Orchid-growing medium - Knowledgebase Question

Wellington, Fl
Question by madegood
April 23, 2010
Received orchids with roots packed in a fibrous medium. Left it like that and watered the plants as needed. 2 of them now have mealy bug. Sprayed with Malathion and then Sevin. Today, I removed & discaded the medium which had mealybugs. Used isopropanol on the leaves and exdposed roots. What medium should I get? Other advice? Thanks.

Answer from NGA
April 23, 2010


Orchids grow best in a well draining media. Yours was probably packed in coir, which is fine, but you can replace it with a packaged Orchid Mix potting soil which is basically small bark nuggets or chips. I'm surprised your orchids attracted mealybugs. Glad you were able to dispense them! Orchids are some of the most popular and rewarding houseplants. There are many, many kinds, each with different requirements, but here are some general care tips for orchids: They like daytime temperatures of about 70F degrees in the summer, 60F in the winter, and a drop of ten degrees at night. Cool nights are important. Give them bright light, 10-15 hours each day. Keep the potting medium moist, but reduce the frequency of watering during the winter months. Mist the leaves occasionally. Keep them out of drafts and shade them from direct sunshine. Some orchids will rebloom on the same stem so when yours blooms you can remove the spent flower but leave the stem alone. If it does not flower again, the stem will die and you can then cut it off. A new flowering stem will emerge when your orchid is ready to flower again. Orchids bloom best when they are rootbound so don't be in a hurry to repot it. Enjoy your new orchid!

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