First assemble what you need to repot your orchid.
This includes the potting medium (soaked if needed), peanuts, pots, something to sterilize your cutting tools with such as a small torch, bleach water and some sulfur to dust the areas that you cut.
You should also have some small stakes and ties to anchor the plant in the pot. Of course, don't forget new labels for your plants so they don't become no-names. Water your orchid before potting. This helps to loosen it in the pot and makes the roots more pliable causing less damage to them during handling.
Now that you are ready, tip the pot on its side and gently pull the plant out of the pot. Hopefully, the plant will come right out of the pot.
If not, you may have to tap the bottom and sides of the pot to help loosen a stubborn plant or you may even have to break the pot to free the orchid. Once out of the pot, if your orchid has been planted in a natural medium such as bark, try to remove all of the old medium from around the roots.
The best way to remove the medium is to use your fingers to gently pull the roots apart to loosen the root ball. If the potting medium is rocks or a man-made material, you will still want to loosen up the root ball if it is very tight.
Some orchids will have a massive root ball (for example Cattleya
) and others will have many roots but not entwined together (Paphiopedilum
). Trim off all roots that are black, dark brown, mushy, or that look like a piece of thread. Healthy roots will be white or light tan-brown.
Trim your plant by removing any old growth such as "back bulbs," which are older pseudobulb that have lost their leaves but are still alive. Removed back bulbs can be either thrown away or potted in a another pot. Hopefully, they will sprout new growth. Continue trimming by removing any old dead pseudobulb (shriveled and leafless) and throw away.