Orchid Fertilizer - Caring For Orchids
Orchids in their natural environment, obtain nutrients from organic matter that accumulates around their roots. When fertilizing orchids you provide them with the nutrients they need to help them flourish and also keeps your plants healthy.
It's best when fertilizing orchids is to fertilize often. Fertilize once a week or whenever you water, but only fertilize when they are actively growing and water your plants just before you fertilize.
There are several types of fertilizers available that you can use that will keep your orchids in good shape and looking beautiful.
Remember always measure the amount of fertilizer that you use, never guess when you mix your fertilizers because this can lead to over fertilizing and can harm your plants. Over fertilizing orchids will do more harm than under-fertilizing.
When fertilizing orchids mix and use fertilizers at ¼ to ½ the recommended strength and use a fertilizer that is made especially for fertilizing orchids.
If your plant leaf tips start to dry out this could mean they are over fertilized. Remove the dried tips with a sharp, sterile knife or scissors then rinse your growing media a few times with fresh water only. This will remove any excess fertilizer.
A good rule of thumb when fertilizing orchids and to provide them with the nutrients they need it is essential to have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and a little amount of iron. A suitable balanced ratio would be 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Nitrogen is usually the first ingredient listed
on a fertilizer label.
Nitrogen promotes leaf growth and also upholds the leaves deep green color. Leaf growth is important because plant food is created by the leaves through photosynthesis. Nitrogen should be used at the start of shoot growth.
Phosphorous is the second ingredient listed on the fertilizer label and is another important nutrient for plant growth. Plants need phosphorous to develop a good root system. Leaves may turn dull and stems may become thin when suffering from a lack of phosphorous.
Potassium is the third ingredient on the fertilizer label and is also an essential nutrient for plant growth. Potassium is necessary for the proper growth of flowers. It ensures good plant size and color.
When plant leaves turn yellow this could be a good indicator that the plant needs potassium. When you are fertilizing orchids phosphorous and potassium are used at the end of the growing stage.
Organic nutrients that help nurture orchids are iron, calcium, copper, and zinc. Organic fertilizers help develop the soil and aid in healthy plant growth. Blood meal, fish emulsion, cottonseed and bone meal are beneficial selections.
Each orchid species have different needs when fertilizing. As a rule when fertilizing orchids use a good fertilizer that contains high components of phosphorus, such as a 20-20-20 mix, will encourage blossoming.
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