In this article, I’m going to explain what Orchiata Orchid Bark is, how it’s made and if it is still the Best Orchid Bark you can Buy.
There is a reason why more than 95% of Hawaiian Orchid growers exclusively use Orchiata Orchid Bark…..
It’s because it’s the best.
Now if you wanted to, you could stop reading right now and just take my word for it but you would be robbing yourself of discovering how Besgrow has made the best Orchid Bark on the Planet.
Now you might be thinking, Ashley, it’s just bark. You would be right, it is just a bark. While it does have some added benefits in regards to the actual type of bark Besgrow use, the actual magic is in the process they use to make it.
What is Orchiata Orchid Bark
Orchiata Orchid Bark is a sustainably sourced premium soil medium used for growing orchids. Orchiata Orchid Bark is made from the Pinus radiata tree and is harvested, processed, packed and shipped from New Zealand.
Why is Orchiata Orchid Bark so Good?
Don’t judge a book by its cover!!!
I know, it just looks like bark. What could be so special about it? To do this wonder bark any justice, I have to break this section into two parts. Its physical properties and the properties it gains while it’s being made.
Orchiata’s physical properties
The tree Orchiata Bark comes from (Pinus radiata) is classed as a softwood tree, as all pines are but it might surprise you to know that Orchiata Bark is actually denser than some hardwoods.
This gives Orchiata Bark some really special properties.
For example, did you know that some Japanese Orchid growers have had their mother orchids in the same Orchiata Bark for over 9 years! Because Orchiata Bark is dense, it doesn’t break down as fast as other growing mediums.
Orchiata Orchid Bark can last more than 10 times longer than other Orchid potting mediums!
This saves the hassle of having to re-pot your orchids multiple times before they have outgrown their pot. This does save money on potting medium, but one of the biggest advantages is saving on the unnecessary transplant shock.
You might be thinking water retention?
Ashley, it’s bark, as soon as I pour any water in it’s going to fall straight through, and you are right but another great property of Orchiata Bark is that it’s porous.
Because it is porous and permeable the Orchiata Bark acts as a wick sucking up and retaining some of the water as it passes through the Orchiata Bark.
This helps keep your orchid hydrated between waterings. Just keep in mind that in hot climates you will need to water more frequently.
Because it is porous and permeable it also helps keep a good climate for the beneficial microbial life which is a segway into the next section.
Because Orchiata Bark is porous and is in the form of small chips it has a high surface area.
This might not sound like a great property but it is, as it provides the perfect home for beneficial bacteria and other microbial life.
I won’t go into detail in this article but there is something called the soil food web.
The soil food web represents the harmonious relationship of microbial life and a plant’s root system.
This is a very crude example and does not do the soil food web any justice but think of it as the same sort of relationship that worms have with plants. The tree drops leaves, the worm eats the leaves, the worm poops and the plant uses the poop as fertiliser.
Because we are providing a good home for the microbiology and a food source in the form of sugars from the orchids roots, the microbiology will repay your orchids with nutrients and protection against harmful microbiology life.
Pretty cool right?
Now this one is pretty obvious and I will be brief but I feel it’s worth mentioning.
Because Orchiata Bark or most barks for that matter are in a chip form air is readily accessible to the root system which is really beneficial to your Orchids.
This one is a biggie and most of the time overlooked. The PH of something basically tells you how acidic or alkaline something is. This is really important for plants as if the soil medium falls out of your plant’s optimal PH range a process called nutrient lock occurs where your plant loses the ability to take up certain nutrients which is one of the most common reasons people have a lot of issues with plants.
Unlike other Orchid mediums, Orchiata Bark has a PH between 5.5 to 6.5 which is perfectly within the optimal range for Orchids (5.5 to 6.5).
Properties it Gains While Being Made
This should be the standard for the industry but unfortunately, it’s not. Once the Orchiata bark has been processed, Besgrow runs it through their quality control process which removes any stick, stones, or any other foreign debris.
No Soaking Required
Because of the way the Orchiata bark is processed, Orchiata bark comes (pre-hydrated) and is ready to use straight out of the bag which is great because some of the other barks available can take between 3-10 days to be adequately hydrated.
During processing, dolomite is added to the Orchid bark to bring the PH up to the desired range for Orchids. This is not the only benefit of adding dolomite to the bark. Dolomite contains magnesium and calcium which are vital nutrients to healthy plant growth and development.
As the Orchiata bark goes through Besgrows process, the bark becomes alive with biological activity. Besgrow achieves this by providing an ideal climate for the microbes to thrive. While this process is happening, Besgrow test the Orchiata bark to ensure that the bacteria, nematodes, etc are well balanced.
Toxic Compounds Removed
This is a big one. Because of the way Besgrow process the Orchiata bark it actually removes the naturally occurring toxins that accrue in most barks. If the bark was not to go through this process your Orchid would defently have a bad day!
So now you know what Orchiata Orchid Bark brings to the table, how do they do it? What’s their secret sauce?
How Orchiata Orchid Bark is Made
The process begins by sustainably harvesting the Pinus Radiata plantation. Once the trees have been harvested and processed into bark chips Besgrow implements a process they call aging.
This process is the same process as composting.
Composting is achieved by adding the perfect amount of water and aerating the bark pile. Over the aging process, they monitor the bark’s temperature and when it reaches a specific temperature they incorporate more water and turn the pile to aerate it again.
They do this so the very outer layer of the bark is composted.
The aging process makes the bark biologically active.
Another process that takes place during the aging process is called nitrogen-fixing where the bacteria on the bark pulls nitrogen from the air that is not readily available to your orchids and combines it with oxygen and hydrogen to form compounds that your orchids can readily use as fertiliser.
Once the aging process has taken place and the Orchiata bark has the desired properties, dolomite is then added as a fertiliser and also brings the bark to the desired PH level.
It is then packed and shipped across the world ready for your orchids to enjoy.
What Avrage Everyday Orchid Growers have said about Orchiata Bark
I have taken a look at some reviews on a few websites across the internet and this is a summary of what people are generally saying about Orchiata Bark.
When repotting, orchids are recovering much faster when compared to other orchid barks.
You don’t have to change the bark as often.
Some people have said that they swapped to Orchiata from other barks and have grown in it for just over a year and it looks and smells the same as when they purchased it.
Roots are fatter, larger, and grow much more quickly in the Orchiata.
Is Orchiata Orchid Bark still the Best Orchid Bark you can Buy?
Simply put, yes!
There is a reason why Orchiata Orchid Bark continues to produce award-winning Orchids.
As you can now see, it just ticks all of the right boxes to produce lush and healthy orchids.
Who would have known that an average-looking bark could have so many benefits for an amazing plant!
I hope that you have found this article informative and helpful 😊
If you did find this information helpful, and were looking to buy some Orchiata Orchid Bark, and wanted to help support making more useful content like this, check out our Orchiata Orchid Bark range below.