An orchid fertiliser is ideally suited to your exotic plant. As the orchid in its natural environment in the rainforest absorbs nutrients through fallen leaves and the atmosphere, you will need to fertilise it at home.
We want to help you find the perfect fertiliser for you with our big orchid fertiliser test 2021. We have selected different orchid fertilisers for you and compared them according to various aspects. In the following, we will also show you the advantages and disadvantages of different orchid fertilisers.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts
- 3 The best orchid fertiliser: Our picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for orchid fertiliser
- 5 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an orchid fertiliser
- 5.1 What is special about orchid fertiliser and what advantages does it offer?
- 5.2 What types of orchid fertiliser are there?
- 5.3 What is orchid fertiliser suitable for?
- 5.4 What alternatives are there to orchid fertiliser?
- 5.5 How much does orchid fertiliser cost?
- 5.6 How is orchid fertiliser applied and dosed?
- 5.7 Is orchid fertiliser toxic?
- 6 Conclusion
The most important facts
- An orchid fertiliser provides your exotic plant with the right nutrients. In contrast to conventional fertilisers, it contains only the salts and trace elements that a plant needs.
- Due to the different types of orchid fertiliser, there is something for every hobby or professional gardener. Whether weekly or monthly fertilising, the product range of orchid fertilisers has developed widely.
- Due to the simple application mostly without dosing the product, you save a lot of time and can take care of your beautiful plant with ease.
The best orchid fertiliser: Our picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for orchid fertiliser
If you are looking for an orchid fertiliser, you will find a large selection in the shop as well as online. In this section we will show you which criteria you can use to distinguish between the many different orchid fertilisers.
The aspects that help you compare different orchid fertilisers include:
In the following we have explained each point in more detail.
Consistency of the fertiliser
Orchid fertiliser is available in different consistencies. The following consistencies of orchid fertiliser are the best known and are available everywhere:
- Liquid orchid fertiliser
- Orchid fertiliser in stick form
- Orchid fertiliser in ampoules
- Orchid fertiliser in spray form
Each variant has its own application and dosage. The ingredients, however, hardly vary.
Orchid fertilisers are applied differently depending on the manufacturer, consistency and dosage. Generally, an orchid is only fertilised every few weeks. A spray and liquid fertiliser must be applied more often than ampoules or sticks.
Orchid fertiliser in spray or liquid form is usually applied every one to two weeks. With a spray, the roots and leaves are sprayed. With a liquid, the plant is watered or dipped in water for a few minutes.
Sticks or ampoules are inserted into the substrate or soil of the plant. They then release nutrients over a period of time. Sticks last up to three months, ampoules up to four weeks.
Orchid fertiliser consists of four main ingredients:
- Nitrogen: Ensures the growth of the leaves. Yellow or wilted leaves indicate a nitrogen deficiency.
- Phosphate: Ensures healthy growth of the roots and promotes flower formation.
- Potassium: Strengthens plant tissue and resistance.
- Magnesium: Maintains the lush green leaves.
The packaging of each fertiliser should indicate the concentration in percent of each substance. In addition to the main ingredients, orchid fertiliser may also contain substances such as zinc, manganese, iron, boron, molybdenum, copper and calcium.
Contents per package
Orchid fertiliser is available in many different packaging sizes. It should be noted that a package with a lot of content does not necessarily mean a long use.
Therefore, it should always be considered how much and how often the fertiliser needs to be used per application. The following table summarises the essential information:
|Type||content per package||use|
|Liquid orchid fertiliser||0.2 - 1 l||every 2 weeks|
|Orchid fertiliser in stick form||10 - 30 sticks||every 3 months|
|Orchid fertiliser as ampoules||1 - 20 ampoules||every 4 weeks|
|Orchid fertiliser as spray||0.1 - 0.75 l||1 - 2 times per week|
Liquid orchid fertiliser is sold in bottles from 0.2 litres to 1 litre.
Small packages are often highly dosed liquids that must be given to the plant together with water. In the case of large packages, it is important to check whether the liquid is already ready for use.
Orchid fertiliser in stick form is sold in packages of between 10 and 30 sticks. Since one stick is normally sufficient for several months, a small package is also sufficient for only one plant.
The fertiliser in ampoule form comes very close to the sticks. Single ampoules can be bought, but sets of up to 20 ampoules are also available. One ampoule usually contains 30 ml of liquid.
The packaging size of an orchid fertiliser as a spray varies between 0.1 and 0.75 litres. Refill bottles for the spray can are available in litre format.
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an orchid fertiliser
Before buying an orchid fertiliser, there are a few aspects you should consider. In the following we have summarised and explained some factors in detail.
What is special about orchid fertiliser and what advantages does it offer?
Nitrogen, phosphate, potassium and magnesium are important nutrients that an orchid needs. Conventional flower fertilisers usually contain too much salt and nitrate, which can harm the orchids. Orchid fertiliser is therefore perfectly adapted to the plant and its nutrients.
Orchid fertiliser offers several advantages over other plant fertilisers. First of all, the fertiliser is designed to meet the specific needs of the plant. In addition, it is available in many different types, so that everyone, whether hobby gardener or professional, can find a suitable fertiliser.
What types of orchid fertiliser are there?
Liquid orchid fertiliser
The most common form of orchid fertiliser is the liquid version. The fertiliser is highly dosed and is usually mixed with water and then given to the plant.
A liquid orchid fertiliser is easy to use. The nutrients are distributed evenly by watering or dipping the plant. In addition, one pack of liquid fertiliser lasts a relatively long time.
Orchid fertiliser in the form of sticks
Orchid fertiliser in stick form releases its nutrients bit by bit over a certain period of time, usually three months. The stick is simply inserted into the substrate.
Orchid fertiliser in stick form saves the user time, work and money.
Fertiliser sticks are a controversial type among gardeners because the release of nutrients cannot be regulated. It is also argued that nutrients spread better in moist substrate or soil.
Orchid fertiliser in ampoules
Similar to the sticks, orchid fertiliser in ampoules also releases its nutrients over a certain period of time, usually four weeks. The simple application requires no dosing, as the ampoule only needs to be cut open and then inserted into the substrate.
The ampoules are especially recommended for poor flower formation and drooping leaves. However, the amount of nutrients cannot be regulated here either.
Orchid fertiliser as a spray
Since orchids in their natural habitat absorb many of their nutrients from the air, there is also the option of a fertiliser in the form of a spray.
A spray provides the plant with additional urea. Furthermore, it ensures that the green leaves shine.
However, care must be taken that only the leaves and the roots come into contact with the spray. The flowers, on the other hand, do not tolerate the spray.
A spray should not be used as the only fertiliser. The leaves of the orchid can only absorb nutrients to a limited extent. An additional fertiliser introduced through the soil or substrate is recommended.
What is orchid fertiliser suitable for?
However, you should bear in mind that your orchid fertiliser is often lower in dosage than conventional flower fertilisers. As orchids are sensitive to salt, similar to ferns, an orchid fertiliser can also be good for these plants.
If you still have some of your orchid fertiliser in the watering can, you can also give it to other houseplants. However, if they have other needs, you will have to provide them with additional fertiliser.
What alternatives are there to orchid fertiliser?
|Homeopathic fertiliser||This fertiliser consists of sulphur, worm humus, loess, shaft examinate, guano and copper sulphate. With regular use it can stimulate the growth of flowers and leaves. In addition, your plant will gain increased resistance to diseases and pests.|
|Horn shavings||these are made from cattle horns and cattle hooves. The organic fertiliser contains a lot of nitrogen but is only of limited use as your plant also needs potassium. It is recommended to use horn shavings in combination with other fertilisers when fertilising in spring.|
|Coffee grounds have a slightly acidic pH value, which orchids also prefer. However, due to its high nitrogen content, coffee grounds should only be used in small quantities and in addition with other fertilisers in low doses.|
If you expect a healthy development of your plant, you should only use the alternatives in combination with other fertilisers. However, the alternatives are priced below or in a similar cost range and should therefore be considered.
How much does orchid fertiliser cost?
|Type of orchid fertiliser||price|
|Liquid orchid fertiliser||5 - 20 euros|
|Orchid fertiliser in stick form||5 - 15 euros|
|Orchid fertiliser as an ampoule||8 - 25 euros|
|Orchid fertiliser as a spray||5 - 30 euros|
As already mentioned, the price depends very much on the contents of the package. Liquid fertilisers or fertilisers in the form of sticks can be used for a very long time. Ampoules or sprays, on the other hand, are used up more quickly and are also in the higher price segment.
With special orchid fertiliser, however, you can expect that your plants will receive optimal care. Standard flower fertiliser can be bought for as little as 2 euros, but it lacks the right nutrients for your orchid. It is therefore advisable to invest in a special fertiliser for orchids.
How is orchid fertiliser applied and dosed?
Also note that your orchid often goes dormant in the winter and does not sprout. It does not need fertiliser during this period.
Ideally, you should fertilise your plant the first time in spring and the last time in autumn. As soon as your orchid shows new buds in spring, you should start fertilising. Below we have provided a brief overview of how the different types of orchid fertiliser are normally applied:
- Liquid orchid fertiliser: The fertiliser is usually applied once a month. The high dosage is mixed with water as described in the instructions and then poured into the plant. When fertilising for the first time, only 50% of the concentration should be added and wait for the reaction of the plant.
- Orchid fertiliser in stick form: The stick is inserted into moist soil or substrate and releases nutrients over the next three months. No dosage necessary.
- Orchid fertiliser in ampoules: The ampoule is cut open at the bottom and then inserted into the substrate or soil. Replace after four weeks. No dosage necessary.
- Orchid fertiliser as a spray: Spray onto leaves and roots once or twice a week. Never spray on flowers. Fertiliser in the spray can is already ideally dosed for your plant.
With regard to dosage, you should always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Since some types of orchid fertiliser give you the freedom to dose freely, this information is essential for the healthy growth of your plant.
If salt crystals form at the root of your orchid, the fertiliser dosage is too high. The crystals also prevent water absorption. However, if your plant does not produce new leaves or flowers for a long time, you can assume that there is a nutrient deficiency and your dosage is too low.
Is orchid fertiliser toxic?
If your orchid fertiliser is a mineral fertiliser, a concentrated salt formation can form on the skin through sweat. This can cause irritation to the skin. Therefore, you should avoid holding the fertiliser for a long time and wash your hands thoroughly after use.
If orchid fertiliser is ingested orally, it can be harmful to health. Even if the critical dose is high, keep orchid fertiliser out of the reach of small children and animals.
You should also take care to keep your fertiliser away from heat sources. Burning some fertilisers can produce toxic smoke.
An orchid fertiliser is essential if you want to give your plant the best possible care. Basically, you can choose between liquid fertiliser, sticks, ampoules or a spray. These hardly differ in their ingredients or quality, but only in their application and cost.
The application of an orchid fertiliser is very easy. With ampoules or sticks you don't even have to dose them yourself, as they release their nutrients over a period of time. You can only influence the dosage of a liquid fertiliser or a spray. Once you have chosen a fertiliser, nothing stands in the way of the healthy and successful growth of your plant.
Picture source: 123rf / 47951168