Worm Tea and Orchids

Worm tea. Sounds pretty disgusting, huh? This concoction might sound disgusting to you but your orchids will love it! Worm tea (also known as vermiliquid) provides your orchid with required nutrients for optimal health and many orchid growers using worm tea report that their orchids’ leaves appear greener, their plants grow faster, and sometimes their blooms last even longer than those not getting the worm tea.

So what exactly is this miracle tea?

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Not only can worm tea do wonders for your orchids overall health and growth, it acts as a natural fungicide and pesticide. This nutrient-rich solution contains microbes which help your orchids absorb nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Since the nutrients in worm tea are soluble they are also absorbed through the plant’s leaves. For this reason, you can use worm tea to water and also mist your orchids to resist pests and disease.

What is worm tea made of?

The main ingredient in worm tea is worm castings. This is, more or less, worm poop from composting earthworms. Many orchid growers make their own worm castings at home via composting, but this can take about 3 to 4 weeks. If you don’t have the time or patience to compost at home, you can purchase worm casting online or from specialty gardening shops. You can also purchase pre-made worm tea concentrate, although, since it tends to lose its potency quickly, many orchid growers like to make their own at home so that they can have a fresh batch to add to their orchids.

Supplies you will need:

In order to make your own batch of worm tea you will need a few items such as a 5-gallon bucket, water, three to five handfuls of worm castings, pantyhose, one tablespoon of molasses or corn syrup, and an aquarium air pump.

Brewing up your own batch of worm tea:

Once you’ve gathered the necessary supplies, the first thing you need to do is fill up the 5 gallon bucket two-thirds of the way with water. If you are using tap water you will need to let the bucket sit overnight so that the chlorine has time to evaporate. Or, if you don’t have time to wait, you can speed this process up by placing the air pump tubes into the bucket and running the pump for at least 2 hours. The chlorine in the water will need to be removed so that you do not kill the micro-organisms which are beneficial for your plants.

Once the chlorine has been removed from the water, the next step is to add the molasses or corn syrup. The reason you are adding the molasses or corn syrup is because it serves as the food for the micro-organisms. To make it easier to add, you can dissolve the molasses or corn syrup with a small amount of warm water before adding. Not only does this make it easier to add, it also helps to prevent potential obstruction of your air tubes.

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Next, fill up the pantyhose with the worm castings and tie a knot at the end. You then place the panty-hose filled “tea bag” inside the bucket and also add the air pump tubes. Make sure that the tubes are deep inside of the bucket and turn the pump on. In just 24 hours, you will have made your first batch of highly-nutritious worm tea!

How the worm tea is applied:

Worm tea can be used to water your orchid or you can use it to spray your orchids with. If you just want to water your orchids with the tea to give them an extra boost, watering with worm tea once a month should do the trick, however, if you are planning on using worm tea to water your orchids with on a weekly basis, it is recommended that you dilute the solution just as you would with a fertilizer. A great thing about worm tea is that it will not burn your orchid’s roots like some fertilizers can. It is recommended that you use your tea as soon as possible because worm tea does tend to go bad fairly quickly.

Maybe you’ve been buying and using worm tea for years and you want to try and make your own batch, or perhaps you are looking to try something new…Although worm tea does sound pretty gross, it’s something that you can create without too much effort and can be highly beneficial to your orchids.

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 :-))

Until Next Time,

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Ryan “The Orchid Guy” :-)


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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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