In my many years of growing orchids, one of the most important lessons I have learned is the use of the right potting medium. This is very important because this is where the orchids will thrive. This is also where it will get most of its nutrients. In ensuring the healthy state of your orchids, you must know what the different potting media are and how each of these will benefit a specific type or variety of orchid.
However, I will only focus on using orchid moss for this particular article. I have learned through my many years of experience that the use of Sphagnum moss is greatly beneficial because it can hold moisture like a sponge. And orchids love moisture; in fact, you can skip watering them for seven to ten days as long as the potting mixture is still moist. I have seen this benefit happen to my orchid collection. But I must warn you though that there will come a time when you will need to change your orchid moss because this will decay just like any living organism.
I have tried using Sphagnum moss two ways: the first was I used it as a lining for my hanging orchids and the second is by making it as a moisture bed in mounting my orchids on the side of a bark slab. Both ways are quite effective. I have my orchids in these two conditions and they are healthy and very much in bloom.
I must caution you though that using a Sphagnum moss might be a little costly than the other potting media. But you don't have to be disheartened if you really want to try using it. You may check out a reputable dealer and ask for the South American variety that specifically comes from Chile. This type is a bit cheaper than the orchid moss found in New Zealand. I specifically prefer the New Zealand variety, but I have also tried using the one from Chile and it gives the same kind of benefit.
An added tip when you are using orchid moss as a potting medium is you have to remove the entire old medium and choose the right size of pot, depending on the size of your orchids. You need to spread the roots over the cone of moss and then wrap some more of the moss around the root ball before placing it into the new pot. You have to see to it that all the roots are covered. When working with orchid moss, you also need to wear gloves in order to avoid getting fungal infection. Sphagnum moss is quite notorious on fungus, so it is best to be careful when handling them.
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