Homemade Potting Soil for Orchids


With a variety of exotic looking blooms, orchids have delighted the senses for ages. Part of the allure of these beautiful plants is their ability to grow virtually in mid-air. Epiphytic species require bark-based potting medium to rest their roots on, while terrestrial varieties prefer a soil-based mixture. Create these potting soils at home for successful indoor orchid cultivation.

Step 1

Blend an epiphytic orchid potting medium by combining five parts fir bark, one part perlite (a component that aids in drainage) and 1 oz. dolomitic limestone per 4 gallons of mix.

Step 2

Mix terrestrial potting medium by soaking osmunda tree fern fiber in water 12 hours in advance.

Step 3

Combine the fiber with one part redwood bark and 1 oz. dolomitic limestone per 4 gallons of mix.

Step 4

Add a 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer every six weeks after potting the orchids. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts suggest that fir bark--based mixtures present an exception, requiring 30-10-10 rate fertilizer at the six-week mark after planting your orchid.

Step 5

Store the potting mix in a tightly sealed container or use immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Orchid plant
  • Fir bark
  • Perlite
  • Dolomitic limestone
  • Osmunda tree fern fiber
  • Redwood bark
  • Liquid fertilizer
  • Storage container


  • University of Georgia Extension: Growing Indoor Plants
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum Species
  • Clemson University Extension: Orchids
Keywords: orchid potting mix, homemade orchid soil, orchid media recipe

About this Author

Desirae Roy holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education, with a focus on reading and special education. Also an interpreter for the deaf, she facilitates communication for students who learn in an inspiring way. Roy cultivates a life long love of learning and enjoys sharing her journey with others through writing.