Good soil for orchids doesn’t have to be hard to find. In fact, you won’t need a special formula to fertilize or mix the fertilizer. In fact, mixing your own fertilizers and soil blends can save you money and make it easier on you. For instance, you can determine what kind of fertilizer you want to use without having to consult a fertilizer specialist. Orchids usually grow better when the roots get plenty of drainage.
One good way to ensure that your orchid plants get proper drainage is to mix a tablespoon of fine-ground limestone and one cup of charcoal powder. The pH should be about 6.5 when using this mixture. After using the mixture, wash the roots of your plants with water. If the water runs off the sides of the plant, add more charcoal to the soil to provide the roots with good drainage.
Good soil for orchids should also contain sufficient amount of air permeability. Air permeability refers to the permeability of air and water orchid root systems. It is very important that the soil should allow proper air circulation because it is the habitat of the orchid plants.
After transplanting your orchid from its original pot to your new one, make sure that your pot has good soil drainage. Use your thumbs to gently pull up on the stem part of the orchid. This will loosen up the old substrate that clings to the pot roots. If there are still traces of the substrate, there may be air pockets which can hinder the growth of your orchids. Remove these obstructions by means of your fingers or pruning shears. If the old substrate is really difficult to remove, then try using a knife to cut through it.
Do not repot your orchid until after it has grown accustomed to its new location. Repotting orchids require time to adjust to the change in environment. Some orchids such as Papaver paeoniflorum need to be repotted every year and the procedure should always be done at an equally good soil quality. Newly repotted orchids may have dry, cracked leaves which are indicative of lack of adequate moisture.
When you repot your orchid, it is advisable that you use fresh potting soil or the previously harvested orchid substrate. You should first mix your soil with the soil from your plant cuttings before planting. The ratio of the two components should be close to one hundred percent soil to plant-pot. In case you use fertilizers or compost to fertilize your plant cuttings, then the resulting compost or soil will need to be mixed with the newly collected substrate. Mixing the two together will result in a good base of nutrient-enriched soil that is suited for orchid growing.
Once the soil mix has been created, the top layer should be made of medium density or medium phalaenopsis compost or fine-grade fiberboard. The cultivation of this variety of orchid requires a lot of watering. The plant likes to have about one inch of water per week, but when the soil is wet, the tendency is for it to expand. This will result in a large amount of dead leaves and branches on the pot that is useless. Watering once a week will ensure that the plant gets all the water it needs.
After the pot has had sufficient time to settle, you can then begin planting the roots. You should make sure that the plant gets direct sunlight during the day and the pot gets at least six hours of warm water. The roots can easily absorb the nutrients from the substrate that is now available.