Orchids are a complex yet incredible type of flowering plants. Although they were once pricey and rare, they’re now readily available and affordable. They’re breathtakingly gorgeous, long-lasting, and have a fascinating fragrance. Besides, they bloom for quite long and are extremely varied. Seeing orchids bloom and thrive is the joy of any gardener who loves growing flowering plants. The best thing is that you can grow them in pots placed either outdoors or indoors. However, they need the best growing environment to thrive. You can enhance their growing environment by fertilizing them with the best orchid fertilizer.
Generally, orchids should be fertilized every two weeks during their peak growing season, which is during spring and summer. Also, they require fertilizer once every four weeks during their dormancy stage, which is during fall and winter. During these two growing periods, fertilize them with a fertilizer that has higher nitrogen content and a lower amount of phosphorous and potassium. Whenever they’re about to bloom, feed them with a balanced orchid fertilizer.
Besides fertilizing them, orchids also require sufficient light and fresh air circulation to thrive. Exposure to excessive direct sunlight can burn them. Thus, they grow best in an area with sufficient but indirect light. Also, they require proper watering. Excessive watering can make the roots rot. You should water them once every month during the cold season and twice or once every week during the hot season.
When feeding orchids with fertilizer, ensure it’s more diluted than you’d dilute fertilizer for flowers and other plants. Orchids are best fed with liquid fertilizers. Ensure the fertilizer is completely water-soluble to ensure that it mixes properly before application. The last thing you’d want is to burn your precious orchids with an undiluted fertilizer. However, it can be quite tricky to choose the right fertilizer for orchids. We’ve prepared this article to assist you to find the right fertilizer. Read on for the latest reviews and buying guide.
Quick Comparison Table
|Product Name||NPK Ratio||Our Rating||Price|
|Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food||3-1-2|
|Joyful Dirt Premium||8-1-5|
|Miracle-GroWater Soluble Orchid Food, 8 oz.||30-10-10|
|Sun Bulb 50000||N/A|
|Aquatic ArtsOrchid Fertilizer||30-10-10|
|rePotme Orchid Food,8 oz||13-3-15|
Top 7 Orchid Fertilizer
There’re dozens of manufacturers who make special fertilizers for feeding orchids. The products they make aren’t equal. Thus, the choice you’ll make will either destroy or improve your orchids. Luckily for you, we’ve reviewed the best products to assist you in making the right choice. Here’re the top 7 orchid fertilizers.
1. Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food
This orchid plant food from Aquatic Arts comes in an 8 oz bottle. It’s made as a liquid fertilizer for quick and enhanced feeding of orchids and houseplants. Its formula contains 3 percent nitrogen, 1 percent phosphorous, and 2 percent potassium.
- Natural ingredients– One of the most outstanding aspects of this fertilizer is that it’s made of purely natural ingredients. This makes it gentle enough to encourage robust growth without burning orchids when applied as directed. This also means that you’ll grow your orchids organically without harming the environment.
- Allows for the development of colorful blooms– The main goal of planting orchids is to add beauty to your garden or indoor space, thanks to their colorful flowers. However, this requires feeding them with the appropriate fertilizer. Luckily, the formula in this fertilizer encourages the development of more blooms with long-lasting colors. That way, your orchids will grow more flowers with richer colors.
- Stimulates the development of vibrant leaves– The high nitrogen content in this fertilizer stimulates the development of deep green leaves. Besides colorful blooms, bright green leaves make orchids look extremely impressive and outstanding.
- Encourages the growth of sturdy roots– Additionally, this fertilizer contains ingredients that encourage the growth of a healthy and strong root network. If the roots of your orchids are rotting as a result of excessive watering or poor ventilation around the roots, you can use this fertilizer to correct the problem and repair the roots to grow stronger.
- Stimulates orchids to develop stronger stems– Another benefit of feeding orchids with this fertilizer is that it stimulates the plants to grow faster with stronger stems. By developing stronger stems, the plants will look strong and healthy.
- Reduces yellowing of leaves and brown spots
- Can be used to feed all types of houseplants
- Long-lasting feeding
- Fast-acting fertilizer formula
- Easy to mix and apply
- Tends to attract gnats
- The lid on the bottle doesn’t close tight enough
The formula in this Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food makes it most suitable for long-lasting feeding of indoor orchidsand houseplants and boosting them to grow taller and larger.
2. Joyful Dirt Premium
The Joyful Dirt Premium fertilizer is yet another top-quality orchid fertilizer. It’s made of premium organic ingredients to enhance orchids to grow stronger and healthier. A little sprinkle of this fertilizer will go a long way in providing essential nutrients to orchids and other houseplants.
- Easy application– When dealing with fertilizers, it’s advisable to choose a fertilizer that’s easy to apply. This fertilizer is made for easy application. You can apply it either directly or after mixing it with water. It comes in the form of a fine powder for easier nutrient release when applied directly. Also, it’s water-soluble for easier mixing with water.
- Organic formula– The fertilizer comprises ingredients derived from organic sources. It’s safe for feeding houseplants, flowers, vegetables, herbs, and lawns. It’s based on a safe formula that won’t burn your plants when used as directed.
- Contains mycorrhizae– Another great benefit of this fertilizer is that it contains mycorrhizae. The mycorrhizae allow roots to absorb water and essential nutrients more efficiently than a soil without mycorrhizae. This allows for enhanced growth and health in plants.
- Enhances plant vigor– With time, the quality of soil deteriorates. In this case, orchids will look weak and unhealthy due to malnourishment. This fertilizer comes in handy to improve the quality of soil, thanks to its rich blend of micronutrients. Consequently, your orchids will grow more vigorously.
- Revives unhealthy plants– If your orchids are looking sick with dull-looking flowers and foliage, take advantage of this fertilizer to revive them. By applying it the right way, it’ll revive any sick plants and increase foliage and flowers for a healthier and more decorative look during the blooming season.
- Encourages orchids to grow larger
- Reduces the need to water orchids
- Safe for use around kids and pets
- Can be used as an all-purpose plant food
- Comes with a shaker bottle
- Has a bad smell
- Attracts bugs and encourages mold to grow
Considering the formula in this fertilizer and its ingredients, it’s most suitable for feeding all indoor plants, including orchids.
3. Miracle-GroWater Soluble Orchid Food, 8 oz.
Miracle-Gro manufactures some of the best orchid fertilizers and fertilizers for other types of plants. This fertilizer is specially formulated to feed orchids and acid-loving plants with essential nutrients.
- Stimulates deep leaf color-The ingredients in this fertilizer stimulate orchids to develop deep leaf cover. Regardless of the variety of orchids you’re growing, this fertilizer will boost the natural color of foliage for a more decorative and healthier look.
- Encourages the development of strongerroots-Healthy roots are essential in water and nutrients uptake. This fertilizer encourages orchids to develop a stronger root network that can survive harsh conditions and uptake water and nutrients more efficiently for faster, healthier, and stronger growth of the plant.
- Rich in nitrogen– The fertilizer is rich in nitrogen. It contains 30 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorous, and 10 percent potassium. The high nitrogen content makes it ideal for application during the active growing season to encourage optimum blooming.
- Easy application process– Another benefit of this orchid fertilizer is its ease of application. You can maximize the growth of your orchids by feeding them with this fertilizer once every two weeks during peak growth for larger and more beautiful blooms. You can also apply it once every four weeks during the dormant season to allow them to survive the harsh cold season.
- Water-soluble– The fertilizer comes in the form of a water-soluble powder. A quarter teaspoon of the powder is sufficient to add to one gallon of water for feeding indoor orchids. If you’re feeding outdoor orchids, mix one tablespoon of the fertilizer with one gallon of water. It dissolves completely in water such that it doesn’t leave any residue at the bottom of the watering can.
- Makes flowers look more beautiful
- It’s very affordable
- Ideal for both indoor and outdoor plants
- Comes with simple directions for mixing and application
- It contains premium quality ingredients
- Can easily kill orchids when applied excessively
- Can cause mold on foliage if poured on them during application
The Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Orchid Food is most suitable for anyone who’s working with a tight budget but wants a reliable plant food.
4. Sun Bulb 50000
The Sun Bulb 50000 plant food is specially formulated to feed orchids when repotting them. Essentially, orchids require to be repotted after every one to two years or when they’re overflowing the pot. When this happens, you’ll need to move them into a bigger pot.
- Multipurpose potting mixture– This potting mix fertilizer is specially designed to feed epiphytic orchids with essential micronutrients during repotting. That way, the plants will survive the changes that come with repotting. Besides epiphytic orchids, you can also use it to re-pot orchid varieties such as cattleyas, phalaenopsis, oncidiums, cymbidiums, and dendrobiums.
- Dynamic ingredients– The ingredients making up this potting mix fertilizer are all-natural. They’re sourced from a dynamic combination featuring sponge rock, hardwood charcoal, and western fir bark. The mixture is specially made by expert orchid growers. Thus, you’re assured of the best results when repotting orchids.
- Superior drainage– Orchid roots can easily rot when exposed to excessive water. This potting mixture is advantageous in that it allows for superior drainage. This means that the potting soil won’t be flooded with water. It’ll drain water efficiently after watering such that the plants will only uptake sufficient amount of water and any excess water will drain easily.
- Enhances root ventilation– A major requirement for orchids to thrive is growing them in a well-ventilated medium. This potting mix allows for enhanced root ventilation. Proper ventilation around the roots assists in evaporating stagnant water in the soil that may get trapped when watering the plants.
- Easy to use– Another benefit that comes with this potting mix is its ease of use. You’ll only need to fill the bottom section of the new pot with the mix, place your orchid, pack the mix around the plant roots, and water the plant.
- Promotes healthier and stronger growth
- Encourages orchids to last longer
- Comes with clear directions for application
- Doesn’t get infested with bugs
- The bag is re-sealable for safer storage
- Not ideal for repotting during the flowering stage
- Not ideal for use with seedlings
The formula in this Sun Bulb 50000 plant food makes it most suitable for repotting orchids that are overflowing the current pot.
5. Scotts 100195
This plant food comes as a pack of two bottles of liquid fertilizer, each containing 8 oz of fertilizer.
- Sprayer bottle design– One of the key benefits of this fertilizer is that it comes in a sprayer bottle. The fertilizer comprises a ready-to-use formula. It doesn’t require any premixing before application. Simply spray it directly to start feeding the plants.
- Instant feeding– The fertilizer is designed for feeding orchids once every week. The formula in the fertilizer starts acting as soon as it’s applied. It releases nutrients quickly for instant feeding and faster results.
- Balanced formula– The fertilizer features a balanced formula containing an equal amount of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in a ratio of 0.02-0.02-0.02 respectively. The formula is gentle such that it doesn’t burn orchids when applied appropriately.
- Foliar and soil feeding– You can feed orchids with this fertilizer by spraying it directly into the soil. Alternatively, you can feed orchids by spraying the fertilizer around the roots or even the leaves for direct and quick uptake.
- Adds moisture– Besides feeding orchids with essential nutrients, this fertilizer also adds sufficient moisture to allow them to develop more colorful blooms. It also encourages the development of brightly colored leaves and flowers.
- Ideal for all indoor orchids
- Affordable price for the pack of two
- It’s easy to use
- Stimulates strong root growth
- Allows orchids to re-bloom every growing season
- The coverage area for the amount isn’t specified
- The sprayer bottle nozzle tends to clog
The Scotts 100195 stands out as one of the best orchid fertilizer due to its ease of you. It’s suitable for any gardener who wants a ready-to-use fertilizer rather than fertilizers that require cumbersome calculations when mixing.
6. Aquatic ArtsOrchid Fertilizer
Aquatic Arts is yet another popular manufacturer of fertilizers and other gardening products. This Orchid Fertilizer fromAquatic Artsis specially designed to feed potted and indoor orchids. It’s also ideal for use when preparing a potting mix in readiness to re-pot overgrown orchids.
- Long-lasting formula– This fertilizer stands out for its long-lasting formula. One teaspoon of the liquid fertilizer should be mixed with two cups of water. The amount in the bottle, which is 8 oz, is enough to last between 6 to 12 months depending on the number of orchids you’re feeding.
- Gentle acting formula– Another benefit of this fertilizer is its gentle acting formula. You can use it every time you’re watering your orchids without the risk of burning them. Just ensure you dilute it as directed before application.
- Promotes new growth– Additionally, this fertilizer encourages orchids to grow new stems, especially when growing new seedlings and when feeding them to recover from dormancy or sickness related to malnutrition. It also encourages the growth of new leaves for enhanced beauty and photosynthesis.
- Aids in root growth-The fertilizer contains root stimulators that encourage root growth and development, especially when planting new seedlings. It also aids any rotting roots to heal, especially those that are rotting due to excessive watering. Additionally, it encourages roots to grow stronger.
- Encourages healthier growth-The nutrients in this fertilizer encourage orchids to grow healthier. Additionally, it encourages orchids to grow larger, including developing larger blooms and foliage.
- Easy to use
- Its ingredients are derived from natural sources
- Can also be used to feed air plants and succulents
- Ideal for feeding all varieties of orchids
- Encourages orchids to develop vibrant leaves and colorful blooms
- Mold develops around the cap
- Requires some patience before seeing results
This Aquatic ArtsOrchid Fertilizer is most suitable for encouraging the growth of orchids in pots and the indoor environment.
7. rePotme Orchid Food,8 oz
rePotme manufactures some of the highest quality orchid potting mixes available today. This potting mix works as plant food for orchids when repotting them or when planting new seedlings in pots. It comes in the form of granules.
- Rich in potassium– This fertilizer comes in a formula comprising 13 percent nitrogen, 3 percent phosphorus, and 15 percent potassium. The high nitrogen content enhances photosynthesis. It also enhances the uptake of nutrients and water in orchids.
- Contains trace elements– Besides the three essential nutrients in the fertilizer, it also contains trace elements. These elements include calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, molybdenum, copper, boron, and zinc. The trace elements are important in preventing deficiency diseases in orchids.
- Encourages blooming– The ingredients in this fertilizer offers orchids with a boost in nutrients that encourage blooming. By feeding it with this fertilizer as directed, your orchids will develop more beautiful and larger blooms during the peak blooming season.
- Water-soluble granules– Additionally, the fertilizer comes in the form of water-soluble granules. The granules are mixed with water before application. They dissolve completely without leaving a residue. A three-quarter teaspoon of the granules is sufficient to mix with one gallon of water.
- Instant feeding– The way this fertilizer is formulated allows it to start feeding orchids with essential micronutrients and macronutrients as soon as it’s applied. This allows for faster results, especially when growing new seedlings, repotting, or boosting the plants to recover from deficiencies.
- Urea-free formula
- You can use it as a repotting mix
- Comes with user instructions
- The amount makes about 64 ounces of fertilizer mixture
- Pricey for the amount
- Not ideal for use with hard water or well water
The rePotme Orchid Food is ideal for feeding all varieties of orchids and succulents and is ideal for use with low alkaline tap water, rainwater, and reverse osmosis water.
Factors to consider when choosing the best orchid fertilizer
While orchids are extremely ornamental, they require a lot of care when growing them. Thus, you need to be careful about the kind of fertilizer you apply to orchids. Using the wrong fertilizer can easily burn and kill your precious orchids. Thus, it’s very important to make the right choice. Here’re some tips that can guide you when shopping for a safe and effective orchid fertilizer.
1. Type of Fertilizer
Orchids are very sensitive to the kind of fertilizer you feed them. Essentially, they require a gentle fertilizer formula. Thus, ensure you dilute the fertilizer according to the provided instructions before application. Also, it’s recommended to use liquid fertilizers when feeding orchids. This is because liquid fertilizers are easier to dilute with water.
If you prefer using a granular fertilizer, ensure it is completely water-soluble such that it won’t leave a residue that might burn the plants after application. Also, ensure the fertilizer contains essential nutrients, especially nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Extra trace elements would be an added advantage.
2. Reliability and Effectiveness in Repotting
Orchids are typically grown in pots. However, they often overgrow the pots such that they become too large to fit in a pot. If they overgrow the pot, they won’t enjoy sufficient ventilation and this may cause the roots to rot. In this case, you’ll need to re-pot them in a larger pot. When repotting them, it’s essential to feed them with a special fertilizer that’s formulated for use as a potting mix. A potting mix fertilizer feeds orchids with nutrients that boost their overall growth in a new pot.
3. Variety of Orchids
Some fertilizers are specially manufactured for feeding a limited variety of orchids. Thus, ensure the fertilizer you choose is suitable for use with the type of orchids you’re growing. If you’re growing a mixture of different orchid varieties, or you’re not sure about the exact orchid species, then consider choosing a fertilizer that’s ideal for all varieties of orchids. You can also consider an all-purpose flower fertilizer that contains a balanced formula to feed any type of orchids.
4. Organic Vs. Inorganic Fertilizers
Generally, both organic and inorganic fertilizers work well with orchids. However, organic fertilizers are generally safer than inorganic fertilizers as they don’t contain chemicals that often burn the plants. If you want to use an inorganic fertilizer for faster results, ensure it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and dilutes well with water.
Orchids aren’t ordinary plants. They symbolize beauty, tranquility, and elegance. However, they can’t offer such glorious qualities without getting sufficient nutrients. You can feed them with fertilizer to give them the nutrients they require to thrive. When feeding orchids with fertilizer, ensure you use the right fertilizer the right way and at the right time. By choosing the best orchid fertilizer, you’ll encourage them to bloom more colorful flowers and brightly colored foliage during their active growing season. Hopefully, our reviews will assist you in making a wise decision.