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Gritty Mix Special Imperial Potting Mix

Gritty Mix Special Imperial Potting Mix
Note: In general, one quart of potting mix fills a six inch wide pot, two four inch pots, or half of an eight inch pot with no plant in it.

The number of plants that can be repotted depends on the size of the roots and how tightly the mix is packed into the pot.

Standard Bag

Generous stuffed resealable handle bag (2.5 Gallons - 10 Quarts)

Junior Bag

Generous stuffed resealable handle bag
(1.25 Gallons - 5 Quarts)


Generous stuffed resealable bag (1.5 Quarts)

Small CUBE

A full 10 x 10 x 10 inch box (about 2 Standard Bags)
with 1/2 doz plant labels and 3 flower clips

Medium CUBE

A full 12 x 12 x 12 inch box (about 3 Standard Bags)
with 1/2 doz plant labels and 3 flower clips

Large CUBE

A full 14 x 14 x 14 inch box (about 5 Standard Bags)
with 1/2 doz plant labels and 3 flower clips

Orchid Mix

Gritty Mix Special Imperial Potting Mix is made with:

Gritty Mix Special Imperial Potting Mix by rePotme is a blend of long lasting ingredients: montery pine bark, granite grit and turface. This "gritty mix" is perfect for container plants that require a free draining mix that will last a very long time. Feel free to contact us if you are unsure which Potting Mix is right for your plants.

We make our mixes the old fashioned way -- no "secret ingredients", just the highest quality and finest media that can be had, and we tell you exactly what goes in to every one of our mixes. Would you have it any other way?

That's the way we do business too, no surprises, just impeccable service, lightning fast responsiveness and checking back with you on every order to make sure you are delighted with what you received. We treat you the same way we want to be treated. We treat your plants the same way, as we treat our own.

The standard bag of our gritty potting mix is a generous overstuffed 13 inch x 18 inch size made from 12 scoops/quarts of media. All of our blends are delivered in convenient resealable containers.

User Reviews of our Products

I just want to thank you. I've NEVER been able to get orchids to re-flower. Out of frustration, I bought everything from you to repot 4 that I had and with your pots, mix, instructions and hints (using stryofoam chips), they're all blooming. I'll recommend you to everyone.

Thanks again!!

Rosemary G. -- Moorpark CA

Thank you for the follow up email. I received everything intact, and my orchid has improved 100 fold since changing the medium. I changed the potting medium after having the orchid for two years to a bark based mix per someones suggestion. The mix was chain store bought and my orchid started to turn for the worse almost immediately. I had never had any problems with it before. Anyway, your potting mix has brought it back to life. I am beyond pleased. Many thanks!!

Anthony A. --- Cambridge, MA

I have owned several phals for about 6 years. One or two have not bloomed since the original purchase years ago. However, I found your website and purchased the necessary items to repot my phals. Well, let me tell you, the one that hasn't bloomed in 6 years has now put on a spike in the last week. At first I thought it was a root, but, low and behold, it is a spike. And, only after I repotted it. I must tell you that the roots were a mess, many rotted. However, I followed your online instructions as best as I could, and all are doing much better and putting on new leaves. Even the one with the new spike. Which, I found really amazing.

Bonnie L. ----- Watsonville, CA

What can I say, if I could I would give you and your staff a big hug. I have never in all my years even working with the general public had the pleasure of working with competent and outstanding individuals like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the extra potting mix. That meant so much to me, you have no idea. Everything arrived in perfect condition.
Your customer for ever!!!!!

Elizabeth C. ---- Massapequa Park, NY

Yes, my order arrived safe and sound. The orchid that I repotted is already showing signs of a new leaf :) I haven't seen a new leaf since I got the orchid about two years ago. I'm excited to see if I get a flower at some point.

Thanks for caring. You have been very responsive to my questions and it feels like you really want your customers to succeed.

Diane N. --- Lebanon, OH

Hello rePotme,

I'm writing to say thank you. I've had my two orchid plants for several years, one for approximately nine years and the other for six. The younger plant is actually an offshoot of the older plant. I purchased my first orchid from a garden show. It was in bloom at the time. I wasn't sure what to do with the original bloom spike once it finished flowering, so I left it as is. Eventually a second plant grew from the tip of the spike.

Until I found your website about 3 years ago, I was very limited in my knowledge of how to properly take care of my orchids. I discovered your website when I was searching for new orchid pots. Based on care advice that I found on your site, I also bought your Classic Orchid planting mix and FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer along with my new pots.

I separated the two plants, and following advice from your site, I repotted my orchids in their new pots and mix and began a regular feeding/watering schedule. Eventually I also purchased a humidity tray.

My orchids have thrived!! They've grown - the baby is now as big as the parent - and both regularly put out new leaves. But, and it was a big but, they still failed to bloom. I hadn't seen a bloom since the original bloom spike nine years ago. But I was determined, so this fall I religiously followed your advice, creating an environment of shortened days and lower temps in order to encourage blooming. And as you can see from the attached photos, I was successful. FINALLY!! Thank you, thank you!! Both of my plants decided to bloom and they look beautiful. I wanted to share the good news and my gratitude with you.

Thanks again!

Laurie J. --- Lisle, IL

rePotme - I love your site & am very pleased with the information you provide. I've used all that I ordered from your company & have had orchids blooming for the last 6 months, because of what I learned from you. My blooming orchids were given to me by a grocery store nursery & we're mostly shriveled, brown & appeared dead. Thru your site I was able to identify, repot & give them the right conditions to thrive & bloom.

Janna P. --- Edmonds, WA

At my dentist's office last month I was horrified to discover, pushed into a dark corner, a poor, dusty, perishing (perished?) phalaenopsis. Having been the star of one of those elaborate holiday arrangements--roses, curly willow, ribbons/bows, etc--all that was left was two flaccid greenish leaves on top among all the dried up remains. So...pitched a royal fit--how could they deliberately murder such a beautiful organism, almost changed dentists over it, and took the poor thing home.

It's roots were just brown strings so I didn't hold out much hope, but I stuck it in some of your phalaenopsis mix and gave it a little Feed Me! anyway.

Well...two weeks later, tiny new green leaf (!!!)
Two weeks after that, another tiny new green leaf (!!!!!)
Today, it really appears to be alive and actually on its way to flourishing.
So, however you concoct your concoctions, I'm here to tell you, there are miracles in them.
Thank you, rePotme. I'll send you a picture when it blooms.

Carol P. --- Fort Worth, TX

I received my order of Imperial Orchid Mix yesterday. Really beautiful mix. I've not seen anything to compare with it. Thank you for a great product!

Ruth T. --- Williamsville NY


Yes my order did arrive, I was very impressed with the packing and every pot was intact. Every piece is very pretty. The soil is very different from what I am use to seeing in supermarkets or home improvement centers. Have been looking at your website for a while but when my orchids started showing signs of illnesses after reporting in some home improvement dusty mix it was time to give you a try. So glad I did. Repoted my orchids and African violets and in ten days my plants are looking better. The person who took my order on the phone was very helpful. Glad I found your website. Thank you for a great product and the help you provided.


Mary-Grace D. --- Easton, PA

"I received my order on the 13th.....finally did some repotting yesterday....mostly phals...( ordered 12 Scoop Select-A-Blend ) mix....was great....I liked my choices for the mixture.....for cats I will just add lava rock & maybe more aliflor....I will tout your website at our next NOS (Society) meeting as I now have first-hand info to pass on.....thanks for a great idea.....will try another concoction soon... "

Marilyn M. ---- Naples, FL

Dear rePotme,

Cymbidium I repotted my Cymbidium after two winters without seeing any blooms after I purchased it on the clearance rack at a local hardware store several years ago. I was actually going to throw it away because it hadn't done anything in years. After repotting in your Classic Cymbidium mix it actually bloomed the second winter! I put it in one of your 10 inch Rigid Clear pots when I repotted. Picture #1 is the first time it bloomed in 2010 with five spikes. After three years, I had to use a saw to divide the solid mass of roots and I now have it in a 14 inch pot with two divisions and another 10 inch pot with one division.

I needed to repot into your 14 inch pot since it had gotten so huge in your wonderful potting mix. It went wild growing healthy roots. I love the clear pots since I can tell what the moisture level of the mix is. It has bloomed these last three years, every year since repotting it, this last year having seven spikes with over 70 blooms ( picture #2 )!

Cymbidium Even though a local orchid grower said I was not going to have much luck without the use of a greenhouse here in Virginia, the pot was totally crammed with healthy roots and what was left of the potting mix was still in good shape after three years. I recommend your company to anyone who asks about my orchids.

These are the steps I have taken with my Cymbidium which has always been grown in Virginia:

I move it outside in the spring as soon as the temperatures are steady in late April or early May. I keep it on a north facing deck under shade until it gets hardened off enough to move to a spot shaded by a tree that gets about a half day sun. It stays there until I bring it inside when the temperature gets below mid 40's at night. If the temperatures dip at night but are still in the 50's during the day I will bring it in and out so that it gets the most benefit from the chilled weather. This would be sometime in late September or even into October. It doesn't make for a pretty plant this way, but it produces results.

When I bring it inside in the fall, it goes right into a southern exposure window where it gets full sun, once the sun gets low enough, for at least half a day. I start looking for spikes in December. I don't move it from the window until all the spikes have set their buds and are well developed. Once at least half the spikes are blooming, I will bring it into the living room for us to enjoy. It will stay in bloom for at least two months, if not three, due to the spikes developing in succession. Usually that is Christmas through February. It was in bloom January thru March this year.

I typically water it once a week. I follow the practice of feeding weekly weakly. it usually gets weekly fertilization starting when I put it outside. Once it is blooming I usually don't feed it and let it be for those few months until it starts showing new bulb growth in the spring.

Thank you!

Suzanne S. -- Locust Grove, Virginia

Dear rePotme,

Your order arrived so fast! Once again, I believe that you have the best website, order system and delivery time of any and all Internet services (and I am including Amazon, which is also terrific!).

Thanks! Your products are first rate, the service is first rate and I am one satisfied customer!!!

Betsy M. --- Williamsburg, VA

Dear rePotme,

Once again, you have exceeded my expectations! From the speed of processing my order to how quickly it arrived at my front door!

I just threw out the remainder of a "Premium" store bought bag of Orchid mix. When I compared that one with yours there was nothing but differences! Your quality of materials far surpasses any other brand that I have ever used, it retains moisture far longer than the others, and the blend of high quality materials is beyond anything I have found elsewhere.

I have a habit of purchasing mishandled Orchids from nurseries, and usually have experienced minimal growth....until I started using your mixes and (FEED ME!) fertilizer. My Cattleya that has not done anything in two years has started growing two new pseudobulbs and there is very notable root growth after a month of being re potted! And the same goes for several other Orchids in my collection! Once again, thank you! If I'm ever out your way, I will definitely stop by to thank your staff personally. You have another customer who will keep returning as long as I'm growing Orchids!

Ron B. --- Twinsburg, OH

I had to write you again to tell you that I always refer to your potting mixes as "Steroids for Orchids".

Last time I wrote, I reported the new growth on my oncidiums and a need to repot them after only one year. This January, I entered my Onc. Twinkle (one of the repots) in an orchid show and am pleased to report that it was named "Most Outstanding Oncidium Alliance Entry". It had 30+ inflorescence w/20 - 25 flowers each. Quite impressive.

Since I had such success with that mix and the Paph. mix, I have converted some of my Phals. to the Imperial Mix... they are showing the same results. Strong growth, good roots and spikes.

Your mixes are always fresh and distinctive. I have found nothing on the market like them and recommend them to all my orchid friends. Not sure what you put in them but keep it up.

Cindy B. --- Ashland, MA

Everything arrived as promised.

I had to write you and tell you how much my orchids love your mixes. The first one I tried was the Oncidium Imperial Mix. They doubled in size and needed to be repotted or divided after a year. I then tried the Phrag. mix and again, success. I just received the Dendrobium mix and will report on the outcome. As you say, You Know Mixes.

Thanks for keeping your commitment!

Cynthia B.--- Ashland, MA

David, the potting medium you sent is gorgeous!! It's so superior to the bark I've been buying at Lowe's. My orchids have been doing beautifully thus far - my beginner's luck and their wonderful nature. I can't imagine what they'll do when I put them in your potting mix. It even smells fresh!! Many, many thanks. I'll be ordering from you again.

Janie M. --- Atlanta, GA

Yes! She is thrilled with the orchid mix and used it ALL the next day. She thinks it is excellent material and be sure we will be back with another order. She has been collecting orchids for 41 years and said it is best mix she has ever seen.

Nancy G. -- Ellison Bay WI

Hi! Yes, I received the potting mix and I have to say that it is wonderful!! I was skeptical to spend a little extra money for bark mix when I can go to Lowe's and get it for a fraction of the price. But...your mix speaks for itself! So clean, nice and easy to work with. It's the best and I plan on buying from you all again and again. Thanks so much!!

Alicia S. --- Morehead , KY

Thanks again on the always wonderful products, super speedy shipping, and awesome customer service. My orchids are glad to see the larger pots. They are potted in your media and fed the MSU fertilizer. They are huge with roots galore. I have already repotted one Phal., which had roots literally bursting out of its pot and climbing over the edges. Just waiting for the rest of the blooms to fall from the others, in order to repot. In addition, back in March, I bought a "Garbage / Clearance" NO ID Phal. from a store for $5, with blooms so sad and falling off, but the roots looked healthy and strong, and the plant was huge. I just can't let a good plant get thrown away. I repotted it in the Imperial Monterey Mix that I had on hand, with a sad bloom or two still trying to hang on. (I know this is a No No, but what could it hurt?) Since then, it began growing new roots and leaves. The spike even began to grow / elongate, adding new buds, and rewarded me with 7 new blooms, the size of your palm. A testament that your products work wonders.

Cindy S. --- Mattawan, MI

Dear rePotme,

Thank you for checking on my order. It arrived safely Friday afternoon. Thank you for the amazingly quick order processing and shipment. I am very happy with the products (Classic Mix, FEED ME! MSU, Clear Pots) that I received. I have already repotted my Phal. seedlings. I also want to commend you on, and thank you for, the great personal service that I have received from your company. This is a rare thing in today's world. You definitely have a customer for life and someone who is spreading the word of such a great company.

Thank you again,

Cindy S. --- Mattawan, MI

From beginning to end, rePotme has created a customer EXPERIENCE that is superior and delightful.

The informative website contained many articles and videos that were extremely helpful to me as an orchid novice. There, I was guided to a potting mix (one of many!) that I wanted to try out. I also appreciated the daily deals and the $1 items. The checkout process was a breeze, and I especially enjoyed the fact that I could sign on with my Amazon account and did not have to create a brand new account.

When I realized I had inadvertently omitted something from my order, the response was prompt, and the service was excellent. rePotme easily combined my orders while only charging me for shipping once.

The items were shipped out quickly (same day!) and arrived sooner than expected. When I opened the bag of Phalaenopsis Monterey Gold Imperial Orchid Mix, it smelled wonderfully earthy, green, and fresh. The moss was high-quality: soft and with long strands. My Phal orchids look so much happier being repotted in them. I also used the handy plant labels to help me remember when I need to repot again!

The clear pots I purchased are sturdy and drain very well. In addition, I appreciated how the orchid stakes are coated in plastic with a rubber tip (no more sharp points!). It's clear that all of rePotme's products are of high quality.

I can definitely say that rePotme provides an exceptional experience for its customers.

Pauline L. --- Somerville, MA

A few weeks ago I acquired numerous rare terrestrial orchid bulbs. These orchids are rare and the only articles that I could find were over 100 years ago from different research articles.

Putting all this necessary information together as to what type of soil requirements, drainage and light I got a excellent idea as to the makeup of the type of potting soil these terrestrial orchids required.

You had every type of soil, stones, granite etc.

You mixed them all together as per my instructions. When received, I planted each tuber into your special mix. Last night, 5 of the 7 orchids popped through the mix. The other two are just about to follow.

I cannot thank you enough for your assistance in helping me prepare this special mix. These bulbs have cost me over $100 each. I feel confident that with proper care they will mature rapidly. I look forward to doing continuing business with you.

Moe L. --- Montreal, Canada

Thank you for the follow-up email! Yes!! my order arrived FAST - got here yesterday and I just ordered Sunday P.M. I love shopping with you, the potting mixes are the best I have found, your shipping is fair and FAST and your customer service is the best!! Your web-site is also VERY helpful!!

Wishing you a Happy New Year and continued success!!

Melanie P. --- Hoschton GA

Phalaenopsis in bloom Hi,

I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful product. I had the orchid in the picture for two years, without a bloom. I repotted the orchid this past May with your Phalaenopsis Orchid Mix, and you can see the results for yourself.


Denise F. --- Uniontown, WA

Yes, I received my order and I am pleased with it. I look forward to repotting when the blooms drop off.

I have combed your website and appreciate all the information you have. It is nice to have so much concisely offered in one place. This is my first orchid and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm sure there will be more to come and I will be returning to your website for more of your products.

I grew up in a small town and appreciated the customer service the local merchants gave each customer. I got that same service when I talked with you the day I placed my order. The order was probably small by your standards but you spent a fair amount of time on the phone educating me about the care of orchids and the benefits of different products - that is a lost art these days. You will be getting a lot of positive advertising from me when the opportunity arises - I'm starting with the friend who gave me the orchid.

Thanks again for your time and you will be my go-to place for future needs.

Barbara W ----- Fenton, MO

Thank you for emailing to check to see how I liked my new products. I was waiting to reply becuase I just recently planted an ill orchid that I was given to rescue. I LOVE EVERYTHING I BOUGHT FROM YOU GUYS! I'm your customer for life! When I first got my orchid mix I couldn't believe how nice it was! I've never such nice moss! I have suggested you to everyone I know that grows orchids. Your products are fabulous. I love my new ceramic pots too! I have my two beautiful orchids in bloom right now in them on display. I would also like to add a comment about your customer service as well. I think you guys are AWESOME! When I send you an email you have such fast replys that sometimes I cannot believe how quickly you get back to me! I am also so pleased that I can call you and send you pictures for advice. It is so nice that your company is so people friendly and is great for begining orchid enthusiasts!

P.s. I have taken on two more sick orchids and will be sending you an email soon with pictures enclosed on advice.

P.s.s. You guys are really awesome!

Jennifer B. --- Charles City, IA

This past year I re-potted every single one of my phals to a store bought bark mix. They are now in complete distress and after speaking at length with one of your incredibly knowledgeable staff, I created a mix, re-potted every single one (!) and am hopeful that it isn't too late for them. The potting mix I ordered arrived amazingly fast and is absolutely beautiful and fresh, so, regardless of the outcome of my rootless phals, I know I've given them their best shot at healing. Fingers crossed!


Susan L. --- Guilford, CT

I am so impressed with rePotme! I was given an orchid as a gift last September, and as a first-time orchid owner, I was totally clueless about how to care for it. When the leaves started to look a unhealthy, I did a google search and came across your website. After doing some research on your site, I placed an order with you for supplies so that I could re-pot my orchid. It has only been two weeks, but my orchid is now looking healthy and strong, which makes me so happy! I'm sure that if I wouldn't have found your site, my orchid wouldn't have lasted much longer. I look forward to seeing it bloom again this fall! Now, with the help of your website, I feel confident I can properly care for orchids, and am considering getting more of them.

Thank you for your service!

Stacy C. --- Parker, CO

See why rePotme mixes make all the difference!

Quality and Value from rePotme

We've all heard the old adage that you get what you pay for. We know it is true with the clothes we buy, the tires we put on our cars, the food we buy, and so many other things we get. It is just as true with the mix and media we buy for our prized plants. Yes, it is possible to pay less, but you will get what you paid for and the result can be plants that show it! Our mixes give you an edge. Your plants can thrive and you can be confident that you have given them every chance to be their best. Why settle for less?

Why are rePotme mixes superior?

We carry more potting mixes and media than anyone, and along the way we've focused on quality of ingredients, freshness, and value for our great customers. All of our mixes are made by hand, the old fashioned way. This means that we inspect what goes in and we gently create perfect fresh blends that promote healthy and happy plants. Other mixes and medias can even have bugs and larvae in them when you bring them home. Our mixes come in clear bags so you can see what you get. Clean, fresh, just made and personally inspected for quality. Why settle for less?

What about quantity?

It can be a real challenge to sort out competing sizes when shopping for mixes. Some places tell you the weight, some the dimensions, but few tell you by quart size what you will get in the container. We tell you that one quart of potting mix fills a six inch wide pot, two four inch pots, or half of an eight inch pot with no plant in it. The number of plants that can be repotted depends on the size of the roots and how tightly the mix is packed into the pot. Our customers know that they get a stuffed container and it is usually surprising how much mix you get for the money. Good value and a fair deal from rePotme. That is what we strive to deliver with each and every order.

What about choices and sizes?

RePotme offers mixes for just about every plant by name, and we offer more medias in more size choices than anywhere else. We offer containers from our smallest MINI bag, all the way up to our giant CUBE sizes which holds many times that much. We pioneered the Make Your Own Select-A-Blend make your own mix concept where you tell us what you would like in your mix and we custom blend exactly what you want and ship it the same day.

How long does the mix last?

Here again, rePotme delivers the goods! When buying orchids, it is always wise to inspect the mix and the pot that the plant is in. Many times, the mix is old and the plant is climbing out of the pot. Sometimes the pot isn't great either, offering little or no drainage. Repotting your new plants in our fresh mix and new pots is smart, and you would like to do so soon after getting them. Once the bloom is done, give the plant a breath of fresh air ( new mix promotes oxygen movement around the root zone ), and put it in a proper sized orchid pot that offers great drainage, and one that promotes air flow. Our exclusive Oxygen Core Dual™ Pots do exactly that. Mixes eventually break down, and one should expect to repot every year or two to keep the plants root zone healthy. Our mixes can be expected to hold up extremely well because they are fresh and clean to begin with and because they are gently handled and packaged all along the way.

What do you mean by fresh?

Other outfits make their mixes with machines, and materials go in a hopper which often breaks down the media. If it was clean to begin with, by the time it is mixed and bagged ( by machines ), it can be dried out, crushed and dust laden. These "brand X" mixes then sit around on shelves, in storage buildings and trucks which further dries them out and the handling of the bags can further break down the ingredients into ever smaller particles and dust. Here at rePotme, our mix ingredients are washed, inspected and blended with care by people who know what they are looking at. Every mix is hand crafted and every bag is filled by hand. Often times the mix you receive was just made by us and you can tell because the media is still moist and has the look and feel that makes it obvious.

Why do some mixes require "soaking"?

Other mixes need to be soaked for hours because they are all dried out to begin with and they have been sitting around for months or even seasons! Compare a bag of our fresh mix to one of those and you will see the difference right away. Stiff, dusty, shriveled, and hard is the norm. That's why they tell you to soak overnight. Our mixes are ready to use when you get them, and the only thing we suggest is to uniformly moisten for immediate use.

Beware of Box Store Mixes

Be on guard for store mixes that simply describe the contents as "Orchid Bark". The Box stores have little bags lined up on the shelves with pretty flowers on the bag so you can't see the contents. Is it good for your orchids? Do you really know what is in that pretty store bought bag and might that explain why it is so cheap? It might be primarily fir bark which we know is cooked at very high temperatures by regulation and that certainly doesn't "freshen" it. Heat treating bark makes it brittle and dusty. Fir bark can and usually does irritate skin by creating tiny splinters that contact unprotected skin.

We carry wonderful alternatives to store bought "Orchid Bark" that are fresh, great for your fine plants and that don't irritate your skin and are not full of dust and fines. These include sustainable harvested media like Orchiata Monterey Pine bark, Coconut Husk, Redwood chips and bark, Sphagnum mosses and plenty of other wonderful medias in our mixes and that are available individually. In fact, rePotme.com has more media and mix choices than anyone. All of our mixes and medias come in perfectly clear resealable bags so you can see exactly what you are getting. Each of our mixes list every media in them. Don't be tricked by pretty little bags at your local box store!

What are customers saying about rePotme mixes?

Customer provided image of Phalaenopsis in bloom


I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful product. I had the orchid in the picture for two years, without a bloom. I repotted the orchid this past May with your Phalaenopsis Orchid Mix, and you can see the results for yourself.


Denise F. --- Uniontown, WA

Orchid Mix

What is the difference between Classic and Imperial?

We have two mix lines, Classic and Imperial. The Classics were the first mixes we made when our business was formed many years ago. They are great mixes and remain a bit less costly than the Imperial mixes which we created a few years ago. The Imperial mixes are made with some ingredients that are harder to find, tend to be more complex, and are more costly to make. For example, the Phalaenopsis Imperial mixes ( AAA, Monterey Gold and Monterey Dark ), are all made with ultra-pure New Zealand AAA Sphagnum moss and other listed ingredients. The Gold version also includes virgin cork chips from Portugal. The Dark Version contains special aged bark called Orchiata from sustainable forests in New Zealand. The Classic mixes are made with more familiar materials like coconut husk chips from Sri Lanka, Chilean Sphagnum Moss and Fir Bark ( often known as " orchid bark " ), typically from the west coast of the United States. In general, the Imperial line of mixes tends to be faster draining and drier while the Classics tend to hold more moisture.

Why do we make 5 different Phalaenopsis mixes?

We are often asked why there are so many choices, and how to choose between them, so we thought it would be helpful to explain the logic here. There are two Classic Phal mixes, Gold and Dark, and three Imperial Phal mixes, Gold, Dark and AAA.

Each of the five mixes we make for Phalaenopsis ( sometimes known as Moth Orchids and Just Add Ice Orchids ) have unique characteristics, and each can be perfect for certain environments and applications. We ship plenty of each, and below are some of the reasons our customers choose one over another. Keep in mind that best practice is to repot orchids annually because over time mixes break down and become acidic which is not good for roots.

Moisture retention and the environment the plant is growing in are key reasons to go with one type over another. For example, the Dark mixes, both Classic and Imperial, tend to hold a bit less moisture than their Gold counterparts ( including AAA Imperial ) that contain sphagnum moss which has high water retention properties. If your plants are growing in hot and/or dry arid locations, the Gold versions will most likely be the best choice for repotting. On the other hand, if your plants are growing in wet, cool, or higher humidity areas, the Dark versions will most likely be the best choice. Orchids like to go through cyclical periods of good moisture in the mix and then experiencing mix that is starting to dry from the top. For this reason, we suggest only watering when the mix feels dry and kind of crunchy to the touch on top.

Your own watering habits and practices may also lead to your choosing one mix over another. Some of us like to water, and some of us tend to put it off. The dark mixes lend themselves to over watering and the Golds, including the AAA Imperial version are well suited to longer periods between watering. That said, we should always be checking for moisture levels about once per week.

The age of the orchids and their condition may be other factors to consider in deciding which mix to pick. For example, your younger plants with smaller root systems are often times aided by sphagnum based mixes ( the two Golds and the AAA Imperial version). We have found that plants in "sick bay" do much better in the Classic Gold and the Imperial AAA mixes because the high concentration of sphagnum moss in both provides an especially nurturing environment to stressed plants and roots.

How many Imperial Orchid Mixes have you introduced and why are they so popular?

We now have 9 Imperial Orchid Mixes organized by genera and plant type like our original Classic Orchid Mixes. While our original Classic Orchid Mixes are terrific mixes, we have been searching for orchid media that are really extraordinary and as we have found them and added them to our offerings we realized that they really provided an opportunity to stand on their own and not be simply and easily just combined with other existing orchid media like coconut husk, fir barks or Chilean sphagnum. We thought that making mixes with none of these traditional orchid media would be a great alternative for a variety of reasons. Some people and plants need more choices. Some don't like the dust of fir. Some don't like coconut husk. Some prefer AAA New Zealand Sphagnum to the less costly and less fluffy Premium Chilean. Based on our order flow since introducing the Imperial Orchid Mixes we know our customers have agreed with our thoughts. We use all of our mixes ourselves and each has its place in our view.

What goes into the Imperial Orchid Mixes?

Each Imperial Orchid Mix is unique, and various ones contain AAA New Zealand Sphagnum, Imported Cork Chips from Portugal, Orchiata™ Monterey Bark from New Zealand, and other media that round out the mix, like sponge rock, or rice hulls, or tree fern etc. Each ingredient is spelled out completely so our customers know precisely what they are buying, just like with our Classic Orchid Mixes - no "secret" ingredients. These are very special mixes, and are perhaps as much defined by what doesn't go into them as what does. For example, we made a decision to not have any Coconut products in the Imperial Orchid Mixes. Not because they are bad, but because we want to have a clear alternative. Kind of like a vegetarian menu is an alternative in a restaurant. No fir bark exists in the Imperial Orchid Mixes. The bark we use for these exclusive blends is Monterey. The long fibered Sphagnum we use is AAA New Zealand. The only place you will find cork in our mixes is in the Imperial Line unless you design your own in our Select-A-Blend section.

What is so special about cork?

Many orchids love to grow on cork plaques, and in cork tubes which we think look great too. The reason these orchids love cork is because it doesn't get sopping wet, resists mold, and has craggy surfaces for roots to burrow into. Cork chips, chunks and nuggets make a marvelous addition to mixes because they impart these same qualities and also keep the mix open and airy. They look fantastic in the mix too, and the top of the mix seems to stay fresh and clean looking for longer stretches of time.

Classic Orchid MixesImperial Orchid MixesHouseplant & Bonsai Mixes

Please see our guide to finding the right orchid mix for your orchid. If you are unsure which orchid mix is right for your plants, feel free to contact us.

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