If you’re growing orchids or thinking of doing so, then you may be wondering if you need to use special orchids pots or if any old pot will do.
It’s best if you use pots designed specifically for orchids, as the draining system in orchid pots is different to the draining system in regular plant pots. That’s because orchids require a different draining system than regular plants grown in soil.
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Orchids require the water to drain immediately, so their roots don’t end up waterlogged and soggy. If an orchid’s roots are constantly soggy, the roots can rot away.
Orchids need air to circulate around their roots. They can also acquire moisture from the air which is why they don’t need to be constantly watered – unless the weather is hot.
So what kind of orchids pots are there?
There are two main kinds, plastic and terracotta.
The Advantages Of Plastic Pots
A plastic orchids pot doesn’t weigh much and is cheap to buy. A lighter color is best, so the orchid doesn’t get too hot. Remember, dark colors absorb heat and light colors reflect heat. With a plastic pot, the orchid medium (e.g. sphagnum moss or tree bark) takes longer to dry out than it does in a terracotta pot. The best type of plastic orchids pot to buy is one with a thick wall in a light color that doesn’t get too hot in warm weather.
The Advantages Of Terracotta Pots
Terracotta orchids pots are heavier than plastic pots and are more stable. The bottom of the pot has one hole for drainage although you can buy pots that have holes in the side for drainage. Orchids in terracotta pots have a better chance of not becoming waterlogged.
Terracotta pots are ideal for orchid varieties such as Cymbidium orchids.
Instead of planting your orchid in a pot, you may be able to use an orchid basket instead. For example, Vanda orchids enjoy being in a basket. A basket can be comprised of wood, pottery, wire, mesh or plastic.
The great thing about an orchid basket is that air can circulate around the roots and potting medium. Orchid varieties such as Gongora, Stanhopea and Acineta can be grown successfully in a basket. You can also grow Lady-of-the-Night (Brassavola nodosa), Hettie Jacobs (Cattleya skinneri) and the Bee orchid in baskets.
So if you’ve been using just any old pot to grow your orchids in, and you’re wondering why they’re not flourishing, it may be that your orchids require a special orchid pot. So why not take a trip to the garden center and buy some orchids pots? Depending on your preferences, you can choose between plastic, terracotta, or even an orchid basket. Then you can re-pot your orchids and watch them thrive!
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