How Much Fertilizer Should I Give My Orchid?

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To ensure that healthy orchids bloom year after year, treat your plants with fertilizer. How much you apply will depend the particular species of orchid you have in your planters or garden.

Orchids that Bloom in the Fall

Some orchids bloom only once a year in the fall. When these plants are not in bloom, fertilize them once per month. When in season, fertilize once every 2 weeks. In the off-season, dilute the fertilizer solution to about 1/3 of what you would normally feed the orchids while they are blooming.

No matter when you are fertilizing, keep a strict watering routine, ensuring that the bark or soil is constantly moist. Again, once a week during the flowering season and every other week after that. The same goes for orchids that are prone to grow sprouts and bloom in the winter months as well.

Orchids that Bloom More Than Once a Year

Some orchids actually bloom up to three or four times per year, in the spring and summer as well as the fall. When they are not flowering, fertilize these plants the same way you would treat those that only bloom in the fall except. In season, water your orchids at least once a day and fertilize at least every other week. When they are not in season, make sure that the soil stays moist before watering again.

The Right Fertilizer

Some types of fertilizers show immediate results while others take some time. There are many commercial fertilizers with pre-made mixtures specifically for orchids. They include instructions about when and how much to use, depending on the season.

If you would prefer using a less abrasive fertilizer that won’t harm your orchids no matter how much you use, try making your own mixture with naturally recycled and organic products. You can dilute molasses with water and add as a fertilizer on a bi-weekly basis to give natural sugars as well as potassium to your buds. Banana extract or peels will also do the trick, but these cause a greater risk of the plants' forming mold.

Orchids also love calcium, and it is impossible to give them too much. Eggshells and crushed chicken bones deteriorate well in the soil, don’t wash away in the bark when watering, and give amazing amounts of nutrients to the roots of the orchids without any worry of fertilizer burn.

When using natural fertilizers, there is never an issue of using them too much. However, be mindful of instructions on commercial products and pay attention to the seasons.