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How to Make Bark Mix for Your Phalaenopsis Orchid?

January 3, 2013

It is very important that you use the right potting medium for your Phalaenopsis orchid, because it can have a significant effect on the plant’s water requirements. The ideal potting medium is one that allows quick drainage and ample air movement around the roots. A wide range of potting materials and mixes can be used for growing Phals, and one of them is bark mix. Phalaenopsis orchids are epiphytes when they are in the wild, meaning that they grow on trees instead of soil. By using bark mix to pot your orchid, you will create a growing environment that is more similar to its natural habitat. 

Here are instructions on how to make bark mix for your Phalaenopsis orchid:

  • Bark mix consists of tree bark and a water-retaining material, such as perlite, peat moss, or coconut husk chips. Gather these materials before you start. 
  • For the main potting material, you can use either ground coastal redwood bark, ground Douglas fir bark, or Osmunda tree fern fiber. All these materials are coarse, and they allow air to circulate naturally around the roots of your orchid.
  • Next, select a secondary potting material for retaining water. Using such a material in combination with tree bark can improve orchid growth. 
  • Lastly, mix the tree bark and water-retaining material at a ratio of 5:1 respectively. If you are planning to use Osmunda tree fern fiber, you have to soak it in water for about 12 hours first before you start planting. Combine it with redwood bark at a ratio of 3:1 to create a healthy mix.

When the bark mix becomes soggy constantly, it is time to replace it with new potting materials. Check out this video to learn how to repot Phalaenopsis orchids.