Best Growing Medium for orchids: Buy or Make your self

Best Growing Medium For Orchids

Need to choose the potting medium for Orchids as carefully as possible. Even a slight deviation from the recommended composition can lead to rotting not only of the orchid roots system but also of the upper part of the flower. So let discuss the best growing medium for orchids and recommendations.

What is used as a substrate in Growing Meduim?

Traditional growing media components for Phalaenopsis include:

  1. chopped bark;
  2. dry roots of forest fern;
  3. sphagnum moss;
  4. cones of coniferous trees;
  5. coconut husk chips.

The following components are used for loosening:

  1. corkwood;
  2. expanded clay;
  3. charcoal;
  4. coconut fiber;
  5. crumbled foam.

What is The Best Growing Medium for orchids to buy?

From a wide range of substrates, the following compositions should be preferred:

Medium Name & Manufacturer Description
Orchid Potting by Perfect PlantsBest natural all-purpose potting mix Made with Sponge Rock, Charcoal, Pine Bark, Coconut Chips
Black Gold Potting SoilMade of Canadian sphagnum peat moss with worm castings, forest humus, and pumice.
MultiCote controlled-release fertilizer
rePotme Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid PottingBest Brand. The components contained in it provide the Phalaenopsis roots with nutrition and airflow. The composition retains moisture well.

Types of Growing medium for orchids

Types Of Growing Medium For Orchids

First of all, the substrate serves as a support for Phalaenopsis, therefore, special requirements are imposed on such qualities as looseness, moisture, and air permeability. There are several components that can ensure the quality of the prepared mixture and potting material.

Typically, finished substrates include the following components:

  1. charcoal;
  2. pine bark;
  3. sphagnum moss;
  4. chips;
  5. peat.

The composition for the flower must be sterilized.

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Pine bark

To some extent, it is not a natural environment for orchids, but when grown at home it has all the qualities that a flower needs:

  • even distribution of moisture;
  • maximum breathability.

Before use, pine bark is subjected to heat treatment due to the presence of harmful insects and resins in it.

Sphagnum moss

This component is one of the most used in the manufacture of the substrate, due to its properties:

  • high hygroscopicity (absorption of water vapor from the air);
  • high content of nutrients.

The peculiarity of the sphagnum microflora prevents the development of harmful microorganisms.

Oak bark

Oak bark has the same properties as pine bark, and also needs heat treatment due to the content of tannins. The bark of cork oak has proven itself as a component in the substrate for Phalaenopsis.


For the preparation of soil mixtures, as a rule, high-moor peat is used. This is due to its main properties:

  1. high moisture content;
  2. the ability to accumulate nutrients.

In addition, peat retains a large amount of air, despite being completely saturated with moisture. The disadvantages include increased acidity, which requires neutralization.

Coconut fiber

The component is characterized by the following qualities:

  • good moisture absorption;
  • inability to form lumps;
  • potassium, sodium and nitrogen content;
  • breathability.

Coconut fiber is widely used in block growing orchids.


This material simultaneously serves two functions, providing drainage and stability. The foam is excellent for air permeability, the use of its neutral or light types will not cause any harm to the orchids.

Expanded Clay medium for orchids

Expanded Clay medium for orchids

The porous structure of expanded clay perfectly retains moisture, so the material is often used by flower growers. At the same time, it accumulates the salts contained in the water watered by the orchid.

Subsequently, due to salinity, the substrate loses its ability to absorb moisture. one minus expanded clay is pulling moisture from the root system as its drying.


The component helps to improve water and air permeability prevents acidification and waterlogging of the soil. It has antiseptic properties that prevent decay processes. Charcoal raises the pH value.

It is required for use as an absorbent component.

Activated carbon

The main purpose of this component is disinfecting functions, preventing problems associated with the root system. During transplantation, crushed activated carbon is sprinkled on the slices.


Vermiculite 1

Vermiculite, which is part of the substrate, has the following qualities:

  1. loosens the soil well, preventing it from drying out and forming lumps;
  2. regulates water and air balance;
  3. absorbs moisture much exceeding its own weight;
  4. contains a lot of nutrients;
  5. reduces acidity and inhibits salinity.

Pine cones

Lignified cone scales are used as an additive in the preparation of the substrate. The use of whole buds is not recommended due to the presence of resin and the ability to close and open when the moisture level changes.


Due to its volcanic origin, this component contains no nutrients. Its presence in the substrate provides:

  1. loosening the soil, preventing drying out and clumping;
  2. normalization of air-water balance.

Cork fiber

Usually this component is replaced by coconut fiber or moss. Due to the rarity on the flower market, cork is rarely used in orchid growing.


Deciduous humus is added to the substrate in small quantities. Due to the possible presence of harmful insects and pathogens, it must be disinfected before use.

When growing orchids many beginners counters with the problem of yellowing leave so here is the answer to Why do Miltonia Orchid leaves turning yellow?.

Make Orchids Medium with your own hands

The standard composition of self-prepared soil contains:

  1. bark: oak, pine, spruce;
  2. natural charcoal;
  3. high-moor peat;
  4. fern roots.

Orchid potting mix recipe

  • soak peat in chilled boiled water, after 24 hours remove, dry and break;
  • grind the bark to a fraction of 10–30 mm;
  • break up the coal so that the size of its pieces is about 20 mm;
  • Pour boiling water over fern roots, and then dry.

Mix the prepared components in accordance with the proportions and use as directed.

Using Water as Orchids Growing Medium

Using Water As Orchids Growing Medium

Phalaenopsis can be grown without the presence of a substrate in the container as follows:

  1. in water:nutrients are supplied to the root system from dressings added to the water
  2. on the blocks: an orchid on a previously prepared structure, in this case it is necessary to provide the room with the level of humidity recommended for Phalaenopsis.

Choosing Pot for Orchid?

An orchid pot must meet a number of requirements:

  • ensure the outflow of moisture insufficient volume;
  • have full air circulation inside;
  • do not create a danger when removing the roots;
  • maintain the temperature regime.

For growing Phalaenopsis, it is permissible to use plastic, ceramic, glass vases, as well as baskets made of twigs.

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