Orchid Potting Mix
Plant Care Orchid - Potting Mix Orchids have very different growing material needs from other plants like trees or vegetables. Instead of organic soils and composts, Orchids need an appropriate mix of water retaining and aerating materials. The ratio depends on the type of orchid.
The growing medium is always a combination of organic fibers and inorganic materials. Ready-mix mediums are convenient and easy to use and can be bought at just about any nursery or home center. You can also mix your own medium from a wide variety of materials. Each has advantages that are apparent with experimentation and experience.
Most materials used for mixes come in fine, medium, and coarse grades .
Organic choices include:
- Fir Bark Easy to find, inexpensive, fairly slow to decompose though difficult to hold water initially.
- Redwood Bark Holds water better than Fir Bark and decays more slowly
- Coconut Husks Among the first fibers to be used for orchids. Inexpensive, lightweight, holds water moderately well, but decays more quickly than fir bark.
- Sphagnum Moss Produces a good balance of water and air retention. Do not pack tightly.
- Tree Fern Fiber Drains well and decomposes slowly. Difficult to find.
- Charcoal Slow to decay and absorbs toxic substances.
- Lava rock Good Drainage and never breaks down. Can be heavy.
- Alifor Little clay pieces that provide moderate drainage. Decay proof.
- Vermiculite Holds water thereby increasing aeration.
- Pearlite Absorbs water, high decay resistance, very light. Use in combination with other Inorganic material. Used alone it holds too much water.
- Turface Used to replace pearlite. Heavy and expensive.
From these ingredients you can custom make an orchid potting mix that will work for your particular orchid. Check out the links below to read more about plant care of orchid, potting mixes for seedlings, and potting mix recipes.
Recipes for Potting Mix
Mix for Seedlings
Plant care orchid - Repotting with orchid potting mix
Eggshells for Orchids
Dream Orchids Home Page