We all love our orchids and only the best would do for them. But how to judge what is the best, when out buying pots for orchids? There is a huge variety of pots available in the market and to choose from these can be quite confusing. I have put together a list to help you in deciding while choosing the right pot for your orchid.
• When shopping for pots, check for a hole in the bottom of the pot. This is for draining out extra water. When buying pots especially for orchids, do keep in mind a few other things also. Orchids have requirements quite different for the common garden plants, such as unlike other plants orchids detest over-watering. They start to rot quickly if water remains stagnant around their roots. But they love humid air. So, if you water them miserly but maintain high humidity around them, the orchids will thrive beautifully (and so would pests and diseases!! just keep checking regularly). Instead of a single hole a wire mesh at the bottom will also work well.
• Pots according to water requirements:
o Single pots: These are conventional pots. Use these if maintaining watering frequency is not a problem with you, then you can go for these pots.
o Double pots: This is a setup where a larger pots holds a smaller pot. The smaller pot bears numerous holes or slits to remove water quickly and the outer larger pot holds some of the water to increase humidity around the roots. This is a better option than keeping the orchid pot on a pan or tray of pebbles filled with water. Double pots can be considered for epiphytic orchids or the orchids that have low water but high humidity requirements.
o Pots for hydroponics systems: As the name suggests, these pots are ideal when you opt for growing orchids hydroponically.
• According to the materials pots are made of:
o Pots made of clay, cement are porous enough to lose water and for some air movement.
o Transparent or coloured plastic pots retains moisture for longer time and can be used if watering frequency of orchids is irregular. The roots are visible in clear plastic pots, so any disease or rotting can be quickly checked.
o Ceramic orchid pots with slits and holes on the side, can be used for growing orchids.
o Pots made up of organic materials such as wood, bamboo, coir, coconut shell, tree fern are also good when there is ample humidity in the atmosphere as they also do not retain water for long.
o The choice of pot and type of growth medium being used are interlinked. If the medium tends to hold water then the pot should be such that lose water quickly. Clear plastic pots can be useful for roots to continue performing photosynthesis, can see any rotting of roots.
• Choosing depth of the pots:
o According to growth habit of the orchid: shallow pots work well for epiphytic orchids, while deep pots suit terrestrial orchids better.
o Deep pots hold water longer, so use them for those orchids which have higher water requirements.