Can anyone help me with this problem.
Can anyone help me with this problem? As you can see, my dendrobium speciosum is in need of a lot of care but I don't know where to start. Obviously it has been in this pot for some time and has had a couple of flowerings but it desperately needs to come out of this pot. But how do I do that? I have to cut the pot I think but how do I divide such a monster or restart it in some way. If someone has any suggestions I would really appreciate some help. Thanks very much. Cheers, Prue
Welcome @Prue, to the Workshop Community. You are sure to get some great advice from our helpful members.
Your orchid looks quite healthy in its current pot and I believe many orchids thrive in such situations.
If you wish to divide it, I would advise cutting the pot away and starting with secateurs to cut the outer roots back.
Once you have a line of sight, I would use a saw to cut directly across the root ball.
From the many demonstrations I have watched, the general rule was to cut through damaging as little of the root ball as possible.
When questioning this approach I've been told that orchids are relatively hardy and don't mind being split with a saw.
Some of our garden experts may like to clarify if what I have suggested is correct.
I look forward to seeing how you progress.
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Thanks very much Mitchell. Perhaps I will just leave it in this pot for now and see how she goes. It would be a major effort for me (with my husband's help although he doesn't know that yet!) to remove her. I'll see how this year's season goes and then decide. Thanks again for your terrific advice.
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You could leave it in its existing pot for another year or so - being completely cramped and spilling out over the top doesn't seem to worry this orchid at all. Also known as the Sydney Rock Orchid, Dendrobium speciosum is quite happy to grow in a rock crevice or similar without much in the way of compost or leaf litter around its roots. It is using the pot simply as a means of support at present - it will not be deriving much in the way of nutrients from what's left of the original potting mix or bark.
My advice would be to cut the pot away from the roots at some stage and then, without dividing the plant at all, place it in a larger pot and back fill with a little orchid bark to hold it in place. Trim away some of the dead stems/bulbs and roots with sharp secateurs but apart from that, leave it pretty much alone.
I have a plant that was potted into a hollow Mallee root 35 years (or more) ago and has never been repotted since! It uses the now well weathered and extremely hard timber casing for support and its roots are all external to it. I feed it occasionally with a liquid or hose-on orchid fertiliser. It flowers prolifically every year - the less attention I give it, the better it seems to do.
Sometimes, in gardening, less is more.
I will leave it in this pot for now, see how it goes this year. It only had a couple of spikes last year but in 2017 the flowers were fantastic. Thanks for you advice and, yes, gardening often agrees with less is more.
That looks very promising. I'll give all these suggestions some thought.