Commercially available orchid fertilizers can be very expensive. But did you know that you can fertilize your orchids with home remedies? However you feed your orchids, regular fertilizing is important to keep them healthy and encourage them to bloom. With the right knowledge and some homemade orchid fertilizer, you can make your plants bloom. Let us explain how to make it yourself.
Table of Contents
Homemade plant nutrition for orchids
An orchid fertilizer is essential for the growth of your orchid. It provides the nutrients it needs to promote flowering, healthy stems, shoots, leaves and roots. There are a number of natural orchid fertilizers that you can easily make at home.
Fertilize orchids with home remedies: Crushed eggshells
Saving eggshells and using them as orchid fertilizer is the cheapest and most efficient way to provide calcium to your orchids.
Crush eggshells into the smallest pieces possible or use a mortar and pestle to grind them into a powder. Then sprinkle it over the bark in the pot.
Another method is to heat 1 quart of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. While the water is boiling, grind 12 eggshells with a mortar or pestle. When the water boils, turn off the heat and add the eggshells. Soak the eggshells in the hot water overnight. Then pour the mixture through a strainer into a spray bottle. Spray it on the orchids weekly to provide them with calcium, potassium and protein.
How to make orchid fertilizer from used coffee grounds?
Since most orchid species are epiphytes and their roots are adapted to draw nutrients and moisture from the air and environment, you can spray a mixture of diluted nutrient-rich fertilizer on their roots.
A liquid fertilizer is the best choice because it is easy to dilute and can be applied directly to the bark and roots without damaging the leaves.
To make coffee grounds as fertilizer, you will need the following items:
- 2 cups of used coffee grounds
To make orchid fertilizer from coffee grounds, follow these steps:
- Add the used coffee grounds to the bucket.
- Fill the bucket with clean, non-calcareous water, just enough to cover the coffee grounds.
- Let the mixture sit for 24 hours.
- Filter the coffee grounds out of the nutrient-rich mixture.
- Put the ground liquid in a sealed jar and store it in the refrigerator.
- Dilute one part of the mixture with three parts of water and use it to fertilize your orchids once a month during the growing season.
Fertilize orchids with home remedies: Use a tea bag
But what if you are a tea drinker and not a coffee drinker? Well, you’re in luck. It just so happens that you can use tea bags to fertilize your orchids, because tea increases the amount of nitrogen in the potting soil.
The high nitrogen content in tea is enough to meet your orchid’s growth needs. Popular orchid substrates such as pine or fir bark are susceptible to bacteria that compete directly with the orchid for the available nitrogen.
The tea bag supplements the nitrogen content of the nutrient medium and ensures that enough is left for the orchid. Orchids also like the high concentration of tannic acid and tannins in tea. So adding tea bags to the potting medium simulates the orchid’s natural growing environment.
Other home remedies as orchid fertilizer
- Cooking water from potatoes or rice: cooking water from both potatoes and rice provides valuable nutrients for orchids: Rice water is a good source of vitamin B (brown rice is better because the husk of brown rice also contains niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid), potato water contains calcium and potassium. Save the cooking water from potatoes and rice and store it in the refrigerator. Take the water out every two weeks or so, let it warm to room temperature, and then give it to the orchids.
- Fertilize orchids with Epsom salt: To provide your orchids with a magnesium-rich diet, mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt with 2 liters of water. Don’t use scented Epsom salt, like the kind found in foot or body wash, but use a form available in the gardening section of hardware stores. Soak the roots of the orchid in this solution for 10 to 20 minutes. You can do this once every 3-4 months.
- Molasses: mix one teaspoon of molasses in two liters of water and water your plants with it. This will give the orchids a much needed dose of potassium. It is used in horticulture and promotes flowering .
- Cow’s milk: it is excellent for combating fungal diseases to which orchids are susceptible. It is also a good source of protein for them, but it must be diluted at a ratio of 1 part milk to 4 parts water. Or get in the habit of rinsing your empty milk bottle with water and using it every two weeks to water your orchids.
- Aspirin: Mix one 500 mg aspirin tablet with 1 quart of lukewarm water. Make sure the tablet dissolves well in the water and mix everything well. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which occurs naturally in trees such as willow bark. It promotes root growth. So use this recipe for orchids that need growth. You can also use it as a tonic for weak or sick orchids. Whether the orchid is struggling with a disease, serious rot problems or pest infestation, this treatment can give it the boost it needs to fight back. Administer once a month if needed.