Best Soil for Orchids – Healthy Orchids

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.

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.

best substrate for orchids

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.

types of substrates for orchids

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.

Pine Bark Mulch, 100% Natural Pine Bark Mulch, House Plant Cover Mulch, Potting Media, and More (4qt)
  • High quality pine shavings for gardening projects, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO SIZE DESCRIPTION BEFORE ORDERING!
  • 4qt Bag of pine park mulch, this bag is a 13 inch x 10 inch bag, with one gallon of bark inside.
  • Great plant growing media, and for use in terrariums. Perfect for easy and clean pouring and use inside your home.

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.

All Natural Orchid Potting Mix 4qts. by Perfect Plants | Hand Mixed in Small Batches | Great for Phalaenopsis of All Kinds
All Natural Orchid Potting Mix 4qts. by Perfect Plants | Hand Mixed in Small Batches | Great for Phalaenopsis of All Kinds
💓 ALL PURPOSE MIX — Made with Charcoal, Sponge Rock, Pine Bark, Coconut Chips; 🌬 AERATION — Mix does not compact or suffocate orchid roots
$14.95 Amazon Prime
rePotme Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid Potting Mix - (Mini Bag)
rePotme Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid Potting Mix - (Mini Bag)
🌸 Excellent Phalaenopsis Orchid Mix - Drains Well, Protecting Orchid Roots from Rot; 🎁 Makes a Perfect Gift for the Orchid Grower in Your Life
$21.95 Amazon Prime

Learn much more about orchids in our other articles:

How to Fertilize Orchids, How Often to Water Orchids and Repot Orchid While Flowering.

where to buy soil for orchids

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgans, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.