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Orchid Care: What's the Best Potting Medium for My Orchid Plant?

Here’s a basic guideline in choosing a potting medium for different types of orchids, according to the American Orchid Society.

Cymbidiums orchids, Miltonia orchids, Miltoniopsis orchids, Paphiopedilums, and Phalaenopsis orchids

  • These are tropical orchids that should be put in a soil that’s medium- to fine-grade, highly absorbent but porous even when moist. 
  • Allow seven (7) days to dry before watering again. 
  • Best planted in medium to large-sized clay or non-porous plastic pots.

  • Dendrobium orchids, vandaceous types, terete or pendant Oncidiums, and other orchid genera
    • These orchids thrive in coarse, porous potting medium.  
    • Allow three (3) days or less to dry before watering again. 
    • Best planted  in small to medium-sized clay pots or slatted baskets

  • Cattleya orchids,  orchids from the Oncidium/ Odontoglossum alliances, and other genera
    • These are sympodial orchid plants with prominent pseudobulbs.
    • They do well in coarse- to medium-grade, porous yet absorbent potting material.
    • Wait for four (4) to seven (7) days to dry before watering again.
    • Best planted in medium to large-sized clay or non-porous plastic pots.


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