Updated: Mar 27, 2022
Winter can be a long time of the year, but don't forget with every season there is a reason. Winter is a time of rest, a time of regenerating, a time of thinking and planning all in anticipation of the next season to come. Its a great time of the year to do those projects that you just dont have time for in the dead run of summer, like taking time to nurture your house plants. Sometimes we forget how much they do for us yearly. From cleaning and giving air, to giving us hope of the green to come and beautiful flowers! This is the time of year you can cheat and get your hands in dirt, regardless of the feet or inches of snow outside.
Most plants just need cleaning up taking away the dead parts and old dirt and replanting in new soil. This year I Added to my houseplants, orchids. I had no clue what to do for them. They are like dainty, one time "blossumers", but guess what? My search of info tells me different. They too are long term if you care for them. So here's what I found.
Orchids get water from their roots thru AIR, not dirt. Dirt is not their friend. In nature they hang on wood or trees and just are attached by their roots. When you get orchids they are usually potted right, but as time progresses and the medium they are potted in starts to break down it turns to dirt. 😱 So your job is too give it new orchid mix which is bark chunks and light moisture retaining pieces.
here is what you do. Carefully take them out of the pot and breakaway all soil and medium, including in the center of the root ball. If it needs to be rehydrated or is a little on the Rough side. You can re-generate it by sitting it in water that has had a black teabag steeped in it. The tea bag contains tannins which are all welcome food to the orchid. Alternate for a couple days in the water out of the water, until the leaves start to look more stiff and plump. Then cut away any roots that are flat or dead. After hydrating you can usually tell because they will change color and the live roots get a green color. Now replant by carefully placing the bark under and around the plant tapping it down into the dish. Be careful to only plant back in your new medium only the roots that were under the ground originally. Some roots come up and out of the pot and have acclimated themselves to receiving water through the open air. you want to keep them up like they were before you repotted. That is it for orchids. Make sure they are in a well draining dish and water them only when they need it.
I also repotted my aloe plants with a mixture of potting soil and the orchid medium as they like to also be well draining.
We shall see how they do, and in the meantime I got my hands dirty! 🙋