Pros: cost effective, great for almost all species of orchids
Cons: needs to be changed or rotated frequently
I used to work as a florist, and people would come into the store all the time with dead orchids and ask what they did wrong. There were several horror stories, and the person would usually kill it because they didn't follow the instructions. I always recommended Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix to my customers. To convince them of the benefits, I would state some of the follow reasons: Miracle Gro's potting mix allows ventilation for the roots, the bigger chips of the soil provide room for the orchid to expand, the soil tends to absorb the extra water, it's cheaper than some of the other brands, and it's easier to handle when you are relocating the orchid to another pot.
1) Miracle Gro's orchid soil is especially designed for orchids. Orchids don't grow in the ground, they grow on the side of trees, and stuff. Their root systems aren't meant to sit in damp soil for very long, it would drown the plant. The soil in Miracle Gro's bag is not technically soil, it's more like wood chips. With everything not quite so compressed in the pot, the orchid can breath easier.
2) The chips in the soil are pretty darn big, which makes it much easier for the roots of the orchid to expand and move. Orchid roots don't grow down, they grow out. They are tough, and stringy, so it helps the orchid tremendously if the soil has bigger pellets. Miracle Gro does a great job at this, plus they provide several sizes for differnt species and sizes of orchids.
3)Orchids either need to be watered from the bottom, or the excess water needs to drain off quickly. Orchids grow where it's humid out, so they get most of their water from the humidity, not runoff water. The soil chips in Miracle Gro act as little sponges, absorbing all that extra water the plant doesn't need, and then it will evaporate off the top.
4) Orchids need specific kinds of soil, they are very picky plants. Miracle Gro has a great variety, but this particular kind seems to do the trick with most plants. Most brands, however, if they have an orchid soil, price it double or triple that of regular potting soil. Miracle Gro is maybe a dollar more per pound, than say, Shultz, who normally runs about three dollars more per pound.
5)Every master gardener knows that when a plant outgrows it's pot, it's got to be relocated. This is very hard if the soil is wet. When transplanting with Miracle Gro Orchid Soil, the chunks are big enough that they sweep right off your hands, pants, and patio. Most soils, even other brands of orchid soil leave dark stains and smear into clothes, the patio, etc.This is not an issue with Miracle Gro's Orchid Potting Soil.