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Need some help with mixing orchids

Jan 17, 2021
I was wondering if its possible to keep different orchids in the same containers, given they are large enough. If so, would there be groups of them that need different watering than others to keep separated like those that like to stay moist and those who like to dry a bit. I need some lists of orchids that could go together, particularly with a coconut orchid but others work too


Dec 16, 2016
Western South Carolina, USA
There are a few issues you need to keep in mind -light levels and moisture. The plants that grow higher up in the trees require more light. Lower growers less light. You need to look at listings of the light requirements and see if they differ a lot. If they do, that can be an issue. Try to keep the light requirements similar. Same goes for water. Paphs.and Phrags. , grow more on the ground or very low. They require much more water than Cats, high in the trees on trucks and branches. There are web sites that list the light levels and moisture requirements for each species. Try to keep them similar. Another issue maybe repotting them. Splitting them apart may be harder.
At the orchids shows I’ve been to , the big displays with mixed species were temporary, with individual pots and a decorative mulch covering.
Feb 9, 2003
almost Hartford
I don't have orchids anymore but had many of them for a number of years before I decided to simplify my life by not growing orchids in the very limited, environmentally challenged space in my house. I had a coconut orchid, assuming you mean a Max. tenuifolia, and based on what I remember plus what I just looked up it's a good match for many popular orchids, assuming you you avoid those having extreme environmental preferences or plant sizes. It would not have been a good match for many of my favorite orchids, however due to to it being much larger and leafier.

I agree with JoeG's mention of individual pots because smaller pots are best for orchids like yours that ordinarily grow on trees. My rule of thumb was to see which pot looked right for a plant and then put the plant in the next smaller size. The potting mix in the middle of a too-large pot can be a dead zone for the roots of orchids that originally grew on trees unless you use an especially coarser mix, which might not work well for some orchids especially if plants are on the small side. Another option is to put an upside-down small unglazed clay pot on the bottom of the large pot and fill around it with your potting mix. That'll keep the middle airier.

But don't be afraid to experiment - most orchids are pretty durable even in less-than ideal conditions. But a stagnant pot is one thing can take an orchid to death's door before you realize what's happening.