Kiwi Orchid Bark
Our Kiwi Orchid Bark is a premium, sustainable orchid growing media made in Aotearoa New Zealand and used worldwide to grow superior orchids.
Kiwi Orchid Bark is New Zealand’s premium orchid growing media and is special because it is made from raw (un-aged) bark from Pinus Radiata tree. The bark is generated from sustainable plantations in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Why do orchids thrive in Kiwi Orchid Bark?
In nature orchids can thrive in many environments but they don’t tolerate changes to the environment in which their root system grows. Kiwi Orchid Bark is fresh (un-aged) with no added fertilisers meaning it is sourced directly from the trees after felling, and then immediately processed (cleaned and screened), bagged, and sent to growers. This means the bark remains hard, and as fresh as possible for growers to plant in, as nature intended.
The natural pH of the bark remains stable for many years, giving orchid roots the stable conditions needed for them to thrive. The bark is naturally hard meaning it is long lasting and when time comes to repot, your orchids are easily transferred into new bark with minimal pH fluctuation which can cause root damage.
Why is Kiwi Orchid bark better than Sphagnum Moss and other barks?
Aged (composted) Pinus Radiata bark breaks down faster than raw bark, so plants need to be repotted more often. Aged bark also has a higher initial pH (~6.0 to 6.5) due to added fertiliser. This pH decreases rapidly over 12 months, meaning the orchid's root system is under stress from the changing acidity conditions. The requires constant monitoring and re-liming to maintain a stable pH.
Kiwi Orchid Bark is superior to traditional ‘fir bark’ orchid growing media as, similarly to aged Pinus Radiata bark, these tend to degrade and change pH quickly, making for an unstable root environment and causing the need for regular repotting.
Sphagnum Moss grows in wetlands, which are endangered globally and critical to the health of our ecosystems and climate. Harvesting Sphagnum Moss is bad for the environment and also very expensive. Conversely, Kiwi Orchid Bark is made from the waste product of renewable, sustainable Pinus Ratiata plantations in Aotearoa New Zealand, and has a significantly lower environmental cost, as well as a lower price tag.
How to use Kiwi Orchid Bark
Kiwi Orchid bark can be used straight out of the bag as a standalone growing media, or it can be mixed with other growing substrates depending on a grower's preference.
When using Kiwi Orchid Bark for potting orchids, we would firstly choose the grade suitable for the type of Genera and the size of the plant was required. Many growers use KOB No#3 for younger and mature Cymbidiums, Dendrobium etc, and the Smaller KOB No#2 for seedlings (for information on grades please see the 'Kiwi Orchid Bark Grades' tab).
When ready to pot your orchid, pre-soak the bark with water (and possibly a small amount of fertiliser) over night to help with initial water absorption. Clean off any old growing media from the roots before repotting. Most growers use Kiwi Orchid Bark ‘undiluted’ for potting and repotting, but some growers may prefer to add materials as Perlite, Sphagnum, pebbles etc to the bark prior to potting their orchids.
Select correct pot size and lay a base of Kiwi Orchid Bark at the bottom of the pot. Place orchid in the pot and surround the roots with Kiwi Orchid Bark, ensure bark is not caught up on any roots causing large cavities. A good indication that the orchid is potted up well, is to lift the orchid at the base to check if pot falls away, if so repack more firmly. Once potted water and fertilise at your own discretion. Due to the hardness of the un-aged Kiwi Orchid Bark repotting is not required for approximately 3 years.