Net Pots and Teak Baskets

Growing orchids in wooden teak baskets or "net pots" (a type of plastic mesh basket) can permit more airflow to the roots, and allow them to dry more quickly. Some types of orchids like these, others won't appreciate them. They are mainly for epiphytes; terrestrial orchids won't benefit.
Orchid Baskets
For plants like Stanhopeas and Coryanthes with flower spikes that grow down through the potting mix, baskets are essential.

For plants that need a lot of airflow to the roots, such as Bulbophyllums, these also work well. Most commonly, this is done with sphagnum moss as the potting mix, since it dries relatively slowly, and keeps the roots in a very humid environment while still permitting reasonable airflow. Coarse fir bark is also a common potting mix for plants that don't need to stay moist constantly, to increase airflow.

You'll also often see plastic baskets used for orchids that like to dry out very quickly between frequent waterings, such as Vandas and Ascocentrums, which are often placed in baskets with no potting mix; usually the baskets are then hung from the ceiling (they like high light) and their roots trail down out of the pot. This is best done with fairly high humidity, such as 70%, so that the roots' velamen can absorb moisture from the air.

Teak baskets are a common alternative to net pots. As orchid roots can grasp the wood, they keep plants more stable when used without a potting mix, but it's difficult to get the plant out when repotting. Repotting orchids grown this way is usually done by simply setting the teak basket inside of a larger one.

To water orchids grown in baskets without a potting mix, you can't just pour water into the pot and rely on it diffusing through the potting mix. You need to spray water more generally, such as with a hose, or dunk the plant in a bucket of water. Both approaches work; anything that gets all the roots wet (so that they turn green) will be successful.

Many orchids that grow well in baskets also do well mounted on sticks or slabs of bark, growing more like epiphytes in the wild.

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