Fertilizing Orchids | How to Fertilize Orchids


My first orchid memory is of taking care of my aunt’s orchids while she was on vacation. She had two greenhouse windows in her kitchen that were filled with tons of orchids. Of course, my aunt has a real way with plants, and orchids in particular. She told me recently that my Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) will be easy for me to grow. We’ll see.

A common way to fertilize container gardens in general, and orchids in particular, is to follow the maxim “weakly, weekly.” This means to fertilize them at a weaker strength than recommended on the package, on a weekly basis. A good rule of thumb is 1/4 strength.

A lot of orchid fertilizers are synthetic. If you want to keep things organic, one thing I’ve found that works pretty well for orchids is a weak worm tea. Check out a product called TerraCycle Orchid Plant Food if you don’t have your own vermicomposter or just don’t want to have to make it yourself.

By the way, I saw suggestions on the internet to use fish emulsion. Trust me, you don’t want to use that indoors. It STINKS!!! Also, avoid using time release fertilizer granules unless you’re growing cymbidiums, and then only use them very sparingly and only in early spring. They release too much fertilizer at once.

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