Do Orchids Need Fertilizer? it is the most asked by Orchids lovers. An important aspect of care for the treasured plant is fertilizing it. It would be easier to maintain healthy plant growth if you knew the best fertilizer for orchids, when to fertilize orchids, and how to fertilize orchids.
Do Orchids Need Fertilizer?
Fertilizer is necessary for orchids to grow properly. However, depending on the species being fed, different orchids will require different amounts of fertilizer.
The orchid should grow better blooms, keep its leaves longer, and have a richer appearance if nourished properly.
Knowing when and how to fertilize orchids is crucial since using too much fertilizer could lead to a buildup that could damage the plant by scorching its sensitive roots.
When Should Orchids Be Fertilized?
As the plant should require fertilizer the most during this time, it is advised that you fertilize your orchids once a week while they are growing.
Always use mild fertilizer that has been diluted with water since concentrated fertilizer may be too harsh for the roots of the plant.
Use a common fertilizer like 10-10-10 that has been diluted to half its original strength or a more balanced fertilizer like 20-20-20 that has been diluted to a quarter of its original strength.
You can also experiment with some unusual fertilizers that are acceptable for orchids but make sure to read the directions first.
Knowledge Of The Growth Season
The vegetative growth stage and the flowering or blooming period make up the two stages of the plant’s growing season. It is advised to only fertilize plants during the vegetative growth stage.
When your orchid plant begins to blossom, be sure to wait to fertilize the plant until it has done blooming because fertilizing the plant during this time will damage the flowers that are being produced.
It’s a good idea to fertilize once every week for three weeks straight, then flush out all of the fertilizer that has accumulated from frequent fertilizing the following week.
One feeding schedule cannot be applied to all types and species of orchids because not all orchids have the same growing season. So it would be beneficial to have a basic understanding of the growing season for your plant.
The production of flowers and a dormant period follow the growth season for the majority of orchid species. However, some orchids, like Tenuifolia, are known to have active growth seasons all year long.
As a result, you would generally need to adjust your feeding schedule to account for each orchid species you wish to feed.
Optimal Orchid Fertilizer
It may be simple to become lost among the various goods offered by several fertilizer-producing companies. So it can be challenging to choose which fertilizer is ideal for orchids.
However, a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus would be ideal for your orchids. These three nutrients support your orchid’s vigorous and healthy growth.
You should choose the proper water for your orchids in addition to the appropriate fertilizer. As tap water contains chlorine, which could be harsh on the plant’s roots, avoid diluting your fertilizer with it.
Because rainwater is the cleanest type of water, use it to water your orchid plants. You can use distilled water if you are unable to locate or harvest rainfall.
How to Pick the Best Fertilizer for Orchids
Tropical orchids are epiphytic, which means that in their native environments, they develop from the soil on the surfaces of other plants. As a result, orchids work differently than other species and have considerably more specific requirements. This implies that if you want to give your lovely orchids a boost, you can’t just use any fertilizer. Discover everything you need to know about feeding this houseplant in the sections that follow, along with some of our favorite formulae.
Formulas Rich in Nitrates
According to Renata Goossen, a customer specialist at Just Add Ice Orchids, fertilizers for orchids are frequently produced with more nitrates than ammoniacal nitrogen. Although orchids are capable of consuming all types of nitrogen present in fertilizers (including nitrate, ammonia, and urea), she claims that for long-term health, they prefer the nitrate form. According to a study in HortTechnology, providing a higher nitrate to ammoniacal nitrogen ratio promotes the growth of larger blooms and improves calcium and magnesium uptake.
How to Choose a Potent Orchid Fertilizer
When looking for orchid fertilizers, Goossen advises taking a few things into account, such as the aforementioned nitrate to ammoniacal nitrogen ratio. It’s crucial to have both types, but search for a fertilizer with more nitrates, she advises.
What ingredient ratios should you watch out for? An effective fertilizer that may be administered twice a month, like 13-3-15 (like the MSU Orchid Fertilizer 13-3-15 ($10.99, amazon.com)), will work, according to the expert. This is preferable to dousing your plants with an extremely weak fertilizer each time you water. She claims that overfeeding your orchids might result in the salt buildup and fertilizer burn. “You can flush out extra salts by cycling between fertilizer water and clear water.”
Last but not least, she advises choosing a liquid supplement like J R Peters Inc Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food 7-5-6 ($15.43, amazon.com). She asserts that when it comes to phalaenopsis orchids, liquid fertilizer is the most complete and efficient form of fertilizer. One more of Goossen’s preferred choices? The specially formulated Dyna-Gro ORC-008 7-8-6 Fertilizer for orchids is available on Amazon for $9.49.
Goossen advises applying fertilizer to your orchid when it is in its vegetative, or non-flowering, stage after you’ve bought it. The cause? The plant is currently growing new leaves, roots, and unopened buds at this time. When the plant is in full bloom and no longer making buds, you can stop fertilizing, she advises.
No fertilizer, despite what the bottle claims, can cause orchids to bloom. Instead, fertilizer can support orchid health to promote future flowering; nevertheless, it does not start flower spikes. The majority of tropical orchid species, according to her, are stimulated to flower by a shift in temperature. “That is a five to ten-degree reduction in temperature at night for the phalaenopsis.” She advises keeping your orchid on a windowsill during the winter to let it blossom.
Excessive Feeding of Orchids
Always follow the recommended feeding schedule for your orchid plant. If you try to overfeed your plant, the extra salt buildup on the roots will do greater damage.
Additionally, because of the excessive fertilizer applied to them, overfed orchid plants become weaker and are more susceptible to illnesses.
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Can you fertilize orchids with liquid?
Yes, the fact that it is nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium-rich is important.
Which fertilizer is ideal for phalaenopsis orchids?
You can feed phalaenopsis orchids fertilizer made for orchids or diluted 20-20-20 fertilizer.
Can I feed my orchids with slow-release fertilizer?
Although unusual, slow-release fertilizer can be used to feed orchids, The pellets would need to be held in a permeable container.
Can I fertilize other plants with orchid fertilizer?
Yes, but never apply them to plants that you intended to eat (Vegetables and fruits).
Do orchids hibernate?
The majority of orchids go dormant, however, odd orchids like the cattleya orchid go through a delayed development phase that is not quite dormant.