What’s inside Horti Orchid & African Violet Potting Mixes

We recently bought some caladium bulbs (yes, more!!) and today is potting day. Our stash of soil was running low and we decided to try out some potting mixes that we found in a nearby supermarket. We had good experiences with potting media from Horti so we chose two mixes that we have never purchased before. Horti is a Singapore brand that started as an orchid breeder in 1967. Today, they mainly sell seeds and horticultural products.

Horti Orchid Potting Mix

We needed some soil additives to aerate the soil and improve the drainage. Inspired by Summer from Homestead Brooklyn, we decided to try out adding mix made for orchids into our potting media. The pack came in 1.5 kg and since we are mixing them further, it is enough for around four 20 cm pots.

The pack did not specify the ingredients used in the mix. On the front cover, it showed something that looks like tree barks and sphagnum moss. However, after a quick googling on the spot, the official website states that it is a “soil-less medium based on rich aromatic pine bark, crushed and screened to a consistent grade”.

When we poured out the contents, the mixture was damp and it reminded us of coco chips. It mostly gave off a musty smell but there was a faint “pine aroma” in the background. Good thing is that we didn’t spot any signs of mold or fungus growing.

Horti Orchid Potting Mix
Comparison between Horti Orchid Potting Mix and Coco chips

In the second photo, we placed coco chips side by side as a comparison. Horti’s mix is more fibrous but looks almost exactly like the chips beside it. We suspect it is not purely made up of pine bark and they mixed products made from coconut husks as well. Either way, it fulfilled the properties that we were looking for and used it in our mix.

Horti African Violet Mix

Horti African Violet potting mix

The other pack we bought was a mix specifically for African violets. We are initially quite surprised that there was a mix just for African violets. We used to have two pots of gloxinias (a distant cousin to the African violet) that had gorgeous, velvety blooms. They were both killed by a deadly mix of our harsh sunlight and spider mites.

Again, this pack did not have any specifications on what was used in the mix. Their website also did not specify other than mentioning that it is great for acid-loving plants.

Pouring out the contents of this pack revealed fluffy mix with some small clumps. On closer inspection, it looks like a mix of the following:

  1. Lots of peat moss (to provide the acidic base)
  2. Some perlite
  3. Vermiculite
Horti African Violet Potting Mix

We are pretty happy with this as it does not have any traces of clay or similar materials that will harden up in the future. We added pumice and the orchid mix to improve its draining capabilities before potting our caladiums.

When watering for the first time, even though it was completely dry, the water went through the surface easily and did not get trapped unlike some of the dense potting soil we used in the past. Also, it was able to hold a lot of water before it started to drip from below. I think this allows us to water fully every three to four days before the bulb sprouts and every other day when the leaves are fully grown.

Excited to see what these bulbs will grow into. Till next time!

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