During active growth, orchids are fed with special fertilizers for orchids. If there are none, then you can use a complex mineral fertilizer for flowering indoor plants, while the dose is taken 2 or even 3 times less than the recommended by the manufacturer. Top dressing is carried out no more than once every 3 weeks. Although the question of fertilizing among flower growers is quite controversial: some advise to feed more often, but in a lower dose, others - no more than once a month in the usual concentration of fertilizer. Therefore, it is at your discretion, but always according to the principle: "it is better to underfeed than overfeed."
Only well-rooted plants are fed during the growth period. Therefore, freshly transplanted plants, or weakened by disease or pests, are not fed. Do not fertilize with undiluted fertilizer on a dry substrate and on hot summer days, when the soil dries out too quickly.
Many orchids feed throughout the year, except for a dormant period, if any. But at different periods of orchid growth, the composition of the fertilizer should be different.
Nitrogen - needed for vegetative growth, phosphorus and potassium help plant flower buds and bloom more luxuriantly and beautifully. Based on this, you can feed with different fertilizers - during the period of leaf growth, a fertilizer containing more nitrogen (for example, "uniflor-growth", "crystal red" in doses of 1 / 3-1 / 4 of the recommended), if a bulb is inflated or a flower arrow, you need to use fertilizer with more potassium and phosphorus (for example, "kemira-lux", "crystal brown" or "uniflor-bud").
For phalaenopsis, which bloom at any time of the year, and almost constantly, you can use phosphorus-potassium fertilizers ("kemira-lux") all year round. For top dressing at any time of the year, special fertilizers for orchids produced by various companies are intended, for example, "Pokon for orchids" or "Bona forte for orchids", "Fertilizer for Gilea orchids", liquid fertilizer for Greenworld orchids, etc.
The traditional way to fertilize orchids is with watering. They are watered by immersion in water or by watering the substrate from above. How often you add fertilizer to your irrigation water depends on the dosage. Some orchid growers practice adding a small dose of fertilizer (1/4 of the recommended dose) to each watering. Others, alternating watering with plain water and nutrient solution.
Donga: For phalaenopsis, I do this: I soak it once with the "kemira", the next watering I just soak, and then I pour two liters of clean water from above. Next time - fertilization again, etc.
Yamira: I feed my phalaenopsis almost every watering, but I always dilute the fertilizers somewhat weaker than indicated in the instructions.
Anyanya: I choose the following concentration : I pour 2 pinches of kemira onto 1 liter of water, and with this I water it, alternating once - once with fertilizer, next time filtered water, once with fertilizer, once filtered water, etc.
Kar: I use the most common fertilizers for watering: during growth - fertilizers for Saintpaulias, there is more nitrogen, for flowering - fertilizers for azaleas, there is more phosphorus. Orchs bloom, grow and do not rejoice. I also use liquid vitamins, which are sold in ampoules, and are diluted for spraying plants.
Read more on the topic:
- Fertilizer for orchids overview
- Reproduction of orchids
- Orchid pests and other growing problems