How to Transplant Orchids to a New Pot

Potted orchids need to be transplanted into new pots when they outgrow their previous ones. Increasing the size of the orchid pot by a few inches allows the roots to spread so that they do not become root bound. The orchids need to be transplanted into new pots every two to three years. Orchids also need transplanting when the potting soil breaks down, so that the plants receive plenty of nutrients. Enjoy a potted orchid for many years by transplanting it properly to keep the plant healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Shears
  • Growing pot
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Gravel or foam peanuts
  • Fresh lightweight soil


    • 1

      Water the orchid to dampen the soil to prevent damage to the roots.

    • 2

      Grasp the orchid plant at the base. Wiggle the orchid gently while you hold onto the base to remove it from the pot. Or, hold the plant upside down and tap on the sides to dislodge the soil.

    • 3

      Remove the old soil from the orchid to expose as much of the roots as possible. Set the orchid down on a newspaper while you prepare the new pot.

    • 4

      Trim the orchid roots with sterile shears. Remove dead and damaged roots that appear mushy or oddly discolored. The healthy orchid roots appear white and light green in color.

    • 5

      Wash the new pot with nine parts of chlorine bleach and one part of water to sterilize it. Let it soak in the solution for 30 minutes and then rinse it well before you transplant the orchids. Only soak clay pots in the solution for two to three minutes because they absorb the water quickly.

    • 6

      Line the bottom of the pot with gravel or foam peanuts to help the soil drain. Fill the new pot with fresh, lightweight potting soil.

    • 7

      Set the orchid into the soil. Spread the roots so that they are distributed in the soil.

    • 8

      Cover the roots with soil so that the crown sits 1 inch below the pot rim. Plant the orchid at the same level as it was growing in the previous container. Push the soil around the roots with your fingers and pack it down firmly.

    • 9

      Water the orchid to dampen the new soil until the water drains from the pot. Set the orchid in a location where it receives bright and indirect sunlight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Transplant the orchids with sterile potting tools to prevent the risk of diseases and bacteria.
  • Select a growing pot 1 to 2 inches bigger in diameter than the previous one. The pot must have a drainage hole to let the excess water escape.
  • Never let an orchid sit in standing water because it promotes root rot, which will kill the plant.
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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

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