Over the counter fertilizers that have chemicals and other unnatural ingredients are not always the best way to give your orchid flowers the nutrients they need to thrive in your home gardens. Many gardeners have concocted their own versions of natural fertilizer secrets and have seen some amazing results. Also, because most orchids are grown in potted plants with tree bark, much of the important nutrients are absorbed in the bark instead of the roots of the orchid. These alternatives will help overcome this.
Recycle to Give Orchids Important Nutrients
Orchids love calcium and potassium, and never seem to get enough. Saving eggshells and using them for orchid fertilizer is the cheapest and most efficient way to get them much needed calcium. Crush the shells into pieces as small as possible. Better yet, use a mortar and petal to grind them into a powder. Sprinkle it on the bark in the planter so it is not washed away from excessive watering.
To give them the potassium that they need, use a teaspoon of molasses diluted in water used during the normal watering routine. Using molasses rather than banana peels will prevent rotting material, while maintaining all of the nutrients.
Boil Your Own Fertilizer
Another way to get similar results is to use potatoes instead. The potatoes need to be graded into fine pieces without discarding the skins and boiled for several minutes. Once cooled, it can be stored in canning jars and later be added to the bark in the pot. For more potassium, and to avoid the possible decomposition of banana peels, cut fresh bananas and add to the potato mixture while being boiled.
Another addition that can be used with the potato and banana mixture is agar. Agar is a plant-based material commonly used in science labs. It is derived from the red algae plant found in the ocean and is completely edible. While it is normally used in the lab or as a protein substitute gelatin, the substance adds additional nutrients to the mixture. This not only allows it to bind better, but also to contribute additional sugars to the fertilizer.
Put Epsom Salts in Your Mixture
Epsom salt contains valuable magnesium, which helps with new growth generation and creates stronger roots for orchids. For brighter and heartier flowers, mix one teaspoon with water and add it to your normal fertilizing routine.
A Little Chemical Help
When dealing with newly purchased orchids and creating your first homemade batch of natural fertilizer, it is common to add a diluted mixture of water and traditional store-bought fertilizer to help it along. When first getting started, a combination of the natural ingredients with the more traditional chemical fertilizers will give your orchids a jump-start before slowly phasing the chemicals out as they mature.
Many of the items used are probably in your home already. Now you can use them to have beautiful orchids.
- Back to family Orchidaceae
- Plantopedia: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone or Origin
Subscribe to Receive News and Updates from World of Flowering Plants: