The Content Of The Article:
- Orchid fertilizer vs. home remedies
- Home remedies for fertilizing orchids
- Make compost tea yourself
- Which orchid fertilizer is the best?
These unique plants combine many positive qualities. This particularly applies to their beautiful flowers, with different colors and colors and flower shapes. Most commonly one finds copies of the genus Phalaenopsis. But even they can only unfold their full splendor with the right fertilizer. Mistakes can lead to the absence of flowering or loss of orchid.
Orchid fertilizer vs. home remediesIn orchids, a distinction is made between terrestrial, ie in the soil growing and epiphytischen species that grow in the wild as a so-called Aufsitzerpflanze, that is, they grow on trees or other plants. In order to optimally supply orchids with everything they need to thrive, usually only a few nutrients are needed.
In nature, they absorb water and nutrients through the air and rain. For houseplants must take the appropriate fertilizer. This requires a lot of tact on the one hand in choosing the right fertilizer and on the other hand in the dosage, because you should not fertilize too much or too often. Too much fertilizer or the salts contained in many fertilizers can very quickly lead to burns of the roots and severely damage the plants.
Only if gross errors in watering and fertilizing are avoided, these elegant exotics thrive well and always present their magnificent flowers. While only soft, rainwater should be used for casting, it is not easy to find the right one with the large number of commercially available fertilizers. In addition, there is often talk of various home remedies that are to be used for fertilizing. But which fertilizer is the best?
Home remedies for fertilizing orchidsAs an alternative to commercially available orchid fertilizers, a wide variety of experiences and opinions on home remedies circulating, which should have a similar effect as special fertilizers. However, the effectiveness of these partly bizarre remedies is controversial and could harm the plants in the worst case rather than use.
coffee groundsCoffee grounds are known to be a very good fertilizer. But does that also apply to orchids? Coffee grounds in addition to the main nutrients potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen also contains a variety of minerals. Most plants can do something good with this 'waste product'. On the other hand, one should be more careful with orchids, because they are very sensitive houseplants.
However, you should always pay attention to the water level in the dipping vessel when diving with mineral fertilizers. Depending on how much water evaporates in the dive breaks, it must be refilled with fresh water. Otherwise, the nutrients accumulate too much. In addition to organic and mineral fertilizers, there is also a combination of both fertilizers. They combine the fast nutrient action of a synthetic fertilizer with the long-term nutrient release of an organic fertilizer.
Tip: Anyone who still prefers organic fertilizers for his orchids can produce them himself in the form of a so-called compost tea. In the trade, compost tea is also offered as a ready mix.
Make compost tea yourselfFor the production of compost tea you need a larger vessel, lime-free water and leafy plant material. Ordinary garden compost is completely unsuitable. If necessary, also old vegetable remains of cucumbers or tomatoes can be added.
- First fill the respective vessel with lime-free water
- Then add the plant material
- One liter of water requires about 1 kg of material
- Let the whole thing rest for about 24 hours
- Good are ambient temperatures of at least 20 degrees
- The warmer it is, the better
- The next day pour the liquid through a sieve
- Then fill in a watering can or dip tank
- Remaining plant remains can be used multiple times
- Covered, compost tea is reusable for a few weeks
- To strengthen the plants, water the orchids about every 2 - 3 weeks
Which orchid fertilizer is the best?
Which orchid fertilizer is ultimately the best depends on different factors. On the one hand, it is a matter of personal experience with one or the other fertilizer, on the other hand, the type of irrigation water and the substrate influence the choice of the right fertilizer.
For orchids in pot culture, pine bark is usually used as a substrate. The advantages of this substrate are above all its structural stability and the ability to buffer mineral salt solutions. So that the bark is free of any germs, bacteria and fungi, it is advisable to kill them first at about 65 degrees in the oven.
In irrigation water, a distinction is made between hard and soft water (rainwater). The latter is free of any salts. If water is poured exclusively with rainwater, which would be the ideal case, the fertilizer used should contain all the important minerals, little ammonium nitrogen and no urea.
In contrast, when using hard tap water fertilizers are recommended that contain no magnesium, calcium and no sulfates. In any case, orchids should only be poured with conventional tap water in exceptional cases, which has been stale for a few days already. Unlike rainwater, the fertilizer can contain a little more nitrogen depending on the hardness of the water.
In general, the fertilizer should be free of so-called chelates (EDTA). We recommend a pH of 5.5 to a maximum of 6.5. It is important to have a balanced ratio of nitrogen N, phosphorus P and potassium K (10: 8: 10). A commercial universal fertilizer in this composition could easily be used all year round for fertilizing orchids.
In conclusion, one can state that home remedies such as those mentioned above are less suitable for fertilizing orchids, as well as commercially available flowering or indoor plant fertilizers. Anyone who has made good experiences with home remedies can certainly continue to use them. If you want to provide your plants with all the important nutrients in the right nutrient composition, special orchid fertilizers in the form of liquid fertilizers are usually best suited.