orchid mix

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  • Orchid Mix





    Since first introduced into the US from New Zealand more than 15 years ago, Orchiata orchid bark has been trusted by even the pickiest orchid hobbyists and commercial growers. Orchiata biggest advantage over a regular orchid bark is it lasts for much longer. When using regular orchid bark, we usually have to repot our orchids every year. With Orchiata bark, we only need to do it once every 4-5 years. It is even longer than that when the bark is used along with wood baskets. Orchiata bark can be used as a standalone potting medium. It can be also blended with several growing media to make an even better orchid mix. For the first a couple of months in use, Orchiata stays relatively dry. It does not absorb much water. However, it holds up water very well after that, providing a humid and stable environment for your orchid roots to thrive.


    Sphagnum moss

    Spagmoss Premier from Besgrow has the highest quality in the market. This AAA grade sphagnum moss has length of at least 6 inch for 50% of the product. After being harvested the moss is gone thought a thorough cleaning and drying process to remove all contamination, making it super clean. As sphagnum moss can absorb and retain a lot of water, it is great for seedlings, which a more stable growing condition. The moss can also stimulate new root growth on newly repotted orchids. It can be used as a stand-alone orchid medium or added to orchid mix to make it more water retentive. When repotting our orchids, we usually add a thin layer of moss on top of wood baskets or plastic pot, which always dries faster than the bottom, to create a more uniform humidity distribution. Depending on your growing conditions, this moss can last up to 4-5 years.


    Horticulture Charcoal

    Horticultural charcoal is proven to be a very effective additive to orchid mixes. It helps absorb impurities in water and fertilizers. It does not break down over time. In high humidity areas such as Florida and Hawaii, charcoal can be even used as a stand-alone orchid growing medium. Our premium charcoal is produced specifically for orchids. It is made of hardwood without any chemical and additive. When repoting our orchids we usually add a thin layer of coarse horticulture charcoal at the bottom of the pot/basket. It is to prevent root rot as charcoal absorb very little water.


    Perlite and Hydroton

    Like horticulture charcoal, perlite and clay pebbles do not break down over time. Thanks to their excellent air holding capacity, they are usually added to orchid mixes to in a small amount to improve drainage and prevent root rot. They should not be used as a stand-alone orchid media as they are very lightweight, and thus do not provide a firm/stable substrate for orchid roots to establish. We carry coarse perlite (#4) by Mother Earth and the original expanded clay pebbles from Hydroton, which are the best perlite and clay pebbles available for orchid growers.


    WHY US


    Volume Discount

    Cart QTY 3-5 6-8 9-
    Discount 10% 15% 20%


    Orchiata #1 1 gallon Precision 1/4" – fine orchid bark $17.00
    Orchiata #2 1 gallon Classic 3/8" – fine medium bark $17.00
    Orchiata #3 1 gallon Power 1/2" – medium bark $17.00
    Orchiata #4 1 gallon Power plus 3/4" – medium coarse bark $17.00
    Orchiata #5 1 gallon Super 1" – coarse orchid bark $17.00
    CHAR-1 1 gallon Horticultural charcoal 3/8"- fine medium $19.00
    CHAR-2 1 gallon Horticultural charcoal 3/4"- medium coarse $19.00
    HYDR-1 1 gallon Hydroton original clay pebbles $16.00
    PERL-1 1 gallon Horticultural perlite 1/2" – coarse $16.00
    MOSS-1 150 grams (12L) New Zealand sphagnum moss – AAA grade $45
    Orchiata #1 40 liter bag Precision 1/4" – fine orchid bark $99.00
    Orchiata #2 40 liter bag Classic 3/8" – fine medium bark $99.00
    Orchiata #3 40 liter bag Power 1/2" – medium bark $99.00
    Orchiata #4 40 liter bag Power plus 3/4" – medium coarse bark $99.00
    Orchiata #5 40 liter bag Super 1" – coarse orchid bark $99.00



    If you do not want to order the potting media and blend them yourself, let us do it for you. Our premium orchid mixes are hand blended using the above top-quality ingredients. We come up with the mixing ratio based on literature research (including AOS magazine, orchid forums, and local orchid societies) and our own orchid growing experience. The orchid mixes range from a very fine one (the most water retentive) to a very coarse one (the least water retentive). This makes our orchid mixes suitable for most (if not all) of orchids available today including Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Oncidium, Dendrobium, Cymbidium, and Vanda.


    #1 70% (#2) 15% (#1 fine) 10% 5% 15 grams/gallons
    #2 60% (#2) 20% (#1 fine) 10% 10% 7 grams/gallons
    #3 60% (#3) 20% (#2 coarse) 10% 10% 0%
    #4 50% (#4) 25% (#2 coarse) 15% 10% 0%
    #5 40% (#5) 35% (#2 coarse) 15% 10% 0%

    Volume Discount

    Cart QTY 3-5 6-8 9-
    Discount 10% 15% 20%



    MIX #1 1 gallon Super high moisture retention mix $21
    MIX #2 1 gallon High moisture retention orchid mix $21
    MIX #3 1 gallon Medium moisture retention orchid mix $21
    MIX #4 1 gallon Low medium moisture retention orchid mix $21
    MIX #5 1 gallon Low moisture retention orchid mix $21





    How long orchid mixes can last depends on quality of its organic ingredients (bark, sphagnum moss, coconut husk...), since the inorganic ones (horticulture charcoal, perlite, Hydroton...) do not break down over time. Many orchid mixes out there include regular fir bark, which usually breaks down in a year or less. That is the reason why they recommend you to repot your orchids every year. At Orchidmate, we only use the best quality organic ingredients available in the market (Orchiata bark and AAA sphagnum moss). This makes our mix last for at least 3-4 years. With our mixes, you do not need to repot every year. In fact, you should not repot every year unless your orchids over grow the pot (Paph orchid is an exception; it loves to be repotted frequently). The reason is that after the first year the root system just establishes. You do not want to introduce shock to it again by repotting. Orchids usually grow and bloom much better in the second and third year after repotting.
    Some orchid mixes need to be soaked in water for a couple of hours or more before it can be used. This is to remove any salt and impurities in the mix. However, soaking is not necessary for our orchid mixes, because all of its ingredients (e.g., Orchiata, horticulture charcoal, perlite...) are already very clean. The mixes are ready to be used right out of the bag.
    If the humidity in your area varies significantly from season to season, we would recommend you to select orchid mixes based on the higher humidity level. You just need to water a bit more frequently during the drier season. This is more controllable compared to selecting a finer mix and water less during the wet season. Too much water/humidity can cause various issues such as root/crown rot, black rot and fungal infection.
    Unlike other brands, we are completely transparent in terms ingredients of our orchid mixes. We list the exact percentage of each ingredients as well as what it is and where it comes from. That's how you can easily verify the premium quality of the mixes. As for the lowest price, we try to stay as lean as possible. We do not have beautiful packaging for the orchid mixes. We do not run advertisements on Google and Facebook. We believe in organic growing and that is the best way for us to bring more value to you. With our mixes, you get a lot more than what you pay for.
    One gallon orchid mix generally can fill two to three regular 6" plastic pots. It can fill four to six 4" ones. As for sphagnum moss, 150 grams (12 liters) can also fill four to six 4" pots depending on how much you compress it.
    There are three main types of orchid bark - Orchiata, Kiwi, regular fir bark - available in the market. Orchiata has premium quality and proven to last for many years. Kiwi bark also has good quality. It has been used by many growers in the bay area with good feedback. Many said it is as good as Orchiata. The key different between Orchiata and Kiwi bark is Orchiata is "processed", while Kiwi bark is more in its raw state. The process allows Orchiata to include micro-organisms, which are believed beneficial to orchids. Kiwi bark stays drier at the beginning and potentially lasts longer since it is "rawer". We are testing Kiwi bark ourselves and potentially carry it in the future. The last type of orchid in the market is the regular fir bark which you can find in big-box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. This fir bark has much inferior quality and usually can only last a year or less.
    The key function of an orchid mix is to provide a substrate for the orchid roots to attach to, and to retain moisture + nutrition for the roots. The five different sizes we have should cover the range of water retention that most of orchids in cultivation require. If we have more than five, the difference between one size and the next becomes negligible. Therefore, we think it is just not necessary to have more than five different mixes. In case you need a medium that is more water retentive than our mix #1, you can use sphagnum moss as a stand-alone potting medium. At the other end, if you desire something more "drier" than our mix #5, we recommend coarse horticulture charcoal as the medium.
    If someone tells you that Orchiata contains no wood, he/she does not tell you the truth. Even premium orchid bark like Orchiata and Kiwi bark contains some wood chips which tent to degrade earlier than the bark itself. It is recommended to removed the wood chips by hand anytime you see them. Fortunately, the amount of wood chips is very low (<0.1%). Overall, Orchiata bark is still very clean and uniform.
    In some cases you can simply put the whole basket in a bigger one. However, this should be done only if the old basket and potting media are still very good. Otherwise, the only way to remove the orchid from the wood basket is to cut off all the roots sticking to the basket. This is usually a large amount of roots. However, it is should not be issue to the orchid assuming it is mature have have a good size. Moreover, using our orchid mixes or Orchiata bark along with our wood baskets you only need to repot your orchid every 4-5 years.




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