Saturday, January 8, 2011

How to Fertilize Your Orchids

The orchid is a diverse and evolved flowering plant. Orchids come in a wide variety of species. In fact, the number of orchid species doubles the number of bird species here on earth. A great number of those orchid species can be found in the tropical regions. Orchids, which come from the Greek term "orkhis", meaning testicle, is a perennial herb.

Due to the fact that there is a wide variety of orchids, the feeding of an orchid varies also. Some orchids prefer to be fed more fertilizer and watered less, while other orchid varieties prefer more pure water and less fertilizer. This is where you will need to be aware of your specific orchid species and what it requires. Always read the labels on your orchid fertilizer. Your orchid needs to be fed enough in quantity and quality to be able to store food away for when blooming season comes, which is fall and winter.

The basic orchid food will contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The N.P.K formula is listed on the package of fertilizer. It will look something like 30-10-10 or 10-20-10. Fertilizer that is high in nitrogen is good for the growing season. Fertilizer that is high in phosphorous is best for blooming season. Some growers choose to alternate food so the orchid can take what it wants.

It is best to choose a fertilizer that is a non-urea formula. Urea formulas take longer to break down and are usually flushed out at the next watering before they can be used. You may also want to consider a formula that has added micro-nutrients.


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