How Do Your Orchids Grow?

How Do Your Orchids Grow?


A video from Rocket Farms’ executive vice president and an editorial from Westerlay Orchids’ president sparked the great growth media debate. Here’s what Greenhouse Grower readers had to say about producing consistent, premium orchids.


“Having grown orchids for over 30 years, both personally and professionally, I’ve found that successful orchid culture is dependent on the proper balance of media, light, temperature, humidity, water/fertilizer, air movement and container. Orchids will grow in almost any type of media….provided proper adjustments are made in the other elements noted. What most hobbyists fail to understand is that most orchids are epithetic and require a certain amount of air exchange around their roots. After countless experiments, we’ve found that a mix of quality fir bark augmented with a small amount of sponge rock and sphagnum moss works best for consistent orchid growth”–Doug Watson, GM, Worldwide Orchids, Inc.

“We have seen bark to be more accommodating to poor water quality for the end user than moss, which can accumulate stuff from the water and eventually kill the roots”–Mitch Rabin, Owner, Living Colors Nursery

“You are both right. I’ve been growing orchids since 1972 in everything you can possibly imagine: Bark, moss, tire chips, oak leaves, saw dust, redwood chips, peat, coco chips and volcanic cinder. They all work, and most work well if everything else in the environment is modified to account for the media. We grow our oncidiinae intergeneric young plants in Oasis foam cubes and our flowering size plants in a mixture of coco chips, peat moss and perlite. It all works for the right plant in the right environment”–Glen Barfield, General Manager, The OrchidWorks