Growing Orchids Without Medium: Care, Pros, Cons (Best Ways)

Many flower growers are hesitant in growing orchids without medium or soil. But, as experts say, this is not difficult, the main thing is to know how to properly care for such plants so that they grow leaves and roots, and subsequently bloom.

growing orchids without medium

practice of growing orchids without Medium at home

Next, consider the cultivation of orchids without soil: the features of care,  how, and in what to grow a flower. For example, some flower growers grow their plants in expanded clay and water. For this:

  • Expanded clay is poured into a closed system and a flower is planted in it; You can grow an orchid without soil, but you need to constantly monitor it.
  • Water is poured into the bottom of the container, due to which the roots of the orchid receive nutrients.

IMPORTANT! If the roots have reached the bottom of the container, then the water must be drained completely or the plant should be transplanted into a larger container.

Peculiarities: Can orchids grow without soil?

A feature of this method can be considered that the roots of the plant need bark only to keep it in a pot. But in order to transfer a flower to content completely without soil, it will be necessary to accustom it to a drier content. With this method of growing, plants are fixed in containers using various devices.

What is nutrition in this way?

Is it possible to grow plants without a substrate? A growing orchid without soil receives nutrition from the added water during irrigation. The water must be soft.

Some believe that meltwater or rainwater is suitable, but if the grower does not live in the village, then the water collected after the rain, which washed away all the city smog, will simply kill the plant.

Therefore, it is best to spill with warm boiled water. You can also spray fertilizer on the leaf, but at the same time, the top dressing is diluted, increasing the amount of water by 3 times. This is done so that the leaves do not burn.

Advantages and disadvantages of Growing Orchids Without Medium

This method has many advantages and positive qualities:

  • The roots of the flower do not rot from improper watering and improperly selected substrate;
  • Replanting flowers is not required, which means that the roots are not injured;
  • It is convenient to feed and monitor the condition of the root system;
  • Being in a glass flask, the roots do not dry out and receive enough light for photosynthesis.


  • Sometimes the grower does not feel when to water and spends it too often. Because of this, the leaves turn yellow and fall; When overflowing, the leaves of the orchid begin to turn yellow.
  • Too much sunlight can burn the root mass;
  • Cold and draft can quickly destroy the plant.

Best Ways to grow orchids without medium

There are various conditions for growing a flower without a substrate in a container. Since this is an epiphytic plant, the orchid began to be grown in alternative ways.

In water: Hydroponic Orchid Growing

Such cultivation or propagation is called hydroponics. Through the water, a nutrient medium enters the roots, as a top dressing is added to the water. Water is changed weekly, while it should be:

  • soft;
  • And with the addition of a small amount of fertilizer.

Landing method in water:

  1. Rinse the roots from the soil;
  2. They take a transparent plastic container and make holes at the level of 3 cm from the bottom, with the help of which the aeration of the roots will improve and the liquid level will be regulated;
  3. Expanded clay is poured to the holes and liquid is poured;
  4. A flower is placed on top of all this and filled to the top with expanded clay;
  5. Such a flower must be fed with fertilizers diluted three times the usual dose.

IMPORTANT! The flower is not damaged by pests and does not require transplantation for a long time.

On blocks

An orchid grows without soil on the balcony. This method is good because the flower looks natural, like at home in natural conditions. But such cultivation of flowers requires high humidity, so you need to have a built-in greenhouse where all this can be done. Otherwise, in the summer, when the heat sets in, the roots will dry out greatly and the plant will die from drying out.

On the balcony for an orchid without soil, moist conditions must be created.

The block is taken from the bark, which does not decompose, and so that there is no resin on it. Sphagnum moss is wound onto the block, and an orchid and moss covering the roots are carefully tied to this structure. If the apartment has poor humidity, then frequent moistening of the roots will be required.

IMPORTANT! It is possible to transfer a plant to a block only in spring, provided that it is completely healthy.

care for orchid grown without medium

Many experienced flower growers grow their flowers without soil. This gives them the convenience of inspecting the root system and determining the timeliness of watering. They believe that the orchid only needs the bark to keep it in the pot.

Comfort conditions for orchids without soil:

  • A plastic or glass vessel where the entire root system is placed;
  • The roots are not damaged by fungal diseases ;
  • No decay;
  • Constant humidity in the container without sudden temperature changes.


Watering the plant is carried out in this way :

  • Water is poured into half the container, but so that it does not reach the stem of the plant. And the orchid stands in the water for 2 days;
  • After that, the water is drained from a glass or plastic vase;
  • For the next 3-5 days the flower stands, and dries its root system.

At the time of watering, fertilizer occurs, which is produced 2 times a month at the time of plant growth.

Top dressing with fertilizers

Fertilizer is necessary since the plant has nowhere to take nutrients from. Aqueous solutions have proven themselves well, and are easy to dilute to the desired concentration. But we must remember that any topdressing should be applied only after watering wet roots.

The frequency of top dressing does not differ from the basic care of a plant planted in the bark. That is:

  • In summer 2 times a month;
  • In winter, 1 time (if at this moment they do not bloom).


Transplantation is practically not needed with such cultivation of the plant. If after 2-4 years the root mass does not fit in the container, they simply pick up a new one higher and wider and rearrange the orchid there.

Most often, transplanting an orchid without soil is not required.

Therefore, the roots are not injured during transplantation.

In transparent orchid pot

Usually, this method is used for growing mini orchids :

  • To do this, select a transparent container of such a height that the leaf plates of the plant fit into it;
  • If these are standard plants, then the sheets come out, and then they get wide, but still transparent pots.

The transparency of the walls will guarantee the photosynthesis of the root system.

Possible problems in growing orchid without medium

When transferring a plant from ordinary soil to an open system, some problems may occur:

  • The peduncle dries up;
  • Leaves will lose turgor.

But all problems will go away as soon as new roots begin to grow on the plant, fully adapted to the new conditions. It’s just that the old roots are used to living in humid conditions, and when transferred to a drier content, the plant falls into stress.

What types of orchids can be grown without medium?

Without soil, only those types of orchids that are considered epiphytic can be grown. Because they have such content due to their very nature. Therefore, without soil, you can grow varieties:

  • Phalaenopsis ;
  • Dendrobium ;
  • Cattleya (some of its types).

Actually, if you wish, you can try and decide to grow other types of plants, it already depends on the desire and capabilities of the grower.

Hanging orchids

Such plants are grown on blocks or baskets if they have become large enough to be grown on a block. When choosing a material for a block, you need to take one that does not decompose and, at the same time, is a natural piece of wood.

Hanging orchids without soil require constant moisture.

When growing in this way, you need to carefully monitor the humidity of the air. It should not fall below 60%.


When Growing Orchids Without Medium or soil, you need to carefully monitor the humidity. Because it is a tropical plant that prefers good humidity in the range of 60-80%, and if the humidity is lower, then the flower will dry out its root system.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴