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How to Fertilize Orchids?

Learn the best methods to fertilize orchids, including choosing the right fertilizer, application techniques, and essential tips for robust growth.

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If you are expecting an eye-pleasing set of orchids, you have to do some hard work in maintaining them from their early stage. Fertilizing is one of the best ways to achieve healthy orchids, and if it’s not done in the right way, weak blooms are inevitable.

In this article, we are going to discuss how to fertilize orchids. But more importantly, let us first understand what orchids need fertilizer and what is an ideal fertilizer for these plants during different stages. 

Whether it is a partially developed or early-stage orchid, both have different needs of nutrients; a partially mature one needs a high ratio of P and K. Therefore, it needs a fertilizer like 10:27:27. But an early stage orchid needs more of an N-boost. Hence, a fertilizer similar to a 30:10:10 N-P-K ratio can be ideal. 

As we have an idea about the right type of fertilizers, we can now take a look into the fertilization method. 


Before you proceed with the fertilization process, make sure to gather all the essential supplies, such as:

  • Fertilizer (as per the plant’s growth stage)
  • A tablespoon
  • Tub

Fertilizing orchids the right way

Fertilizing orchids the right way

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fertilize your orchids the right way. 

  • Take a small tub and rinse it thoroughly. Make sure it doesn’t have any accumulated salts or containments. 
  • Begin by taking a tablespoon of fertilizer and placing it in the tub. 
  • Fill the tub with water fully and wait for 15-20 minutes so that fertilizer can mix with the water. It also helps dilute the fertilizer, which is good practice for protecting the orchid from root burns. 
  • Take your orchid pot and dip it into this water so that the roots can absorb as much water as required. Make sure the orchid leaves are not in direct contact with the water. 
  • In case your orchids are grounded, pour this fertilizer+water solution near the roots.
  • Repeat this process every week to see better growth.  

What not to do while fertilizing the orchids? 

Even though fertilizing orchids seems so easy now, it is always wise to take precautions. So, here are some ‘not to do’ things while fertilizing them. 

  • Do not pick any fertilizer without analyzing your plant’s needs. It’s suggested not to choose a fertilizer with harsh chemicals. 
  • Avoid applying the fertilizer on the crown and the leaves, as it may lead to a root burn
  • Don’t over-fertilize the orchid; it can also cause burns and even damage it.
  • Avoid fertilizing them during fall or winter time, as it is the resting time for orchids. Adding a fertilizer may harm the plant. 

Parting comments 

Now you know how to fertilize the beautiful orchids properly. However, while selecting the fertilizer, it is important to address the actual needs of your orchid. 10:27:27 and 30:10:10 are suggested to be the best fit for mature and developing orchids, respectively. In case the exact composition of fertilizer is not available, a 20:20:20 or a 15:30:30 fertilizer can be a good alternative. Moreover, it is also important to follow the right practices while fertilizing your plant.

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