottom and then
closely around the Miltonia's delicate roots. We're delighted with this result; the bottom of the pot won't stay
sopping wet yet the top area where the roots are should offer the consistent moisture that this species orchid
requires. This is an example of using peanuts to effectively reduce the pot depth.
Next up on the potting bench is a young primary hybrid paph that we've recently acquired from one of our favorite
growers. It has finished its bloom and as is the case with all our new acquisitions we repot them as soon as
practical. Upon removing the old media, we see that this plant has a good root system following the outer
contours of the pot it was in. There are no roots going down directly into the middle of the pot which is not
surprising. As we repot this little guy into a clear square pot using our Paph & Phag Imperial Orchid Mix it
seems that the center could use a peanut. The Imperial blend Paph & Phrag, with its generous quantity of cork,
doesn't worry us too much about leaving the plant in a sopping wet mix so for this small plant a single
centrally located peanut will suffice. This is an example of using peanuts to prevent a soggy pot center.
Finally, after a nice winter rest, our Catasetums are ready to go back into pots. Their new growth has short
roots as the plants awaken from the winter slumber. This year we are potting them in our Phalaenopsis Imperial
Orchid Mix, a mixture of New Zealand Sphagnum and medium cork chunks. They didn't require any peanuts.
Similarly, the Wilsonara we are repotting today has a lot of roots and there simply isn't a need to pot it up
using any peanuts. These sympodial orchids require a rhizome clip to seat them in the pot. We don't want newly
repotted orchids wiggling in their pots as this will often damage young roots as they seek to establish
themselves in the fresh media. We've had very good luck with our plastic pot rhizome clips on all of our plastic
pots. The trick is to use a clip that is 1 inch less in length than the pot is wide. For example, a six inch pot
requires a 5 inch rhizome clip.
“This fall I religiously followed your advice, creating an environment of shortened
days and lower temps in order to encourage blooming...I was successful. FINALLY!! Thank you, thank you!!
Both of my plants decided to bloom and they look beautiful. I wanted to share the good news and
my gratitude with you. Thanks again!”Laurie J.
“The potting medium you sent is gorgeous!! It's superior to the bark I've been
buying at Lowe's. I can't imagine what (my orchids) will do when I put them in your potting mix. It even
smells fresh!! Many, many thanks. I'll be ordering from you again.”
“Folks, My order [slotted pots and mix] arrived way before expected - and I am extremely happy with it! I harvested "babies" off my African violets to give as Christmas gifts this year - and they have tripled in size in the great potting soil and look so good - I can't wait to "gift" them!”Susan S.
“From beginning to end, rePotme has created a customer EXPERIENCE that is superior and delightful. The informative website contained many articles and videos that were extremely helpful to me as an orchid novice. There, I was guided to a potting mix (one of many!) that I wanted to try out. The checkout process was a breeze, and I especially enjoyed the fact that I could sign on with my Amazon account and did not have to create a brand new account”
“I have received my new Carousel Orchid Pot and Saucer in Orange Amber. I love it!! I would like to let you know that before I opened the wrapping to each piece (wrapped separately for those who may read this), rePotme won me over. Not only did I receive it within the expected time frame, your method and precise detail to packing it impressed me the most. It may not seem important to some, but I really appreciated it”
“My order arrived today and not only am I impressed with the speed of delivery, and how carefully it was all packed, but the quality of everything really surpassed my expectations. Between the supplies I ordered and your fantastic website with instructional texts, photos and videos, I feel very confident to move up to the next level of orchid growing”
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