It is not the horrible media you think it is...and it is not hard to grow in.

I first learned from a guy ,'Lonemountain' ,on another forum a way of growing in moss. You do it in layers of styrofoam peanuts and layers of moss. I started out growing my phals in a bark mix but I was either watering too much or not enough.

You start by placing the styro peanuts on the bottom of the pot and then add a layer of moss..then peanuts..then moss etc. till you end up with moss on top. The layers will depend on pot size. Do not pack the moss too tight. The peanuts provide air spaces that the orchids love and the moss stays moist without rotting the roots. I found it much easier to judge the dryness also.

A lady in our society who has been growing for 40+ years saw my results and changed all her phals over to that. That was probably the highest compliment to my growing that I have ever received!

So, if you have trouble with watering,try this method for phals and see if it works for you.