The Best 5 Orchid Potting Mixes & Where To Buy Them

December, 2023
Darren Spalding

It is not all that challenging to grow orchids. Furthermore, they prove to be incredibly eye pleasing to all observers. The key to their continued existence lies in the fact that they can adapt at any given moment. If know how to imitate the plant’s natural environment, then you will know how to thrive and bloom,

Orchids are so widespread that you may not find it all that difficult to discover the ideal conditions to grow it in.

It can be extremely difficult for certain orchids to stay alive, or even how to bring to bloom, also for professionally trained organic farmers. There are however dozens of varieties of orchids and several hybrids that will be delighted to grow on your windowsill or in a greenhouse.

Trying to recreate the local habitat of the orchid will entail the use of light, temperature, liquid and a blend of good seedlings quality.

Sympodial or Monopodial -Which One is Best for Your Orchids?

You need to consider the type of orchid you plan to grow before you settle on, which is the best potting mix. We can classify orchids into two different categories, depending on how they grow. Which are the monopodial orchids, such as vandas or phalaenopsis, and the sympodial varieties such as dendrobium and cattleya.


The far more popular form of growth in the family of orchids is sympodial. Orchids growing this way will grow laterally, while shoots from the old rhizome will sprout out.

Flowers and leaves, like so many other plants, would grow on the fresh shoots. A few sympodial orchids in bulb style that develop swollen shoots will keep important water and nutrients to allow the plant to stay alive in drier times.


Why the Potting Mix is So Important

A single upright stem with leaves arranged on either side of it grows monopodial orchids. Typically flowers appear at the bottom of the higher leaves. This growth style is exhibited by the “moth orchid” or phalaenopsis variety, something that many growers begin with.

Based on the type of orchid you wish to grow  the right potting mix for orchids should have plenty of runoff, decent air circulation (AFP) or moisture level. For orchids, potting mixes may consist of several forms of potting media, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

With those ingredients, you can either make your own blend or buy a ready-made specialty mix.

A potting mix can mean only dirt for many people. You won’t find traditional soil in the best potting mixes of orchids though.

Now many orchids all seem to be epiphytes, or air plants, where it indicates they need a higher circulation of air than densely compacted soil. To simulate the dry/wet cycle, orchids will also need a mix that retains moisture, yet drains quickly.

Another matter to consider is the speed with which the potting mix will last before decomposition. Multiple orchids frequently last at least a year, if it is not longer, without having to repot. When it’s in bloom, you can never repot an orchid that can be multiple times per year.


How Do You Know You Have Top Quality Potting Material Ingredients?

While other terrestrial orchids, such as cymbidiums and paphiopedilum grow in soil, the majority of coastal orchids favor mostly air to the roots. Most orchids are also found growing on a tree trunk’s bark which can be duplicated with a vertical install.

However, a simpler alternative is to recreate the environment, by adding a potting mix, in the pot.

The fleshy orchid roots are covered with white cell layers. These are called velamen, and they absorb nutrients and water. This exterior surface also defends the roots against loss of humid air.

Allowing the roots to “breathe,” while draining away extra moisture, is necessary to avoid them breaking down.


Fir Bark

Fir bark is among the ingredients used in most potting mixes. It is available in three dominant types: Fine, Medium and Thick. The thinner bark chips can hold greater moisture quantities and are best suited for younger orchids.

The coarser the bark is, the faster it gets dry and the more airflow it creates. Epiphytes are well suited to fir bark, and other tree barks, such as Orchiata.


Sphagnum Moss

For orchids not used to drying out, and this may include our pick, the moth orchid as it uses moss to hold additional moisture.

Some terrestrial orchids grow in wetlands in sphagnum moss, whereas air plants grow on mossy rocks or moss-covered limbs. Unfortunately, Moss will have an acidic pH which can dissolve a potting mix, suggesting certain orchids do not grow well within it.

Many ingredients used include husks made from coconut. They are identical to fir bark, but maintain more humidity and decompose gradually.

Sponge rock offers good aeration and water preservation, while styrofoam is a readily available, inexpensive method of drainage.

Even hardwood charcoal proves itself an excellent additive to absorb various contaminants.

The following selected brands are, in our view, the 5 best orchid potting mixes you can buy to date, after researching other commercial mixes.

We've been trying to find potting mixes that are flexible enough to match any form of orchid, but you should still consider what your orchid needs most.


5 Best Orchid Potting Mixes to Ensure Proper Growth

Without any further ado, let’s discover the best potting mixes for orchids

5 - Westland Orchid Potting Compost Mix

Westland Orchid Potting Compost Mix and Enriched with Seramis, 4 L
  • This is a Specialist blend that can be used by anybody who wants healthier and more abundant flowering from their Orchids
  • The added SERAMIS granules do a fantastic job at regulating the plants water intake to ensure optimum water and nutrient availability

This particular potting mix will lead to orchids delivering outstanding blooms, which makes it a popular choice by far. Made up of a special blend of seramis clay and bark mix, the seramis granules of the potting mix delivers an open-ended mix to allow the free flow of a lot of air. In turn, the mix absorbs water and releases it back to the orchid when needed the most. It will delight your orchids as they will experience the ideal climate to thrive in.

Any gardener who desires a healthier flower from their orchids will benefit greatly from using this potting mix. The Seramis granules we’ve been talking about does a sterling job of controlling the water intake to deliver optimum nutrient value.

In more ways than one, the pine bark in the potting mix creates copious amounts of airflow and sufficient drainage to encourage healthier roots, resulting in improved and longer lasting flowers.



  • Contains uniquely blended granules to ensure optimum nutrients and water availability
  • The potting mix creates the perfect climate
  • Detailed re-potting guidelines provided
  • No need to worry about shrivelled roots as the potting mix will encourage new growth
  • Excellent plant root stimulator



  • Not ideal for growing orchids from seed level as cutting compost will do a greater job of it.
  • Need to supplement the mix with orchid bark and lots of perlite
  • Might not serve the needs of succulents ad cacti all that well


4 - Orchid Focus Repotting Mix 3 Litre

We have carefully selected this product for its superior ability to balance moisture content and capitalise on air quality, which is imperative for orchids. We suggest you make use of bark when repotting an orchid.

It is best to only make use of a chunky bark when you repot an orchid as the smaller grade bark kills orchids that already keep too much water, which will suffocate the roots of the plant.

Besides, orchids must be repotted every 12 to 18 months for the sake of the bark. Another reason is that the orchids degrade over time and retain a lot of water. When you repot it, the orchid will then be encouraged to re-flower and experience a boost in growth.


What Do You Need to Repot an Orchid?

On top of the Orchid Focus Repotting Mix, you will also have to use a pair of scissors or sharp knife together with a clear pot of the right size. You’ll need it to support the root photosynthesis and it will make it easier to check the water levels.

The best time to repot your orchid using this potting mix is during spring or autumn. Do your best to avoid summer or when the plant is busy flowering.

This mixture comes dry and is not as messy as other potting mixes. It is the kind of mixture that helps to keep moisture while it will allow air in to prevent mildew from settling on it.

The particles on the inside of the potting soil mix are small enough so it is easy to cover the entire root area of your orchid. All you need to do is shake the bag and the granules will fall gently onto your orchid and you will have a plant that is happy to do its thing.


  • You will find yourself a sustainable bark that can weather the storms
  • Keep moisture in with no mold issues
  • Perfect for younger to mature orchids
  • Roots will experience good health and longevity.


  • Additional care is needed besides just adding repotting soil
  • Chip sizes are small, so you’ll need two bags
  • The soil remains wet for a bit too long

3 - Miracle-Gro Premium Orchid Compost 6 L Easy Carry Pack

This repotting mix for orchids is perfect for soil in the UK. In actual fact, they export this brand to other countries such as Kuwait. The unique blend of Miracle-Gro Premium is made from quality pine bark to ensure drainage works like it should.

What’s more is the mixture is pH balanced to boost the growth of healthy and glossy leaves. This is partly the reason the blend contains a special combination of up to 14 vital minerals to ensure faster growth and also stronger plants.

An added bonus is the 100% recyclable packaging it comes in, showing the makers of this brand cares about our environment. This brand is ideally suited to almost any type or orchid. Another thing that is great about this orchid compost is that handy 6L carry pack that can fit in anywhere to accommodate the lack of space many a homeowner has in their vehicle.

Suitable for use straight out of the bag, the Miracle-Gro is fantastic value for money.


  • Specifically made to suit most orchids
  • Comprises a unique blend of up to minerals and trace elements
  • pH balanced to accommodate the needs of your orchids
  • Ideal for hanging baskets, containers, and pots


  • Not enough ratings to cage the usefulness of this product, but so far so good

2 - Levington Orchid Compost 8L

It is quite easy to repot orchids once you have the right repotting mix or compost for it. You may want to take a closer look at what Levington Orchid Compost can do for your plants. While we are on the topic, the makers of this brand are fully aware of the different stages needed to repot an orchid successfully.

Why would one want to repot your beautifully grown orchid and refill the new pot with a repotting mix that is suited to orchids?

One of the key reasons would be that the orchid would have outgrown the pot and old compost would have lost its power to add any value to the existing leaves and flowers. The air would be cut off and not reach the roots of the orchid to help nurture it.

Another issue to be concerned about, which we touched on earlier is the fact that the roots would retain too much water and start rotting badly if a plan wasn’t made to repot the orchid by now.

Step number one involves looking at the roots to see if there are any bad ones in need of removing. Any bad leaves must be trimmed. At this point you already want to have the best repotting mix for orchids for which the Levington Orchid Compost proves to be a good choice. Ideally, orchids love well drained compost like this brand to enable one to water the plant regularly. In some cases, it would be a great idea to add some extra bark with the compost so the water can be more retentive.

Step number two is to get your orchid a clean and clear pot, then drop it in some styrofoam or bark to ensure better drainage. It is good to monitor the progress of your repotted orchid and check to see if there are any insects that make their way to the roots of your lovely orchid.

Thirdly, you would position the orchid you wish to repot in such a way that the crown is level with the top part of the Levington Orchid Compost you placed in the pot.

Once the orchid plant is stable, you would carry on with step number four and fill it right to the brim with compost and tap the sides of the pot all the way to make sure there is a sufficient amount of compost inside.


  • Excellent compost for orchids that are in a bad shape and soaked with too much water.
  • Sufficient levels of moisture in this compost mix
  • Small bits of bark is ideal for younger orchids
  • Water is very easily absorbed thanks to this compost mixture
  • Nice balance of fine and coarse parts to make repotting effortless
  • Excellent quality


  • May attract a few flies as they favour the smell it gives off

1 - Orchid Myst Repotting Kit


This orchid repotting mix is a cut above the rest and contains everything you need and more. The illustrated instructions that are included in the kit will help anyone new to this entire thing to get it right.

Did we mention that you get a lovely clear orchid pot and the incredible Orchid Myst 100 ml added to the repotting mix?

Ask any avid gardener or orchid fundi, and they will tell you what an absolute pleasure it is to take care and propagate your own plants. It sure is one of the most satisfying aspects in the world when it comes to drawing closer to nature. To have and hold your own special plant, which is generally the feeling orchid lovers experience, is next-level good.

Growth technology and products like these make life so much easier as you will find yourself encouraged to tackle repotting with new vigor. It is only when you tackle such an endeavour you realize how much joy and satisfaction you get from it.

There is something about orchids that inspire plant lovers to do a little more for these special creations and go all out to care for them. This involves the use of something like the Orchid Myst Repotting Kit that already has the tools you need included to make your job a lot easier.

Besides, most of us know that orchids need special attention once they reach maturity which is about 12 months to 18 months later. At this stage of the game, they need to be repotted. When you make use of Orchid Myst, your repotting efforts will be minimal and assist your fully matured orchid to obtain a new spurt of growth and reward its onlookers with beautiful looking flowers.

This is one kind of repotting mix that is especially useful for Phalaenopsis.


  • Orchid lovers get rewarded with a clear pot. measuring 13 cm that is specially made for orchids
  • The repotting mix is premium quality and comprises a peat-free blend
  • Professional orchid growers approved
  • Provided complete care of orchids
  • Everything you need and more with easy to follow guidelines
  • Takes only 15 minutes to repot your orchid


  • Repotting mix might not be enough to fill your pot to the brim


Last update on 2023-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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