Help me re-pot this orchid

Asked December 7, 2015, 10:15 PM EST

Hi, I have recently acquired this beautiful, HUGE orchid that has engulfed its hanging basket. I have a tree to hang it in but want to make sure that it lives for many years and I think i need to re-pot it into a bigger pot so that it can flourish.

Should I take it apart and try to separate it? Does it even need to be re-potted? How can I do this...and what kind of orchid is it?

:) Thanks in advance.

Outside United States

1 Response

I am not 100% sure but from the pictures the orchid looks like a Nun,s orchid (Phaius). I don't know where you reside but they will grow outside down to near freezing (4 C or above). At the lower temperatures they will lose all their leaves in winter but will grow new ones in the spring. They will not bloom as well under these conditions. They are terrestrial orchids in that they grow in soil rather in the air as most orchids. You can repot the entire plant for an impressive specimen when it blooms in the spring. It is not uncommon for it to have six or more flower stems with 4 to 6 flowers on each stem. They do not mind being pot bound. If you decide to split it take the plant out of the pot, lay the plant on its side and with a sharp sterile knife split the plant so that at least 4 to 5 pseudobulbs with roots are in each section. Then repot the plants in potting soil. They do not need the usual bark mix that other orchids use. After repotting water the plants.

I should inform you that the flower stems are 2 or more feet tall so be careful hanging it in a tree. Be sure there is enough room over the plant for the flowers to grow and not be broken by tree branches during a wind event.

A web site with more information is inserted above.

Now if this is not a Nun's orchid as I suspect then much of what I described may not be valid. Sorry but with the pictures this is the best I can do. Look on the web at pictures of Nun"s orchids to convince yourself.