March To Do List


  • Continue to follow recommendations for February as low night temperatures throughout February and early March will likely delay onset of the initiation of spring growth.
  • Prepare for a busy spring cleaning period. Purchase orchid supplies in anticipation of the spring potting season.
  • Avoid reusing pots as they carry potential for viral and bacterial infections. If you must reuse pots, disinfect plastic pots by soaking in a bleach/soap solution overnight.  Clay pots can be reused by cleaning, followed by sterilizing in an oven at 425°F for 2-3 hrs.
  • As temperatures and light intensity increases during the month, consider re-positioning shade cloth or moving orchids to avoid damaging effects due to increased light and heat as appropriate.
  • To facilitate new growth consider positioning the emerging growths in the direction of the sun. 
  • More details on specific genera can be found on the AOS website

Indoors and Greenhouse

  • March is the peak month for blooming of Phalaenopsis. Stake so plants arch gracefully to enhance flower display. Monitor watering and feeding to support the rapid growth of spikes and flowers. 
  • In contrast to many other orchids that are ideally repotted when new root growth is initiated, Paphiopedilums can be repotted at almost anytime and benefit from repotting every year or two. March-April period is a good time to do it before the peak of repotting occurs for other orchids in the upcoming months.


  • During periods of continued wet weather and cold nights, bring plants in bud inside to avoid rotting of buds or attack by snails and slugs.
  • Ground orchid shoots should be evident; clean debris around plant and bait for snails.
  • As the weather warms during March, cattleyas, oncidiums, cymbidiums, and Aussie dendrobiums should begin or continue blooming and initiate new growth.  Begin to increase watering frequency and fertilizer as new growth is observed. 
  • Once a cymbidium’s flowers wilt, consider dividing and repotting overgrown plants. Extra plants can be shared with friend or offered for sale to fellow members at POS meetings.  Links to repotting and care:, and
  • Repot/divide overgrown cattleyas, oncidiums, dendrobiums and many other orchids once new root growth initiates.  This avoids transplant shock that can set back most orchids repotted during inactive growth periods.

The monthly To Do list is a collaboration of several POS members. Some tips adapted from Thomas Miranda (AOS). We appreciate any and all comments, suggestions, and feedback on our new feature.