It is important, when you grow orchids, to fertilize them correctly. A well fertilized orchid will not only keep their leaves longer, but will produce more flowers. Knowing how and when to fertilize is something you will need to learn. You need to be careful because if you use too much fertilizer on your orchid, you could harm the plant and may even burn the roots. Overfeeding your orchid can also cause the plant to grow too fast which will make the plant weak and more vulnerable to orchid disease. Not using enough fertilizer can stunt the growth and flowering process.
When you grow orchids, there are a few things you should remember in terms of how to fertilize. The first thing is to never fertilize an orchid that is dry. It is important to water your orchid first, because if your orchid is dry when you water, you could inflict damage to the roots in terms of burning. This will cause the roots to turn a dark brown or black color and could ultimately kill your orchid.
When Should I Fertilize?
Knowing when to fertilize is another very important aspect. Many orchid growers like to fertilize on either a weekly or a monthly basis. If you choose to get into this weekly fertilizing routine, you will need to be sure to use a weaker fertilizing solution (usually one-quarter of the strength) than suggested on the instructions. To help you remember to use a weaker solution you can remember the saying “water weekly, weakly”. If you choose to water on a monthly basis then you will need to use the fertilizer solution at full strength according to the instructions on the package. It is extremely important that you follow the fertilizer’s guidelines when diluting the solution as to not over-fertilize.
Once you’ve finished adding the fertilizer to the orchid, it is important that you remember to let the plant drain very well so that you don’t have extra water sitting at the bottom of the pot. Once a month (regardless of which fertilizing routine you use) you should make sure to get rid of any built-up fertilizer and salts that weren’t absorbed by the plant. This is done by rinsing the potting medium thoroughly.
There are a few instances in which you should not fertilize your orchid. The first reason is if your orchid is sick from disease, has extensive damage to the roots, or if the plant is pest-ridden. Also, many types of orchids slow down during the winter or even go dormant. Because it doesn’t make much sense to fertilize an orchid that is dormant, you can start the fertilization process again in the spring, once the plant starts its next growth period.
When you grow orchids, you will want to observe them on a regular basis, so that you will be able to determine if there are any problems that have started to form. By catching problems early enough, you will be able to make modifications before they can turn in to something that is serious.
Next Steps: Where do you go from here?
A couple options:
#1 – More Free Orchid Tips!
At a minimum, I strongly recommending signing up for our orchid tips newsletter (it’s free!). That’ll give you some additional (more detailed) step-by-step tips you can start using with your Orchids right away…
#2 – Get Access to ALL My Orchid Articles…
If you’d like to learn everything you need to know about orchid care (and caring for ALL types of orchids) we also have something called the Orchids Made Easy Green Thumb Club.
The Green Thumb Club includes a number of different benefits – including weekly lessons on all different orchid care topics delivered to you in a special, password-protected members area. You also get the opportunity to get YOUR actual questions answered in my weekly “Ask The Orchid Guy” column, which you can check out here.
The Green Thumb Club costs less than a meal at McDonald’s – and ALSO includes all sorts of ADDITIONAL benefits, including exclusive discounts at orchid suppliers from 20-40% off as well access to our “orchid diagnosis tool” which helps you identify what problem might be plaguing your plant.
Because the club is backed by a full 100% money-back guarantee for a full 30 days, if after checking it out you decide that it’s not for you or that you didn’t get value you out of what you learned – no problem! Simply send us an email to let me know, and you’ll receive a fast and courteous refund. Put it this way: If you’re not happy, I’m not happy!
(By the way, this link here will give you access to 50% off the cost of membership. A little “gift” for reading this article all the way to the end :-))
All my best,
Ryan “The Orchid Guy” :-)
IMPORTANT: To learn everything you need to know about caring for your orchids, if you haven’t already I strongly recommend signing up for the “Orchid Care Tips & Secrets Newsletter” my wife and I publish by clicking here.
It’s completely free – and the best part? You can even choose the type of information you’d like to receive (reblooming tips, basics of orchid care, etc.) Join over 20,000 fellow orchid enthusiasts young and old and sign up for our free orchid care newsletter today! :-)
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