Plant Food for Orchids

Overview

Orchids are beautiful flowering plants that bloom infrequently. In nature, orchids often grow on the bark of trees or on dead or dying trees. As such, they can grow well with only light misting and water but often do better with a bit of feeding.

History

The earliest orchid cultivation was in Greece. Cultivation and growing techniques improved in the mid-19th century and likely included improvements in feeding techniques.

Function

Most orchid growing mediums don't contain nutrients. Orchids grow in nature on tree bark and get nutrients from water running down the trees. Orchid food offers nutrients that are normally present in nature.

Types

There are two types of orchid food. One is a balanced food, such as 18-18-18 fertilizer. The other has higher levels of nitrogen, such as a 30-10-10 fertilizer.

Considerations

Orchids growing in bark usually do better with higher-nitrogen fertilizer. Orchids in other media often do better with a more balanced fertilizer.

Time Frame

Orchids don't require heavy feeding. In most cases, feeding your orchid once or twice a month is sufficient.

References

  • Orchid Culture
  • Orchid Care for the Novice--An Orchid's Perspective
  • Growing Orchids

Who Can Help

  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Orchids
Keywords: orchid care, orchid feeding, orchid fertilization

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.