We're moving on up! (social media-platform-wise) And the Importance of Repotting!
We are so excited to finally offer SPLASH inventory available for purchase on Facebook! I had not yet created a Facebook page for SPLASH as I personally didn't utilize the platform and was just generally more interested in pursuing Instagram for sharing. However, I came to realize that purchasing directly from Instagram could really provide a path to success for this little business. It is not as simple as one might think however, so after a lot of research and tedium, I discovered that in order to create an Instagram shop, ya gotta go to big daddy Zuckerberg first.
I have been pleasantly surprised with the ease of integration between my inventory from my home website onto the Facebook Shop page, and it actually feels a bit more out there in the public eye (in a good way) than I originally anticipated. Any follows or likes are appreciated as they are steps towards new eyes and hopefully new business for SPLASH, but it also feels good to connect to groups in the area and get in the loop about farmer's markets and fairs and also *maybe* some local delivery business as well! I still have not cracked the code on shipping for potted arrangements or even shipping live flowers/plants in general. I've ordered unflowered/unbudded mature vandas ONCE from Florida and as hardy as they are, it took them weeks to rehydrate and settle in. I can't imagine keeping a fully bloomed, more sensitive flower like a Phalaenopsis looking it's best through a mail journey.
I have so much fun making arrangements for customers, but I hold them in my hand while I drive and though I may develop carpal tunnel for a few days afterwards, it's worth it to see the finished product arrive exactly as I intended. It would break my heart to send out any arrangement that would arrive squished, dehydrated, or disheveled, so for now, all potted arrangements are custom and local only.
BUT even if I can't sell arrangements on a large scale, I absolutely love every single piece of inventory I've chosen, and it's all easy to ship! Plus, if I can send you all the ingredients and help you learn to put a kick-ass arrangement together yourself, then that's almost better right? Teach a man to fish type of thing? If you agree, then go find a super cool pot, vase, bowl, etc from our inventory page on this site or https://www.facebook.com/SPLASHorchids-107455398444951 and then take step one of making a beautiful, long-lasting, healthy arrangement and REPOT that sucker immediately!
The way your orchid, or most plants really, will be potted and sold at big box stores or even nurseries is not appropriate for long-term living. Most often they are potted entirely in sphagnum moss and some even have little cages of sponge-like medium around the bulk of the roots to keep them hydrated enough for transport and display at the store.
Remember, our orchids LOVE air and air-flow around their roots! Why? Check out our other blog posts, but the quick summary is that most all orchids grow OUTSIDE of the ground- not in the earth or soil, but on rocks or logs among the forest floor or even on the trees themselves! They do not root down into the ground and instead commonly use forest debris or the bark and moss of trees to protect, feed, and hydrate themselves. Lots more on that in our other posts so go check those out!
Anywho, back to the moss your orchid will come potted in. The moss not only degrades quickly, but it holds moisture extremely well (too well really) and provides little aeration which is a recipe for root rot. Root rot is due to excess moisture surrounding the roots, which can be due to over-watering or your media is simply not appropriate for your plant. Your roots then rot away and your orchid will also rot away which is not our goal :(
*Fun Fact: Root rot actually leads to degradation of your roots which then kills off many roots and decreases the number of live roots able to soak up moisture and nutrients which leads to death of your plant actually due to DEhydration! It seems counterintuitive that over-watering causes dehydration but that's exactly what happens!*
Nurseries aren't always quite as extreme with the moss, they occasionally use bark, stone, and even some live moss appears in their pots at times, but the conditions they are able to provide in the greenhouses are nearly impossible to replicate in a home setting and therefore most often your orchid is going to require repotting for success at home. Also DO NOT fear repotting if your orchid is already in bloom. I see a lot of sources claiming you need to wait until after their blooming cycle is complete, however by then a lot of damage can already be done that may not be reversible, and my trusted sources of orchid care have confirmed that there should not be a problem repotting during bloom. I always repot immediately whether in bloom or not and I've never seen it affect my blooms.
SO, the best tips for repotting your orchid are:
Soak it! Make sure your roots are nice and hydrated so they will be malleable and we can avoid snapping and damage while moving them around as we pick all the moss out of every nook and cranny.
Rinse it! After you've pulled all the moss out from the roots as much as possible, I give it a good rinse under the spray function of the faucet to get rid of any last stowaways hanging on to the roots. And this gives it a nice clean fresh start for it's new potted life.
Snip it! Cut away any already dead roots so they won't remain near healthy roots and cause excess moisture and bacteria that can be harmful and degrading. Dip a pair of sharp scissors or shears in some rubbing alcohol so your not transferring any chemicals, residues, or even diseases if you've used the same scissors on other plants. I follow any cuts with a spray of hydrogen peroxide. This is a cheap and easy way to ensure your plant is healthy and clean after trims and is super useful to keep in your toolbox for any time you need to cut back roots, leaves, blooms, and even some pests and it's safe for most any plant as far as I know!
Pot it! Add 1/3 of your medium of choice to the bottom of your pot (I prefer clay balls as they don't break down over time and allow for plenty of air circulation. I occasionally add a layer of moss over the top to keep in a little more moisture, but I would rather water more often and keep a clear view of my root health most of the time. Next, put your orchid into your pot and hold her in place as you surround the roots with the rest of your medium evenly on all sides so she stays centered and supported.
Tap it! Tap tap tap your pot on your work surface to knock any floating media into place and add more if needed as media will shift during tap ;)
Soak it again! I like to submerge it one more time for a few minutes to make sure the roots didn't get caked with too much dirt or dust and to be sure the medium got a nice hydration sesh and I can safely count that as a full watering day on my schedule as opposed to just a repotting.
I am hoping to make a quick video of a repotting for you soon but there are plenty to watch on YouTube! I actually love repotting myself, and watching videos of others doing the same is oddly satisfying :) Miss Orchid Girl has a ton of these videos on YouTube and her website www.missorchidgirl.com and her wealth of knowledge is inspiring! Also www.herebutnot.com was my first reference guide and taught me so much about repotting and mediums! He really put that last little piece of straw on the camel's back that was my budding orchid obsession and now full-blown addiction!
Buy now at our facebook shop SPLASHorchids+ or directly from this website!
>Rustic Terra Cotta Orchid pot in Moss Grey
>5" Antique Red Terra Cotta saucer