While orchids were difficult to care for until a few years ago and were only reserved for professionals, today’s cultivated forms are very suitable even for beginners. And her beautiful sight has really done it to so many. If you don’t want to fill your house with plants, but still value a pretty accent with real flowers, you will be happy to opt for orchids with their wide variety of flower colors. But so that you can always enjoy new flowers, it is important that you fertilize the orchids and thus supply them with nutrients. Today we will explain to you exactly what you should pay attention to and with which everyday (waste) products you can do this.
If you want to fertilize orchids, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on special fertilizers. There are plenty of products available in your household every day that you can use for this purpose and your pretty plants will thank you for it! Now find out what you can use to fertilize orchids and in what ways so that you can enjoy healthy orchids.
From when to fertilize orchids and how often?
So that your plants are doing well, it is not only important to know what is suitable as a fertilizer. The right time is also important. So what should be considered if you want to fertilize your orchids properly?
Fertilize orchids – timing
So when do you fertilize orchids? Basically, orchids should only be fertilized during the growth phase and then left during the resting phase. The resting phase usually takes place in winter. Accordingly, you do not need to fertilize orchids in winter.
Orchids fertilize during the flowering period or not?
As soon as the growth phase begins again, you also start again with the nutrient supply, because then the plant needs strength. You can tell when the time is right when new leaves, stems or flower umbels are forming. If the flowers have wilted, you do not need to cut the stem yet, because it is not uncommon for a new umbel to grow out of one of the so-called “eyes” and of course the plant also needs sufficient nutrients for this. So you can continue to fertilize orchids while they are in bloom.
You should also fertilize the orchids when they are not blooming (except during the resting phase), because during this time new leaves grow and hopefully soon new umbels that need to be cared for.
Orchids fertilize after repotting
In addition to the resting phase, you should also take a break from fertilizing when you have repotted the orchids. Then it is best to skip fertilizing the orchids for 4 to 6 weeks.
Fertilize orchids – How often?
Good news for all beginners looking to get an orchid is that this plant is a low eater. This means that you don’t have to worry if you forget or skip fertilizing for a long time. In fact, if you fertilize your orchids too often, it is harmful to the plant. Every two weeks is sufficient.
Fertilize orchids with home remedies
Now that we have clarified the question of “when to fertilize orchids”, we can also come to the question of “to fertilize orchids with what”. If you would like to fertilize your orchids naturally, there are various options available to you with which you can make fertilizer for orchids yourself. We have listed below exactly which natural means you can use to make orchid fertilizers yourself.
With tea made from compost
Since compost can smell unpleasant and cannot be mixed into the substrate too easily, a tea made from compost is the ideal variant for this type of natural fertilizer. It is important that you only use compost made from leafy plants (e.g. from salads) and old vegetables when you fertilize orchids. This is how the tea is made:
Mix one liter of water (lime-free and chlorine-free) per kilogram of plant material in a bucket, for example, and set it aside for at least 24 hours so that the plants can start to rot in the water and thus give off their nutrients. An ambient temperature of at least 20 degrees is ideal for this. Then sieve off the plant parts and use the water to dip the orchids.
Orchids fertilize with yeast
Dry yeast is best. This supplies the plants with plenty of potassium and phosphorus and can be used for fertilization before and during the flowering period. However, a yeast cube that was used for the following recipe is also suitable: Prepare a solution by dissolving a cube of yeast in 10 liters of water (lukewarm and low in lime) while stirring. Only when all the yeast has dissolved can the solution be used to water the orchids. It is best to immerse the plants. In this way, you can not only fertilize your orchids, but also irrigate them at the same time.
Orchids fertilize with beer
What is meant is not fresh, but stale beer. Sure, it happens that you haven’t finished your beer the night before and then throw it away the next day. You don’t have to do that anymore. Instead, let it sit for another day and then dilute it with water. You then use that for watering every 4 to 6 weeks. It is the hops it contains that is so good for the plants and acts like compost. In addition, the smell of beer can prevent pests, as some do not like it at all.
Fertilize orchids with coffee grounds
You are also welcome to fertilize your orchids with coffee grounds. So instead of throwing the coffee grounds in the trash or on the compost every morning, use them to make a natural fertilizer instead. The special thing about this variant is that the coffee really contains all the nutrients the orchid needs: potassium, nitrogen and phosphate.
Simply distribute the coffee grounds over the substrate and immediately water the plant a little. Remove it again after 3 days at the latest or as soon as it has dried. Then you can put out new coffee grounds again after 2 weeks. Do not keep the set damp after watering, otherwise mold may develop, which will damage the plants.
As an alternative to coffee, black tea can also be used, as it contains the same nutrients and can therefore also supply the orchid perfectly. But never use fresh tea or tea bags when fertilizing orchids, because this is too strong. Instead, just take the kit or sachet after you have made your tea and soak it in warm water for 20 minutes (250 ml of water per sachet).
Then remove the tea bag and let the liquid cool down. Then you can use it to water the plants, even daily, without risking oversupply. Always use this watering water freshly prepared and for the preparation of lime-free or at least lime-free water!
Fertilize with a baby pill
That sounds strange at first, but the birth control pill can really work wonders for your plants and that includes the orchid. The pill does not provide your plants with nutrients, but it does promote growth. So if you fertilize orchids with baby pills you achieve a kind of fertilizer effect, so to speak. Combine them with other fertilizers of your choice. If you’ve stopped taking your pill and have a few left, you can use them as follows:
Dissolve one pill in 1/4 to 1 liter of water overnight and use it to water your orchids. You can repeat this once after 4 weeks or supply your plants in this way every 6 months (or at least every 2 weeks). Alternatively, the pill can also be inserted directly into the substrate. A little fertilizer is then distributed with each watering.
It is important that you do not use this type of fertilizer on edible plants (vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, etc.) as the hormones get into the plant. It is also not recommended in the field, because this is how the hormones seep into the groundwater.
Garlic as a nutrient supplier
Garlic also has an invigorating effect on orchids. You can also use this home remedy to stimulate flowering. You can get a good fertilizer by adding succinic acid to it. Heat a liter of water, add a tablet of succinic acid and let the liquid cool. Then finely chop 3 cloves of garlic, add them to the liquid and leave everything covered for 24 hours.
This liquid is watered by immersion. To do this, put the fertilizer through a sieve into a bucket with standing water and immerse the orchids in this water. Alternate watering with garlic with normal watering and store the fertilizer in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. It is best to always make as much as you need when you fertilize your orchids.
Apples are particularly effective when you want to stimulate the flowering of orchids. You can place an overripe piece of apple directly on the substrate for this purpose, but then you run the risk of mold formation. Instead, you can just put the apple piece next to the pot. The piece of apple then releases what is known as the gas ethylene, which stimulates flowering.
Potato and rice water as fertilizer
Plain rice water is known for its many benefits. This also includes the use of the water as a fertilizer for plants. It is simply used every two weeks lukewarm after rice has been boiled as irrigation water, which then supplies the orchid with potassium, calcium and vitamin B. Use potato water in the same way if you want to naturally fertilize orchids.
How can you use eggshells
Calcium, carbon, and oxygen are those minerals in eggshells that are so valuable to your orchids. So if you want to fertilize orchids naturally, simply use the shells of your breakfast eggs. On the one hand, you can soak the bowls in water and then use it as irrigation water. Or you can use the water in which you boiled the eggs after it has cooled down. Just use it to water your flowers.
Banana peels to supply orchids with nutrients
Last but not least, we would like to introduce you to the banana peel used as a fertilizer, which you will surely have at home regularly and in sufficient quantities. They contain plenty of valuable potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins as well as nitrogen, albeit in small amounts. In order to get you a fertilizer that you can use to fertilize orchids, you first have to dry them. Then cut them into small pieces and mix or spread them over the substrate.
Alternatively, you can use a blender to make a powder from the dried peels, which you can combine with dry coffee grounds.
Attention! Bananas usually contain large amounts of pesticides (excluding organic bananas). Therefore, do not use the bowls for the garden if you value organic cultivation. But the peel of organic bananas are also better suited for flowers or even for cosmetic use.