The art of growing orchids has changed a lot over the past years. The way of growing orchids has been optimised thanks to a lot of research and practical tests. Orchids grow well when they get plenty of light. But when a grower adds more light, the plants demand for more water as well. Thanks to new ways of humidification growers are now able to meet these needs. With these changes several changes in substrates were required as well. Several types of substrates became normal to use, depending on the needs of plants and growers. While larger pieces of bark were the main ingredient before, smaller pieces, cocochips and sphagnum moss were added as well.

We differentiate between the following groups of orchids

  • Phalaenopsis:
    • Bark in different sizes with added cocochips, sphagnum and Accretio
    • BVB Infigo, a mixture of BVB Substrates containing bark, large, ferm fragments of peat and pellets of clay
  • Miltonia, Dendrobium, Cambria:
    • Small sized bark with cocopeat and cocofibre or cocochips
  • Paphiopedilum:
    • Larger fragments of bark with additives
  • Potcymbidium:
    • Cocochips, large, ferm fragments of peat and bark
  • Snijcymbidium:
    • Perlite 2-6 extra
    • Basacube 1x1x1
    • Rock wool flakes 512 with Aggrofoam

Wide diversity of orchid substrates

BVB Substrates is a well known supplier of substrates especially developed for orchids. We offer a great diversity of substrates for both pot orchids and cut orchids. There is a wide variety of orchids and each type has its own specific needs. This makes tailor made substrates even more important.  For example a Phalaenopsis and a Cymbidium have relatively  coarse roots, while the Miltonia, Dendrobium and Camrbia have a much finer root systems. In addition to the different needs of each type of orchid, the methods of the grower determine a big part of the composition of the substrate as well. 

Optimal composition

Thanks to the wide variety of available raw materials: bark in different sizes, coir, cocopeat, sphagnum and Accretio, we are able to adjust each mixture to the growers needs. The following properties are taken into consideration when determining the optimal composition of an orchid mixture:

  • Pot size (9 cm, 12 cm, 15 cm or other)
  • Pot type (strongly draining or with a moisture buffer)
  • Desired humidity at the start
  • Moisture control during cultivation
  • Watering system (rain pipe / drip)
  • Wishes regarding recirculation

Bark as main ingredient

BVB Substrates uses high quality bark which is perfect to be used as a main ingredient in substrates for pot orchids. The types of bark we use are produced in Europe (e.g. Portugal and Spain). The weather conditions in these countries are ideal for the pinus tree that provides the bark. Bark is stripped from the trunk, transported to the factories where it is fractured and sieved. During this process irregularities like soft and sapwood are removed.

After a steam treatment the bark is transported to our production site in De Lier.

Here BVB Substrates has taken a new screening plant into use (July 2019). This machine makes sure the different sizes of bark fragments are sorted out perfectly.

BVB Substrates uses the following sizes:

  • Bark 15-20 mm
  • Bark 12-15 mm
  • Bark 8-12 mm
  • Bark 0-8 mm (used for soil)


Bark is a resource that is quite common in mixtures for orchids. There are, however, several alternatives. We offer alternatives that can be used as a growing medium on its own or to be added to a mixture with bark. We only offer materials that have the required physical properties. Factors we can control are: moisture, airiness and stability. The overview below shows some of the possibilities.

Rock wool

  • Basacubes (1 cm­­ and 2 cm­­ cubes)
  • Rock wool fractions
  • Aggrofoam­­ 10 m­­m­­
  • Aggrofoam­­ 19 m­­m­­


  • Coco chips
  • Cocopeat
  • Coco fibre


  • Perlite double sieved (2 – 6 mm)

Sphagnum and turf

  • Sphagnum­­ (fine, 2 cm­­)
  • Several types of turf in different sizes

Production techniques and hygienic storage

By using new techniques we have been able to imporve the quality and mixing of the substrate produced by BVB Substrates. BVB Substrates has modern production methods and very extensive storage capacity. Raw materials are stored separately. All materials are stored indoors, so differences in weather can’t influence the materials too much. We take extra care to work hygienically to ensure optimal safety of the substrates.

Research and development

Our quality requirements are tested both internally and externally. BVB Substrates’ own laboratory is equipped with the most modern techniques. We test our new products extensively before we introduce them to the market. Every product must meet high requirements. All raw materials used by BVB Substrates are continuously subjected to the entire control process. In this way you are assured of the best quality throughout.

Substrate requirements

It’s not easy to determine the optimal mixture for the best orchid substrate. Orchids have high demands when it comes to the substrates. BVB Substrates only uses resources and mixtures when it meets the strict conditions. We check the following properties (among other things):

  • Physical properties (stabi­lity, drainage and water m­­anagem­­ent)
  • Free of toxic or phytosanitary irregularities
  • Good processability of the substrate
  • Environmentally responsible use of raw materials
  • Possibility of customised production (grower, crop, pot size, retail)
  • Competitive pricing