Orchids have a reputation for being difficult to grow, but they're just like other plants. They'll thrive under your care if you give them the correct growing medium, moisture, and light. The problems start when you treat Orchids like any other houseplant. The fastest way to kill an Orchid plant is to transplant it into regular potting soil.
Soil for Orchids contains no actual soil and is instead a mixture of chunky ingredients that mimic the Orchids' environment in the wild. You can buy a commercial Orchid potting mix or have fun creating your own special blend.
Types of Growing Mediums
The most important attributes of Orchid soil are aeration and drainage. Orchids don't have the same type of roots as other houseplants. If the roots are left in moisture for any length of time, they will rot. While Orchids love moisture, a little goes a long way.
Most commercial Orchid growing mediums contain ingredients such as peat moss, perlite, or fir bark. However, each type of Orchid enjoys a different type of planting medium, so if you plan to grow a large variety of blooms, creating your own mix may be the best option.
Your growing mediums for Orchids depend on factors like the availability of the ingredients and how your Orchids perform when using the mix. Most Orchid growers experiment with potting mixes until they get just the right blend.
The Orchid variety itself can dictate the ingredients in your mix. For instance, the Phalaenopsis should never be allowed to dry out completely, so you will need to incorporate more absorbent materials such as perlite, peat moss, or tree fern into your mix.
Try a variety of mixes to see which ones your Orchids like the best. Try ingredients such as rock wool, sand, charcoal, cork, and even bits of polystyrene foam. Try a new recipe every time you repot an Orchid until you find the perfect blend for your varieties.
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