3 Top Homemade Recipes for Making Orchid Potting Mix

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A new orchid has been brought to your home, and after a short enthusiasm, your plant withers and you think you can just throw it away.

What can you do to save it?

This is the right place to get advice on how to restore its beauty by making orchid potting mix yourself. Here you will find out when to repot your plant, what materials to use and how to combine them.

Orchid Potting Mix

Orchids that grow in the soil are terrestrial. However, most other orchids do not need soil, because they are epiphytes that grow in the air and take their nutrients from there.

That is why it is very important to provide your plant with the right potting media, which will enable good airflow and thus mimic the natural environment.

The best time to repot your orchid is when you notice that the roots have grown too much, the potting media breaks down (decompose) and does not look healthy, the plant becomes overlarge for the pot, and the roots rot.

The easiest way is to buy the potting mix in a special shop (like this one on Amazon) and that’s the end of the story. However, if you want to embark on an adventure and try to make it yourself, you will discover how much fun and inspiring it is at the same time.

A quality orchid potting mix should retain moisture, drain water quickly, create conditions for good airflow and also break down slowly.

Potting Materials

3 different materials for orchid potting mix

Here are the most commonly used materials:

  • Tree bark (fir bark, redwood bark…)
  • Charcoal
  • Coconut chips
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • Perlite

Recipes for Orchid Potting Mix

General Combination

Prepare the first type of material that provides good airflow. Choose the type of bark, for example, Osmunda tree fern fiber, ground coastal redwood bark, or ground Douglas fir bark.

Then prepare the second type of material that retains moisture. Sphagnum moss, coconut husk chips, or perlite can be used. Finally, mix the first and second types of material in a ratio of 5:1.

Tip: 12 hours before use, Osmunda tree fern fiber should be soaked in water. Combine it with redwood bark in a ratio of 3:1.

Fine Combination

This mixture is intended for the type of orchid that has small roots and which is suitable for staying moist, such as Miltonia orchids, slipper orchids, or oncidiums.

Mix the listed materials in a ratio of 4:1:1.

  • Fine fir bark, redwood bark, or fine-grade coco chips
  • Perlite
  • Fine charcoal

Medium Combination

This mixture is suitable for mature orchids. Also if you are not sure which combination is best for your plant, feel free to try this one.

Mix the listed materials in a ratio of 4:1:1.

  • Medium fir bark or coco husk chunks
  • Perlite
  • Medium charcoal


All in all, to make an orchid potting mix yourself, combine tree bark, charcoal, coconut chips, sphagnum moss, and perlite in certain ratios.

The most important thing is that your mixture allows good airflow, retains moisture, drains water quickly, and also breaks down slowly.

Maybe you would be interested in having an expanding soil disc in your garden collection. 

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