All orchids need good orchid soil to support good growth and root function. Without this component, orchids are not able to absorb the water and nutrients they need. Learn all about the best soil for orchids in this article.
What are the properties of good orchid soil? To begin with, it has to be firm and consistent, as well as well aerated. If the soil has these properties, it will provide a good base for the roots to cling to and in turn, allow them to breathe and drain excess water.
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What Soil for Orchids?
The orchid soil is an important part if you want your orchid to grow properly. And you have probably wondered what is the best soil for orchids. It is complicated to answer that question, as it will depend a lot on the species of orchid you have and the environment it is in.
There are many types of soils, and they can be used individually or mixed. We have soils that go from the simplest gravel with different sizes, to fibers or bark also of different sizes.
What Is the Function of The Substrate for Orchids?
The soil for orchids is the soil needed by terrestrial plants. Therefore, the main function of the soil is to drain the water correctly and to maintain good aeration. In addition, it has to provide sufficient moisture for the roots to absorb and feed.
You have to keep in mind that most soils have to be changed with time, as they lose their properties and capacity to retain moisture. If we do not do it, we can damage the orchid.
Types Of Substrate for Orchids
There are many types of soil for orchids, each one with its properties that can provide different factors to each orchid. We are going to show you some of them so that you can choose the one that best suits you.
Coconut shell pieces: It is usually used quite habitually as soil. A positive point it has that it does not decompose and provides good aeration to the roots, and the negative part is that it is a little heavy.
Coconut fiber: The coconut fiber is not used as much as the husk, but it serves as soil. It holds water well but gradually decomposes. It does not drain water as well as coconut husk or bark (Order it here).
Spruce bark: Fir bark is one of the most commonly used soils for orchids. It is very easy to find and has a very economical price. In addition, you can find it in different sizes. On the downside, it tends to decompose rather quickly (relatively) and does not get wet as easily.
Gravel: Gravel is also used for orchid soil. It is inexpensive and holds water well, but does not contain nutrients and is quite heavy (Order it here).
Charcoal: Charcoal is sometimes used as soil, but it tends to stain a lot and does not keep the humidity properly (Order it here).
Volcanic rock: The volcanic rock is used as soil although it weighs a lot. But it has the positive side that it does not decompose and drains very well (Order it here).
Sphagnum moss: This moss is often used as a complement to the soil. It helps to maintain humidity but can retain too much water, so it is advisable to put it on top of the pot (Order it here).
There are many other soils for orchids that you can use, but we have told you the most known and easy to find.
Creating Our Own Soil Mix for Orchids
We can create our own soil mixes, and we are going to explain two that work with most orchids.
Medium orchid soil: For small orchids, we recommend a soil mix that is composed of 4 parts medium size pine bark (or even coconut husk) with 1-part medium size charcoal.
Substrate for small orchids: 4 parts of small pine or spruce bark together with coconut husk shavings, and 1 part of small charcoal.
Where to Buy Soil for Orchids?
There are several orchid soil mixes ready to use, if you can’t put together your own orchid soil as mentioned above here are the best soil for orchids to buy and use.
Learn much more about orchids in our other articles: