There are times when new vandas don’t need repotting, and there are times when they do.
I can’t recall the last time I purchased a bareroot vanda orchid. Vandas here are often sold in pots. I think it’s just easier for the vendors to raise their collection and merchandise them on benches this way.
If a new vanda comes planted in a potting mix of broken bricks or charcoal—the standard method of growing in Malaysia—then I usually wouldn’t repot it. This chunky media is long-lasting and doesn’t decay, holds moisture, yet is fast draining enough to provide good ventilation around the roots.
But in the case of this newly acquired Papilionanda Paksorn Fragrance, repotting is almost a must. This orchid came in a potting mix of only coconut chips which is great if you water once or twice a week, but outdoors under the heat, humidity and rainy skies, this media will only retain too much moisture, turn to mush over time and cause waterlogging. And that’s not great for vanda roots.
So the coconut chips will have to go.
Here’s how I took to task of repotting this vanda:
There you have it! My guide to repotting a vanda orchid.
Some of you may decide to just hook wires on the basket and suspend the plant bareroot. That’s perfectly okay too! Potting up vandas is just a personal preference, and a neat way to tame those adventurous vanda roots.