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Bio Leaf Premium Orchid Potting Mix

The main function of an orchid potting mix is to create an environment for the development of healthy roots. The potting mix you choose could literally be the life or death of your orchid. A potting mix that is conducive to a developing a healthy root mass will improve orchid growth, health and flowering for your orchids.

“If you can concentrate on growing a healthy mass of roots, you are well on your way to growing good orchids.”

Bio Leaf Premium Orchid Potting Mix

Below are a few guidelines to help you understand if the potting mix you are using is the best for growing your orchids.

  1. The mix should be open enough to allow for air and water movement through the roots without becoming waterlogged.
  2. It should be able to hold moisture for a few days. During summer this maybe 2 to 3 days and in winter maybe a week or more.
  3. It should be able to support the plant.
  4. It should maintain its physical structure for a number of years before breaking down. The Kiwi Orchid Bark we use should last at least 3 maybe even longer.
  5. It should promote the ionic exchange of nutrients between the water and roots.
  6. If possible, ask the supplier if you can have a look at and feel the medium. Feeling the medium can tell a lot about the characteristics of the mix.

Copy natures watering regime.

In nature, tropical rainfalls tend to be torrential with a high volume of water moving over the roots. Likewise, you should flood the pot when you water your orchids.

  • The water washes very low doses of nutrients and over the roots which are immediately absorbed by the white, spongy velamen layer.
  • The high volume of water flushes away the detritus and mineral build-up. This keeps medium open and clean.
  • Removes "old" air and pulls fresh clean air. Orchid roots do absorb air.

Watering your orchids like this will create a great environment in the pot for growing healthy roots. Healthy roots - healthy orchid.

Most terrestrial orchid roots are covered by a white spongy layer called the velamen. The velamen cells are capable of absorbing moisture and nutrients and over time, release the moisture and nutrients to special cells (stele) for transportation to pseudobulbs and leaves.

Bio Leaf Premium Orchid Potting Mix has been designed to facilitate this watering process. It is an open medium that will allow air and high volumes of water to move freely over the roots without becoming waterlogged.

Under favourable conditions we expect our potting mix to remain viable for at least 3 years maybe more. This means that your orchid will have time to grow well before it needs repotting.

About Bio Leaf Premium Orchid Potting Mix.

This is a premium orchid potting mix which is a blend of quality hard orchid bark, hardwood charcoal, pumice and scoria. This potting mix can be used for most orchids. We have developed this substrate around 3 criteria:

  1. Take a long time to break down. We expect the ingredients to last 3 years or more before repotting is required.
  2. The potting medium is open. This allows water to flow freely over the roots and for the roots to have access to air.
  3. Holds moisture and nutrients for delivery to the roots.

We do a little more than just mix a whole lot of products.

  1. We soak the bark in water for a minimum of 48 hours. We do this to remove some of of the tannins and waxes so that the bark will be less moisture repellent, this will absorb and hold moisture for longer.
  2. We also treat the water with a special blend to help remove some of the toxic compounds and impregnate the bark with a small amount of calcium and magnesium. 
  3. We also soak the scoria and pumice using the same process described in point 2 above, to improve its properties for growing plants.
  4. We wash all the components of the mix to try to remove as much of the dust and dirt as is possible.

BIo leaf Orchid Potting Mix is available in 2 grades:

Mix 1: Made from bark nuggets that are approximately 3 to 8 mm in size and is suitable for orchids growing in a 2”-3” pot size.

Mix 2: Made from bark nuggets that are approximately 8 to 20 mm in size and is suitable for orchids growing in a 4”-8” pot size.

Please contact us should you need a potting medium using different size nuggets.

The thickness of the plant's roots can be used to determine the grade or size of potting material to use. Mix 1 can be used for fine rooted orchids, orchids that require more moisture and Mix 2 can be used for orchids that have thicker roots or for orchids that require less moisture.

A good rule to follow with orchids is, thicker roots are able to store more water and require less watering compared to orchids that have thinner roots and will require more frequent watering.


Do this before repotting your orchids:

  1. Before using the mix empty the bag into a container, pour a little water and mix it up thoroughly, just in case components of the mix have settled into layers.
  2. Use just enough moisture to coat all the media lightly. Wetting the potting mix assists with distributing all the components evenly throughout the mix.
  3. When you are repotting, a slightly moist medium makes it easier to pack it in between the roots.

Below is a summary of the properties for the ingredients we use in our medium:


1. Kiwi Orchid Bark - Maximizes Air Flow

Provides the structure for the roots to grow into. This is rated by many orchid growers as one of the best orchid barks available. The bark is sourced from 25-year-old trees, which allows the bark enough time to thicken and ‘harden up’. This means it will take longer to break down.

The bark is clean and has low levels of contamination from litter such as cambium, wood pieces and soil.


2. Hardwood Charcoal - Cleans Naturally

The charcoal is made from hardwood and is petroleum-free. We do not use activated charcoal. Activated charcoal may absorb more fertiliser compared to normal charcoal. Charcoal helps to keep the mix “sweet” and helps with removing impurities, as well as keeping the mixture open. The charcoal will also absorb moisture onto its surface.


3. Scoria - Aerates Roots

We include some scoria because it is porous and holds some moisture, it also helps with keeping the mixture open and aerated. Some scoria contains silica and other elements which may be released in very minute quantities and absorbed by the roots. Scoria also can also absorb small amounts of moisture.


4. Pumice - Improves Drainage/Aeration

Pumice helps to keep the mixture open, absorbs some moisture and improves air permeability.


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