I was on another orchid website reading if orchid media should be soaked first before potting the orchid.I came upon a post that mentioned orchiata doesn't need to be soaked.I never heard of orchiata, what is it? Thanks!
Quick google search shows its a trademarked pine bark.
They say you should soak. I never do.
Many believe that orchiata is the best orchid bark available right now. I believe it comes from New Zealand and is hard and tough. The useless garbage that HD sells as orchid bark costs $7 a bag, average pine orchid bark is around $10 per bag, excellent bark around $15, orchiata costs about $22 per bag. It may well last up to 5 years before deteriorating.
I have used it for about 3 years now and some of the 3 year old stuff looks like it just went in the pot. The only disadvantage/advantage is that because it is so hard it absorbs and holds less water than pine bark. Instead of once a week watering every 5 days is probably indicated. I'm a heavy waterer so this works great for me. Not having to repot for 3 to 5 years is a definite bonus for me.
I am going to try orchiata, seems like a good product.I currently use clay pellets or lava rocks mixed with tree fern.I don't water heavily but It rains alot here.I notice I don't get snow mold with the pellete and lava rocks . Hopefully it will be the same with orchiata.Thanks for the info Terp and Nick.
I have used Orchiata bark for a short time now and it seems great. Very high quality. They say not to soak it before using because it is coated with dolomite. Someone who is experienced with it and sells it suggests pouring boiling water through it once before using to open up the bark a little. I tried this last week with a repot and it does seem to hold water better initially. I think it is worth the extra money myself.
I use it also, however I soak. As Nick stated, it really doesn't absorb water. I am a bad waterer and my plants didn't appreciate staying so dry. The bag tells you not to soak as apparently the bark is coated with boron or something similar.
I've been using it for a year. I haven't noticed anything different yet. Most of my plants get repotted yearly. The plants which don't get repotted are grown in baskets or rock so I don't worry about bark breaking down.
Not convinced (yet), it's worth the cost.