Commercially available Potting "Soil"

Terrestrial orchids are not any different to any other ground plants, they have roughly the same needs. Terrestrial orchids need a well drained soil that does not compact easily, contains a certain amount of organic matter and has a good water holding capacity.

Organic matter decomposes slowly and supplies the orchids (and associated fungi) with nutrients, furthermore, as it decomposes, it improves the water holding capacity and provides the orchid roots with the extra moisture needed during the growing period. A good pH, that keeps the nutrients in solution and encourages the activity of fungi is also important (pH 5 - 6.5).

There are many, ready made potting mixes, commercially available. For Terrestrial orchids the key ingredients are: Sandy Loam (at least 50%). Extra sand (about 5 - 10% and 2-4 mm diameter) and Organic matter (like “Leaf mulch”, at least 20%).

Many commercially available potting mixes contain extras like; “Blood and Bone”, “slow release fertilizer pellets”, “Limestone”, etc. There is no point paying extra for extras that are not required (Blood and Bone attracts ants, etc). Orchids must be looked after from day one after potting.