How to Fertilize Orchids
How when and why to fertilize orchids is a common question. Orchids are not difficult to fertilize, well most species anyway. We provide a guide to basic orchid fertilizing or ‘feeding’ techniques.
In simple terms a regular light application is the best way, and for most orchids a balanced fertilizer is the best choice. However species do differ so techniques for different species will vary. One common practice is to always apply fetilizer to damp growing medium, this helps reduce the chance of burning the root system of the plant.
Fertilizing Orchids is fairly similar to most other plants, nutrient requirements differ sightly but a good basic orchid fertilizer will be suitable for most orchids.
What part to fertilise, the leaves or the roots ?
Orchids will take up fertiliser through the foliage, as do most plants, however they will take up most nutrients through the roots when it is available. So we fertilise the foliage with a liquid or mist, as well as the roots.
Orchid fertilizing basics
Feed lightly and regularly during the growing season. Over feeding will not speed up growth and may in fact cause a build up of salts that will damage the orchid. Specialist orchid fertilizers are designed to overcome some of these problems.
Remember that most orchids are relatively slow growing, so be patient, or buy a mature orchid to start with.
When to fertilize orchids.
Fertilize orchids once every one – two weeks during the growing season, remember that we are using a light application of fertilizer….
Always water the growing medium before fertilizing. And once a month give the plant a good watering to flush out the salts left behind.
What more can I do besides fertilizing orchids..
Purchase a ph meter, this allows you to monitor the acidity of the growing medium.
It is essential that when you purchase any orchids that you obtain growing instructions that include orchid watering and fertilizing instructions for orchids. This will give you a guideline on orchid care. It might also convince you that you are buying your orchids from someone who knows what they are selling.