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DIY: How to Pot Multiple Orchids in a Single Container

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multiple orchids in one pot

I’ve been asked how to add multiple orchids to a single pot. The answer I’ve always given is: for best results keep the orchids in their plastic liner pots then set multiple orchids into a larger pot. This way several orchids can be cared for individually. Most importantly, each orchid can be removed for proper watering. While I still subscribe to this idea, I have a new take on how to display multiple orchids in a pot.

IMPORTANT: Potting multiple orchids in a single pot is intentded as a short-term arrangement. For long-term care, pot your orchids separately.

I used to think multiple orchis in a single pot was a bad idea - not anymore - find out why

Prepare the Orchids

Begin by preparing your orchids to look their best when on display. For the full article on prepping your orchid for display, click here.

  1. Trim away dead leaves, aerial roots, and pseudobulbs
  2. Clean the leaves and pseudobulbs
  3. Check for pests and disease
  4. Use a top dressing
  5. Stake the flower spike
  6. Water your orchid

Gather Your Materials

  • Several orchids, potted in sphagnum moss. I recommend using the same variety as they will have the same care requirements. Consider orchids with different heights for a fuller appearance. Orchids all the same color have a strong visual impact.
  • A single pot. A pot with a flat base will make it easier to place the orchids the way you want them.
  • A plastic bag large enough for all the orchids
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Top-dressing: living or dried Spanish moss or reindeer moss. For my arrangement I used reindeer moss and needed two bags of the moss. Depending on the size of your arrangement, you may also need more than one bag.
  • Newspaper for easy cleanup.
  • A nearby trash can is always advisable.

Procedure

soak sphagnum moss - multiple orchids 1 pot

First, soak the sphagnum moss in water. It takes about 20 minutes for the moss to fully hydrate. Meanwhile, set out the newspaper, so you can easily clean up and dispose of the mess when you’re finished.

orchid remove liner pot - multiple orchids in single pot

Next, slip the orchid out of their liner pots.

 
soak sphagnum moss - multiple orchids 1 pot

Now, place the plastic bag inside the pot, rolling the edges down the side of the pot. Place the orchids inside the bag, arranging the orchids so that the flowers are at their greatest visual advantage. You may need to pick away some of the moss from the orchids so that the orchids will fit together in a pleasing way.

add sphagnum moss - multiple orchids one pot

Give the sphagnum moss a squeeze to remove excess water. Fill in the gaps between the orchids with the moss to create a single moss ball.

more than 1 orchid in 1 pot

Roll up the edges of the plastic bag and carefully stuff the rolled edges in the sides of the pot.

add top dressing - multiple orchids in single container

In order for your arrangement to be truly spectacular, finish it off with a top dressing. In this example, I’ve used reindeer moss. It’s soft and squishy, easy to work with. Remember: when watering, remove and replace top-dressing.

How to Water Multiple Orchids in a Single Pot

Sphagnum moss holds a lot of water, so you’ll need to be careful not to overwater your arrangement. You will only need to water it every couple of weeks or even once a month. Wait to water until the moss feels barely damp.

This is going to sound like a pain, but I suggest taking the arrangement apart to water it. If the orchids stick together in one big ball, water the entire arrangement together. Then allow for it to drain before returning to the pot. But, if the orchids come apart from each other, water them separately. Again, wait for the orchids to drain before returning to the pot.

You’ve Got This!

A truly amazing orchid arrangement is yours for the making! When one of the orchids goes out of bloom, you can replace it with another that’s ready to flower.

Key Points: Containers with a flat base are easier to work with. Orchids of the same variety and same color, but of different heights work best and have the greatest visual impact, and are easiest to care for.

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20 Comments
  1. Carlene Cochran says:

    Where can I find containers online for multiple orchids

    1. Anna says:

      Carlene,
      Great question! Here are a few suggestions for containers for multiple orchids.
      I just received an email from someone using a giant clamshell. If you like the look, but not the price tag of the real deal, here is a link for a plastic giant clamshell.

      Here is a link for a basic tray, but you could find one that matches your style and decor.

      Here is a link for a pedestal bowl.

      Have a great day,
      Anna

  2. Brenda says:

    Great tutorials thank you!

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks, Brenda!
      Anna

  3. Lisa says:

    ? I have a orchid which was my 1st. It has grown very lg. I accidentally cut the stem it flowers from. As no one has seen one so big with so many leaves. How long till it will grow back & bloom. Also can I plant different colors into 1 conatainer.

    1. Anna says:

      Lisa,
      Your orchid may have outgrown its pot. Here are a couple of helpful articles on repotting and reblooming.

      HOW TO RE-POT YOUR ORCHID

      HOW TO REBLOOM YOUR ORCHID

      As far as potting several orchids of different colors in a single container, it is easier to care for orchids potted individually, but if you want to give it a try, be sure that your orchid has plenty of drainage. I’d love to hear how it goes!
      Anna

  4. Cecilia Peterson says:

    What size container should you use for combining the orchids

    1. Anna says:

      Cecilia,
      Since orchids like to be crowded in their pot, the orchids will want to be potted fairly snuggly. For two orchids, use a pot double the size that you would for 1 orchid. If potting 3 orchids, use a pot 3Xs as big as you would for a single orchid, and so on.
      I’d love to hear back on how it works out for you,
      Anna

  5. Tiffini says:

    I have two planters that are 4″h x 4″w x 12″l – I want to repot two phalaenopsis in each but I am not sure if they are big enough. You said in another comment 2x what you’d pot a single in, but what even is a good size? They came in pots that are 4″ deep, with a 4.5″ circumference

    1. Anna says:

      Tiffini,
      Potting multiple orchids in a single pot is intended more as an arrangement (short-term display). Orchids generally like to be under-potted, meaning the pot size is small compared to the rest of the plant. When determining pot size a good rule of thumb is to look at the roots, rather the plant. Lots of roots = a larger pot.
      I hope I am not bursting your bubble. If you want a short-term display, pot them in whatever looks most attractive. If you are interested in long-term care, use a pot that corresponds with the roots.
      All my best,
      Anna

  6. Melisa Yukselir says:

    Hi There, I just put 10 orchids arranged together with the way you mentioned here but why the plastic bag, please? Also, I am not clear on how to now water them with the moss. Should I take the arrangement out and back again? I did read what you wrote but I wasn’t clear. I am worried I can’t just put water on top and drain because my bowl has a draining whole but if I don’t squeeze the moss I am afraid it will be too much water. Thank you for your reply in advance. P.S these are my first orchids. I don’t know why I went with 10. It just looks so pretty and I am so afraid to kill them all. Also if it’s bloomed do I still need to feed them or is it just when the blooms fall.

    1. Anna says:

      Melisa,
      Potting multiple orchids in a single pot is intended as a short-term arrangement, not a long-term care solution. If your pot has drainage, do not use the plastic bag. Drainage is always good.
      Enjoy your beautiful 10 orchid arrangement. Then, when an orchid loses its flowers, pot it up separately. In the meantime, use extra care not to overwater, particularly in the center of the arrangement.
      I imagine your display is spectacular!
      Best,
      Anna

  7. Janice says:

    I received 3 white orchids in one pot. How often and how much water do I give them?

    1. Anna says:

      Janice,
      Larger pots hold more water, especially in the center. Use a lot of care not to overwater the orchids. If the pot does not have drainage, be especially careful. For best results, you could re-pot the orchids into individual pots after they have finished flowering.
      Best,
      Anna

  8. Lumen says:

    Dear Anna,
    I have acumulated about 15 or 16 orchid plants in my bay window. They have been growing successfully and reblooming every year. Very happy with them and have no problem with each of them. There is one though that sprouted 2 spikes??? or roots which has been growing upward( so I presume they are spikes but the ends are brown like the roots. How do you differentiate the spikes and roots? This is the only time that I am confused. Thanks.

    1. Anna says:

      Lumen,
      Congratulations on your healthy orchid collection! Here is an easy tip to tell the difference between flower spikes and roots. On flower spikes, the tip resembles a fist with little bumps on the end. On roots, the tips are pointed. I hope you have two new flower spikes 😉
      Best,
      Anna

  9. Leeann Guiles says:

    Do you have to leave them in their original small plastic liner container when putting 3 of them together in a flat bottomed plastic pot

    1. Anna says:

      Leaeann,
      You don’t have to leave them in the same container. It’s just convenient.
      Best,
      Anna

  10. Jess says:

    Hello, I am trying to find some advise on potting my 3 orchids in to a large glass orchid bowl. I know your advise is to keep in small individual clear pots but just wondering if a glass one would make a difference? Many thanks in advance

    1. Anna says:

      Jess,
      Use extra care not to overwater. If possible, pour out any excess water. Then, enjoy them for as long as they last. Not every orchid arrangement needs to last forever.
      Best,
      Anna

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the ONE email you'll open every week

Saturday mornings I send out an exclusive email sharing my best tips on how to grow healthy orchids.

YES! THANK YOU!