You may have heard;
Orchids are hard to grow and many people say, orchids are impossible to grow. But they don’t know the origin and biology of the orchids. Actually, orchids are more adaptable than other plants.
Only you have to provide them a healthy and lively home for thriving and blooming. Don’t get it? I am talking about the soil mix. Because soil is the home for plants and the best soil is the secret weapon of healthy orchids.
But remember; the general potting mix is not good for orchids and even all the orchid potting mixes are not perfect.
Now the question; what is the best potting soil mix for orchids?
The specially formulated potting mix that has good drainage, good Air- Filled Porosity(AFP),moisture-retaining capacity, and perfect pH. Also, the best orchid potting mix contains some forest products, soil amendments, and microbes
For your convenience, I have listed and reviewed the top 10 best orchid potting mix that you can pick for your orchids to grow and bloom without too much care.
In a Hurry? Here is the best of the best potting mix for orchids that you may buy right now-
Best Potting Mix for Orchids-Comparisons
|Orchid Potting Mix||Best For||Price|
|Sun Bulb 50000 Better GRO Special Orchid Mix||Epiphytic orchids|
|All Natural Orchid Potting Mix by Perfect Plants||Epiphytic orchids|
|Miracle-Gro Orchid Potting Mix Coarse Blend||Epiphytic orchids|
|Espoma OR4 Organic Orchid Mix Potting Soil||Epiphytic orchids|
|Sun Bulb 5011 Better-Gro Phalaenopsis Mix||Phalaenopsis orchids|
|rePotme Phalaenopsis Orchid Potting Mix||Phalaenopsis orchids|
|rePotme Cattleya Imperial Orchid Mix||Cattleya orchids|
|rePotme Cymbidium Imperial Orchid Mi||Cymbidium orchids|
|rePotme All Purpose Orchid Mix||Epiphytic orchids|
|Black Gold 1411402 8.00Qtp Orchid Mix||Epiphytic orchids|
Best Potting Mix for Orchids-Reviews
1.Sun Bulb 50000 Better GRO Special Orchid Mix
Sun Bulb 50000 Better GRO Special Orchid Mix is one of the best potting mix for orchids today. It is specially formulated for all epiphytic orchids including cattleyas, cymbidium, phalaenopsis(moth orchid), dendrobiums, paphiopedilums(slipper orchid), oncidiums, vanilla, and vanda.
According to the experts, it is the best commercial orchid mix for professional orchid grower as well as orchid hobbyists. Also, it is authorized by the American Orchid Society. Now let’s see what inside the bag-
It has fir bark. It is an organic growing medium that has excellent drainage and aeration facility. So it can create open space in the planting mix for root growth and also absorb moisture for providing the orchids when they need it.
Moreover, it has a sponge rock that is also known as perlite. It helps the compaction of the growing medium, increases aeration, water retention, and permeability.
Lastly, it contains hardwood charcoal which can hold nutrients for orchids and improve microbial activity. As a result, orchids grow more root branches. And you know more roots mean more healthy plants and bloom. Also, it can make the plant disease and insect resistant.
The bottom line: the balanced mixture of western fir bark, hardwood charcoal, and sponge rock can provide good drainage, proper ventilation, and moisture to your orchids. So, fill the pots with this orchid mix, repot or plant your orchid and enjoy the long-lasting blooms in the upcoming flowering season.
2.All Natural Orchid Potting Mix by Perfect Plants
It is the best organic potting mix for all epiphytic orchids and bromeliad. It has good drainage, balanced air-filled porosity, and perfect moisture-holding capacity. Let’s analyze the orchid mix to learn what’s behind these good features-
This orchid mix contains pine bark. Like the fir bark, it also improves the drainage, aeration, and absorbency of moisture for increasing root growth without the risk of root rot.
It also has charcoal, sponge rock(perlite) and you know, charcoal increases nutrient absorbency, microbial activity and protects the plant from diseases. And perlite makes the growing medium lose, lightweight, and creates enough room for growing healthy root tips.
Want to know what’s new inside the potting mix?
It contains coconut chips that act as expanded clay but it is more ecological. The coco chips have good drainage, aeration, and water retention which make the potting mix perfect for the orchid.
The best part of the coco chips is-
It can hold almost 10x water of its weight and release the water only when the orchids need it. Sounds impressive, right?
Also, this planting mix contains sphagnum peat moss that improves water and nutrient retention capacities.
3.Miracle-Gro Orchid Potting Mix Coarse Blend
Personally, I am a huge fan of Miracle-Gro because of their miraculous gardening products. They always formulate products according to the plant’s biology. There is no exception to Miracle-Gro Orchid Potting Mix.
It is specially formulated only for indoor potted orchids that you can use for potting or repotting all kind of epiphyte orchids, including phalaenopsis, cattleya, epidendrum, vanilla, and dendrobium
It has softwood bark for improving drainage, aeration, and water retention. Also, it has peat moss for holding sufficient moisture and nutrients for orchids.
The best part of this potting mix-
It contains 0.17% urea-free nitrogen,0.05% phosphate, and 0.11% potash and these are the primary nutrients that help the orchid to thrive and bloom.
Good news; A small portion of these nutrients are coated for slow releases that can feed your orchids continuously up to 6 months and the nutrients are derived from some safe and non-toxic synthetic ingredients.
So, if you want to produce blooms with less fertilizer and care, you may pick this quick draining,nutrient-enriched potting mix for your orchids.
4.Espoma OR4 Organic Orchid Mix Potting Soil
Let’s see what’s inside this 4-quart orchid soil mix-
As a soil conditioner, it has aged pine bark and it helps the soil to absorb moisture, and create air pockets for improving drainage and aeration. Also, it contains perlite to reduce the compaction of the potting mix and increases the permeability of water.
As a soil purifier, it contains horticultural charcoal that improves the soil structure, nutrient absorbance, and microbial activity.
You know; soil pH is most important for the plant to thrive and bloom and it has limestone as a soil buffer to adjust soil pH.
The most likable feature of this best potting soil for orchids-
It contains yucca extract and yucca extract is a biostimulant that helps the orchids to grow more roots and blooms. Also, it acts as a wetting agent and you will be happy to know, a wetting agent is a surfactant type compound that helps the soil to spread water and moisture easily into the soil particles.
So, Pick this organic potting mix for your orchids and provide them a healthy and organic environment for better growth and spectacular blooms.
5.Sun Bulb 5011 Better-Gro Phalaenopsis Mix
It is specially formulated for phalaenopsis orchids to improve aeration, retain moisture and nutrients for healthy root growth and blooms. And it is fortified with a blend of Canadian chunk peat, western fir bark, hardwood charcoal, and coarse perlite.
Let’s analyze how these ingredients make this soil perfect for phalaenopsis orchids-
Canadian chunk peat is an organic soil conditioner. It retains sufficient moisture for orchids to thrive and bloom. Moreover, it can also supply some essential plant nutrients and balance the soil pH for healthy orchids.
Next, it has western fir bark and it is essential for improving drainage, perfect air-filled porosity, and water retention.
Again, for improving drainage and soil structure, it has perlite and you know perlite is a sponge rock that reduces the compaction of growing medium and creates open space around the roots.
Lastly, it contains hardwood charcoal that acts as a nutrient sucker. It holds the nutrients for orchids and increases the microbial activity that promotes root growth and makes your orchids healthy and resistant.
The bottom line; the balanced mixture of orchid fir bark mix, chunk peat, charcoal, and perlite helps to create a healthy and favorable environment for your orchids. So, repotting your phalaenopsis and moth orchids and enjoy the beautiful blooms season after season.
6.rePotme Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid Potting Mix
As the active ingredients, it contains medium orchiata monterey pine bark,hydroton, large sponge rock, and New Zealand sphagnum moss.
And I have already told you about the pine bark, sponge rock, and sphagnum moss. Therefore, I am remembering the key benefits of these ingredients.
Pink bark is natural ingredient and it improves drainage, aeration as well as holds some moisture for orchids.
Sponge rock is also known as perlite. It has large sponge rocks that make it perfect for Phalaenopsis orchids. Large sponge rocks help the soil to drain away extra water by improving drainage and aeration. Most important; it reduces the compaction of the growing medium. So orchids get enough room for root growth.
And sphagnum moss holds nutrients for orchids and makes the plant resistant by improving microbial activity.
The best and unique part of this potting mix is-
It contains hydroton. Hydroton is made from clay balls and clay pebbles and it has some great beneficial properties. It improves drainage, aeration, water-retaining, and most importantly, maintains the soil pH and protects the plant from some harmful bacteria.
7.rePotme Cattleya Imperial Orchid Mix
If you are looking for the best potting mix for cattleya orchids, here is the rePotme Cattleya Imperial Orchid mix for you. It is specially formulated only for the cattleya orchids
Like the rePotme Phalaenopsis orchid mix, it also contains medium pine bark, sponge rocks,hydroton, for improving drainage and aeration. Then why is it best for cattleya orchids?
For the coarseness of the ingredients, the cattleya imperial orchid mix contains large sponge rock and it also contains medium stalite. Medium stalite acts like perlite and increases the air-filled porosity in the mix.
Another difference between,rePotme Phalaenopsis orchid mix and cattleya orchid mix is- Cattleya orchid mix doesn’t contain peat moss.
All other features are the same. It is also a handmade blend that is authorized by the American Orchid Society.
Besides cattleya orchids, it can be also used for thick rooted orchids such as Laelia, Potinara, Coelogyne, and Stanhopea.
8.rePotme Cymbidium Imperial Orchid Mix
Cymbidium is terrestrial orchid and she likes free drainage and slightly acidic soil. You can grow it in all-purpose orchid soil but if you only like to grow cymbidium orchids, then rePotme Cymbidium Imperial Orchid Mix may be the right pick for you.
It is one of the best potting mix for cymbidium orchids and it is made with professional-grade peat moss, small orchiata monterey pine bark, chunky peat moss,turface MVP, small sponge rock (Perlite), small redwood bark.
Let’s analyze these ingredients-
Professional grade peat moss and chunky peat moss increase water retention and balance the pH of the mix.
For better drainage and an airy environment, it has small perlite and turface MVP. Perlite is a volcanic glass and turface MVP is the calcined clay. Both help to reduces the compaction of the potting mix and creates open space for cymbidium orchids. Also, it has pine and redwood bark for better drainage and air-filled porosity.
Besides cymbidium, it can also be best for Zygopetalums, Aganax, and Zygonisia orchids.
Want a rePotme orchid mix for all types of orchids? you may pick rePotme All Purpose Orchid Mix. It is made with coconut husk chips, medium sponge rock, and medium stalite and it is the best potting mix for all types of indoor, and outdoor orchids.
9.Black Gold 1411402 8.00Qtp Orchid Mix
This potting mix contains small fir bark for better drainage and aeration. Also, it has perlite that makes the soil lose, improves drainage and water permeability.
For water and nutrient retention, it contains Canadian sphagnum peat moss and you know it is the natural ingredient that also makes the plant resistant.
Moreover, it also contains screened pumice and you will be happy to know, pumice is the highly porous soil conditioner and it holds sufficient water and air for orchids and makes the soil loose and lightweight.
Lastly, it contains lime as a buffer that maintains the sol pH for orchids and you know, nutrients availability depends on the optimum soil pH (moderately acidic).
It is formulated for all epiphytic orchids and it can be applied for all kinds of orchids but according to the label, it is the best potting mix for cymbidium orchids.
What Kind of Soil for Orchids?
Orchids have different types of roots and they need different types of soil. General potting soil is not suitable for the orchid. As the experts’ opinion, planting orchids in the general potting soil or garden soil is the fastest way to kill the orchids. So some additional potting material must be contained in the best type of orchid soil.
Let’s see what ingredients of the best orchid growing medium should contain-
It is the most common ingredient of orchid soil mix and the orchid mix contains different types of bark such as fine, medium, and thick. Fine wood bark can absorb more water. In contrast, medium and thick wood bark absorbs less water and has enough open space for increasing airflow.
Most of the commercial orchid mix contains fir bark, pine bark, or osmunda tree bark. All are good for epiphytic orchids.
Sphagnum Peat Moss
Sphagnum Peat Moss helps the planting mix to retain moisture. It also absorbs essential plant nutrients and increases the microbial activity for promoting root growth of orchids.
Coconut husk is the natural and organic ingredient that acts like the wood bark but it can retain moisture more than bark. Besides, it improves aeration and drainage.
Perlite, Pumice, and Cinder
Perlite, pumice, and cinder are sponge rocks and they are mostly used to improve the soil structure. All are highly porous. So they can increase open space and drainage to promote the root growth of orchids.
Mainly, charcoal is used as a soil purifier. It protects the orchids from harmful bacteria and also retains moisture and nutrients for orchids.
How to Make Orchid Soil?
If you have enough time in hand, you can make the orchid potting mix at home. Let’s see the homemade orchid potting mix recipe-
Recipe 1: General Orchid Bark Mix
- Douglas Fir Bark (our pick: Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark for Orchids)
- Perlite (Our pick: Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite)
- Coconut Husk (our pick: Exo Terra Coco Husk)
- Take 3 quarts of fir bark,½ quart of perlite, and ½ quart coco husk into a container.
- Mix everything properly and get a 4 quart of orchid bark mix.
Recipe 2: Fine Orchid Mix
The fine mix is perfect for small rotted orchids such as slipper orchids, oncidiums, or miltonias.
- Douglas Fir Bark (our pick: Clear Pots Rexius Douglas Fir Bark for Orchids)
- Perlite (Our pick: Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite)
- Coconut Husk (our pick: Exo Terra Coco Husk)
- Fine Charcoal (our pick: Mosser Lee ML0810 Horticultural Charcoal)
- Take 3 quarts of fir bark, 1 quart of fine charcoal, ½ quart of perlite, and ½ quart coco husk into a container.
- Mix everything properly and get a 4 quart of the fine orchid mix.
To make medium orchid mix- follow the steps of recipe 2 but add medium charcoal instead of fine charcoal. The medium mix is best for moth orchids, cattleyas, and other mature orchids.
When to Repot Orchids?
Once per year is the basic rule of repotting an orchid. But the question when you should repot orchids?
If you notice yellow leaves and steams, lack of growth or blues, damaged or rotted roots, or the orchids start growing over the edge of the container, then this is the high time to repot your orchids.
The best time to re-pot the orchids is just after blooming, or when new vegetative growth appears.
How to Repot an Orchid?
Repotting orchids is not so difficult task. You can repot your orchid easily by following some simple steps.
- Take a larger pot than the current pot.
- Fill ⅓ of the new pot with the orchid mix.
- Take out the orchids from the current pot with the root ball.
- Remove dead and rotten roots.
- Place the single stem orchid in the middle of the new pot and place the multi stems orchid against the pot wall.
- Add potting mix and fill the pots to 1/2 inch below the rim.
- Water the orchid. If the potting mix goes down from the edge of the pot, add more potting mix.
Watch the video to learn how to repot an orchid with air roots
Frequently Asked Questions
#Can Orchids Grow Without Soil?
Most of the orchids are epiphytic. That means they can grow in the tree. So you can grow orchids in potting mix or without potting mix. But you have to provide nutrients and water to them.
The bottom line; orchids grow without soil but can’t grow without water and nutrients.
#Is Cinnamon Powder Good for Orchids?
Phytophthora, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia are the main fungi that can damage the orchids. If you want to get rid of this fungus, you can apply the cinnamon powder as a natural fungicide.
To treat your diseased orchids-
- Mix 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder into 1 pint of isopropyl alcohol.
- Wait overnight and let them dissolve.
- Filter the solution and pour around the base of orchids.
#Is Peat Moss Good for Orchids?
Peat most is helpful for retaining moisture but excess peat moss is not good for epiphytic orchids. But territorial orchids mostly like peat moss for growing.
Growing orchids has many benefits. They help you to reduce stress and improve your mood. Also, it can reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease and chronic illness.
And if you want to grow and produce long-lasting orchid blooms with minimum effort, then there is no alternative to the best soil for orchids.
I hope you got the perfect potting mix for your orchids. Now plant or repot them, apply fertilizer once per week, and enjoy the beauty of the orchids.