Fertilizing orchids regularly provides them with the nutrients they need for optimal health and vibrant blooming. Many people either forget to do it or become overwhelmed by the what, how and when of orchid fertilization.
If your orchid's flowers have fallen, it has entered the dormant stage. During this period, your orchid is resting so that it will have the energy to rebloom. That makes this the perfect time to fertilize your orchid!
Why Do Orchids Need Fertilizer?
Most plants obtain the nutrients and moisture they need from the soil. Because Phalaenopsis orchids naturally grow on trees, they trap wind-blown plant and animal matter, grains of soil, mineral flakes and other nutrients between their tangled roots where they can be absorbed by the plant.
When we bring orchids into our homes, we remove them from the natural environment that nourishes them. The mixtures of fir bark, sphagnum moss, cork, gravel, peat moss and other materials in which commercially-grown orchids are generally potted provide some minimal nutrition as they break down, but adding fertilizer to gives the plant the nutrient boost it needs to generate new growth.
How Often Should You Fertilize Orchids?
Experts recommend fertilizing Phalaenopsis orchids once every other week or at least once a month only after its blooms have dropped. Fertilize your orchid with a weak solution of a balanced plant fertilizer.
How To Fertilize Orchids In 3 Steps
Step 1: Choose a fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (look for 20-20-20 on the label).
Step 2: Fertilizer should be used at half-strength, so mix it with an equal amount of water before applying it to your orchid. You should skip watering on fertilizing days.
Step 3: Using a narrow-spouted pitcher, slowly pour the fertilizer into the pot, avoiding the leaves. Drain any excess solution. Repeat once or twice a month.
That's all there is to it! Fertilizing your orchid is easy and will keep it healthy as it rests. The resting period typically lasts about nine months before your orchid will rebloom.
Don't want to wait that long? Buy a new one you can enjoy now while you wait!