‘Will suffocate and die!’ Garden pro on why you should ‘never’ plant orchids in some soils

Orchids: Plant expert provides advice on the best potting mix

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An orchid plant can really brighten up a room with its multicoloured blooms. However, as beautiful as they are, orchids can develop a plethora of problems. A lot of an orchid’s problems can develop from being over-watered or being planted in the wrong soil.

The Home Depot’s own orchid care expert Eileen has shared her advice on how to keep a healthy and happy orchid.

One of the most important aspects of planting an orchid is its potting mix.

Eileen has explained which potting mix is best for an orchid and which ones you should “never” use.

She explained: “Your orchid will grow in sphagnum moss as you see here or it can use a specialised orchid potting mix which includes bark, gravel and other large components.

“You should never ever plant your orchid in an indoor potting mix or garden soil mix.”

Orchids have long roots that receive moisture, air and nutrients.

Using typical soil mixes will stop your roots from getting as much air.

Eileen continued: “If you use a traditional soil, this soil will bind the roots up.

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“The roots will not be able to breathe and obtain the air and the moisture that they need and the plant will suffocate and die.”

The orchid expert showed YouTube users the roots of the orchid she was looking at.

The roots were quite long and really tightly bound.

Eileen said in the wild, the roots would usually be bound to the top of a tree or limb and that would be how they would anchor the orchid to the substrate.

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However, our orchids are indoors and don’t live in tropical rainforest conditions.

In this case, they need a specialised potting mix.

She said: “So the best we can do is a specialised potting mix or sphagnum moss and as you can see as I take the moss away from the roots we’ve got quite a network going on here.

“Healthy roots means a healthy plant.”

Eileen showed viewers the root system of the orchid.

Some of the roots were bright green and healthy while other portions were brown.

The brown ones are dead so will need cutting out.

Eileen recommended trimming off the orchid just above the portion that’s deceased.

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