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.”
Below are a few guidelines to help you understand if the potting mix you are using is the best for growing your orchids.
In nature, orchid roots absorb moisture from water, rain, mist and the atmosphere, etc. Most aerial 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.
I believe the key to growing orchids is to try and mimic this process, frequent watering, with time for the orchid roots to dry out a little between waterings.
Bio Leaf Premium Orchid Potting Mix has been designed to facilitate this process. It is an open medium that will give the roots access to both moisture and air.
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.
This is a premium orchid potting mix which is a blend of quality hard orchid bark, hardwood charcoal, rock wool, perlite and scoria. This potting mix can be used for most orchids. We have developed this substrate around 3 criteria:
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.
Below is a summary of the properties for the ingredients we use in our medium:
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.
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.
Flecks of rock wool improve the moisture-holding capacity of the mix. Rock wool does not breakdown and remains viable for a long time.
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.
Perlite helps to keep the mixture open and improves and air permeability.
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