Substrate and soil mix for orchids

Two orchids in dire need of fresh growing substrate

Orchids are perhaps the plants for which the growth medium is the most critical element that influences the growing of the plant.

Indeed, orchids develop a peculiar root system and it really deserves special care and attention.

What is orchid soil mix prepared from?

  • Most of the matter comes from maritime pine bark, broken down to various sizes.
  • You’ll also find peat, coconut fibers, rock wool or perlite.

What is the best substrate?

  • Each orchid has different needs.
  • The blend that will suit it best is the one that best matches the growing conditions in its native environment.
  • However, since there are a great many varieties, it’s impossible to recreate as many different soil mix substrates. In the end, the best option is to use special “orchid” mix, available in any horticulture store.

Preparing your own orchid substrate

  • Although we recommend using special orchid soil mix purchased from specialized stores, it is still perfectly possible to make your own.
  • The base material is the same: pine bark mulch.
  • After that, you’ll be learning from the plant and from experience, adding several or all of the following: coconut fiber, peat, perlite, rock wool, etc…)
    Mix them in varying proportions, and as time goes by you’ll find the perfect mix for your orchid.

Read also on the topic of orchids

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Orchids in need of a substrate by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work