Learning How To Fertilize Orchids

Last Updated on June 15, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Mostly, the Orchids are epiphytic plants. They are called epiphytic plants due to their nature of growing on branches of the trees. Orchids are deemed as household plants. Two of the most common ones are the Moth orchid and the cymbidium.

Like any other plant, Orchid requires fertilizers in order to have optimal health and robust blooming. That being said, it is not essential to fertilize the orchids heavily. Doing so can deteriorate the condition of your plant as you will be providing it with more than the required amount.

Fertilizing orchids excessively can put their sensitive roots at risk of getting burned. Therefore, little but consistent fertilization of the orchids would be more than enough.

A lot of people who are new to gardening do not know exactly how to fertilize orchids. They may confront certain issues with regard to the fertilization of orchids. This guide can prove out to be helpful for them.

Why Do Orchids Need Fertilizer?

fertilize orchids

One of the most obvious reasons why orchids need fertilizers is to get the moisture and the nutrients from the soil which is not possible to get inside a house.

Unlike other various plants, orchids are detached from their natural environment, and as a result, they do not get the optimal amount of nourishment a natural environment could have provided.

Therefore, Orchids are fertilized so that they can get an adequate amount of nutrients and moisture from the soil which can ultimately boost their growth.

Important Thing To Know Before Applying Fertilizer To Orchid:

Before one can fertilize orchids, it is essential for them to ensure the roots of their plants are functioning well.  In case, if the roots are weak, applying the fertilizers may further aggravate its condition. This is because weak roots would not be able to absorb the fertilizers. It would then ultimately get accumulated and will further weaken the already damaged roots.

When Should You Fertilize Orchids?

Though it is important not to fertilize orchids heavily, it is also essential to apply fertilizers consistently. This means, that you should fertilize your orchid plants every alternate week or just once a month. Fertilizing the orchids with a weak solution would be considered best for your plant.

Related: Orchid Plant Care Guide

Step-by-Step Process On How To Fertilize Orchids:

step by step fertilizing orchids

It is possible that you might be a beginner in the field of gardening. Therefore, fertilizing your orchid plants may seem a challenging task for you. However, this is not the case with orchids. In fact, they are one of the easiest plants to apply fertilizers.

Just follow these steps mentioned below, and you are good to go.

  • First, you are required to thoroughly check the label of the fertilizer. You must search for the words ammoniacal nitrogen or nitrate nitrogen. If you find these words on the label, it is recommended to choose that fertilizer for your orchid plant. This is because nitrate nitrogen and ammoniacal nitrogen are better for orchids as compared to urea. This has been proved by various significant reports.
  • After you have chosen the right fertilizer for your orchid plants, it is essential to make sure that you use it at half strength. Also, it is important to mix it well with the water before you can apply it to the plants. You should ensure that an equal amount of water is used.
  • When you are ready to apply fertilizers, it is suggested to use a narrow spouted pitcher. While you pour the fertilizer into the pot, you should be careful and avoid the leaves from getting wet. It is recommended to pour slowly as it would allow the plants to soak up the fertilizer. Moreover, pouring fertilizer slowly would minimize the chances of errors.
  • As soon as you apply the fertilizer solution, you should ensure that there is no excessive solution present there. If you notice that, you should drain it promptly. The best approach would be to have holes in the pots. In case, it is not possible to have holes, the alternative way is to gradually pour the fertilizer solution into your orchid plants and allow at least 15 minutes before you can pour again.
  • Repeat the whole process on alternate weeks.

A Few Tips For Fertilizing Orchids:

fertilizing orchids tips

There are various tips that you must follow while you fertilize your orchid plants. The following are a few of them:

  • Always use a weak solution rather than the high concentration solution. Using the latter can damage your plant’s roots.
  • Make sure to fertilize orchids on a regular basis. You should make a proper schedule for that purpose.
  • Always choose fertilizers with nitrate-nitrogen or ammoniacal nitrogen. Also, those fertilizers are deemed best that have less than 20 percent of nitrogen. Therefore, prior to choosing the fertilizer for your plant, you must carefully read the label.
  • If you notice floppy dark green leaves, it is highly likely that you are over-fertilizing your orchids.
  • Make sure you do not fertilize orchids that look weak or in poor condition.
  • Always remove the excess water from the plants.
  • Never water your plants after applying the fertilizers. You can water your plants the next day.

If you learn how to fertilize orchids in the right manner, it is going to be one of the most simple and straightforward tasks for you.

All you need to do is to keep all the aforementioned points in your mind and carefully follow the procedure of fertilizing your orchids. After one or two attempts, you will feel more confident. Follow the tips and you are good to go.