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Potting Materials

Fir Bark
          Most of our plants are grown in medium or large-grade fir bark
. Fine fir bark can be used for very young plants, but often holds too much water.  Fir bark degrades/decays after a few years and smaller pieces will decay faster.

Sphagnum Moss
          Sphagnum moss, both live or dead, is a great though expensive potting material.  It can be mixed with your other potting materials, or in some cases when humidity is an issue, it can be used as the potting material.  Sphagnum moss does not decay as fast as bark, and if live will continue to live in harmony with your orchid.

Anything else?
          There are lots of other types of barks, moss, and/or other complements that can be added to your potting mix.  A comman example is the use of perlite, which can hold a large amount of water.  We often add a piece of foam within our pots to ensure good air flow to the roots.

Can I use potting soil?
          NO, do not use potting soil.  Potting soil is to fine and holds too much water.  The soil does not allow enough air to get to your plant's roots.  Your plant will not get enough air, the roots will rot, and the plant will likely die.

How do I know if I need to change potting mix?
          Is your potting mix more than 2 or 3 years old?  Yes, you should probably change it.  NO, do not use potting soil.   Potting soil is to fine and holds too much water.  The soil does not allow enough air to get to your plant's roots.  Your plant will not get enough air, the roots will rot, and the plant will likely die.
          Are roots growing out of the pot?  If yes, then the potting material is too moist. Your plant is putting out roots outside of the pot to get more air.  Check your pot and potting medium for proper drainage.  Some plants grow best when the potting material is allowed to dry out between waterings.



(Disclaimer - the information contained on the www.kawamotoorchids.com website does not guarantee plant health, growth, or blooms; the information provided serves as a general guide and may not apply to your plants.)

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