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Thread: Potting medium for orchids

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  1. #1
    My Grow Area
    On a Windowsill.
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Lightbulb Potting medium for orchids


    There are various kinds of orchids and they have different type of requirements with respect to water retention and re watering. So just what to understand what would be a perfect match for various different kind of orchids. Is there any preferred type of potting material for a particular variety of orchids…. If so please suggest the preferred mix…

    Rajesh Pillai

  2. #2
    Real Name
    Hank Johnson
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Mostly Phals. (miniature)
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Ocean Grove, New Jersey
    Member's Country Flag


    Hi Pillairp, With my limited experience i will try to relate to you what works for me. Half of my plants are mounted so that is a no brainer, the other half are in plastic and clay pots. My milts, oncidiums, dends., and paphs. are in plastic and i us Aussie Gold for all with great success, my phals. i use a bark and moss mix with sponge rock and charcoal.
    I have (2) large phals. in plastic pots and the rest about (20) in clay. I will say and i know that many disagree, the clay pots out perform the plastic, i also tried cocochips, unsuccessfully. Good luck Hank.....

  3. #3
    Real Name
    Amey Bhide
    My Grow Area
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya alliance
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Pune, India
    Member's Country Flag


    Rajesh, in this case there are two variables of growing orchids, first is your media and second is your cultural regimen. For convenience you keep one fixed and change the other, for eg. You have orchids that like to stay evenly moist and not dry out like Phalaenopsis and Phrags and on the other hand you have orchids like Vandas and Catts that like to dry out between waterings, so what do you do? You have two options 1) You use different media for both these orchid groups, like moss or cocohusk chips for the Phals while Charcoal for the Vandas, and at the same time keep the watering regimen constant, say once everyday. The other option you have is 2) Plant all orchids in the same medium like charcoal, but change the watering regimen, like water the Vandas everyday, but Phals twice a day. So It all depends on the needs of the plants and your convenience. If you have a small collection say 20 orchids, watering 10 of these twice a day is not time consuming, so you can keep them all in the same, less water retentive media. But if your collection is big say more than a 50 orchids, it is more convenient to pot them up in different media and keep the watering regimen same.

    To sum it up, it is best to pot your orchids in media that are less water retentive, as you can balance the moisture with more watering, rather than in media that stay wet for longer time periods as you cannot dry them faster.

  4. #4
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights.
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wall, New Jersey


    Just one more note to add is that it also depends on the environment that you're growing the plants, humidity, ambient tempperatures, light, etc. These can have an effect on the rate of evaporation. Plants will tell you what they want.

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