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Orchid soil help :)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Rocio, Dec 7, 2020.

  1. Rocio

    Rocio New Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    A few weeks ago, I asked some people about my orchid which seemed very dehydrated (someone gave it to me in a very bad shape.) People suggested changing the soil because it was too big for this mini phalaenopsis. Is Spanish moss a good option? Should I replace the soil now? The orchid is growing new leaves, and I do not want to make a mistake. I am a beginner, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much!!
     

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  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Rocio.

    Unlike terrestrial plants that do essentially all of their gas exchange through their leaves, epiphytes orchids, like your phalaenopsis, have evolved to do a substantial amount through their roots. That means that the potting medium needs to not only hold moisture, but be open and airy as well, so it will not stifle that gas exchange and suffocate the roots.

    Spanish moss is not a good candidate as a potting medium, as it is a living bromeliad that will soon die and decompose, becoming the suffocating mess we want to avoid. Most people use a mixture based upon bark chips, often mixed with a bit of sphagnum to enhance the water-holding capacity, but the choice of medium depends a lot on your growing conditions and watering habits. When I grew in a greenhouse, I used 100% bark (1 cm pieces) for many of my plants, but since moving and returning to in-home growing, I use 100% sphagnum moss. Tell us more about your temperatures and humidity, and maybe we can help more.
     
    Sabinchen and Marni like this.
  3. RinaShreve

    RinaShreve New Member

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    The soil at home is selected only based on the specific characteristics of each orchid. As a rule, it should be light enough to allow air and water to pass through. It can vary: From poor, where only pine bark is included in the composition; Too rich and moisture-intensive, to which various components like peat are added. It is essential to know that Orchids prefer similar but slightly different soil types. Usually, I take the soil for Orchids on the website https://trimthatweed.com/best-potting-soil-for-herbs /. By the way, instead of earth, it is possible to use the bark of other trees, for example, oak or birch, but this is undesirable because it contains tannins and decomposes faster than pine bark.