|1. Miracle-Gro||2. Scotts||3. SMEREKA|
Unlike typical plants, taking care of orchids requires more than just watering it. You will need to feed the orchid too. Feeding your orchids will produce not only durable and healthy plants but also beautiful blooms.
To achieve this, you will need to feed your orchids with the best orchid fertilizer. While the orchid fertilizer might not revive a dead plant back to life, it will help in producing longer leaves, beautiful and brighter blooms which is great for gardening.
Here, you will get to see our choice of the best orchid fertilizers. Even more, you’ll find a guide on choosing the right fertilizer for orchids, including how and when to fertilize your orchids.
Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Orchid Fertilizer
Buying the best orchid fertilizer can be quite tricky. Simply because there are several products from different manufacturers currently flooding the market. To this end, it is crucial to know the factors to look out for when purchasing the right orchid fertilizer.
Factors such as essential nutrients, form, and solubility play critical roles in determining which orchid fertilizer stands out above the other. Here, you find a guide that will aid you in making the right buying choice.
1. The Essential Nutrients
Typically, a good orchid fertilizer must contain a relatively equal amount of some essential nutrients, such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. These details come with their respective ratios on the product’s label.
Additionally, other nutrients that make up the 16 essential nutrients needed by the orchids for a healthy and robust growth include oxygen, magnesium, and zinc. Also, there’s manganese, iron, chlorine, hydrogen, molybdenum, sulfur, calcium, carbon, not to mention copper.
You must ensure you always look out for these nutrients in a product before purchasing it.
2. Nitrogen Nutrient Source
While it is essential to look out for the vital nutrients, it is even more important to pay attention to the fertilizer’s nutrient source. Cheaper fertilizers tend to have urea nitrogen as their source. However, these types of fertilizers are not suitable for orchids grown in cold regions as they make your plants become more ammonium toxic.
On the other hand, products that have nitrogen or ammonium nitrate as their source offer better quality. Although they are costlier, they are capable of providing your orchids top-quality nutrients for improved growth and beautiful blooms.
3. Water Solubility
Water solubility is another vital factor to look for in the best orchid fertilizer. You must ensure that the product you buy is soluble in water as it allows the orchid to absorb all the essential nutrients the fertilizer offers.
Besides, if you intend to make use of self-watering equipment, this feature will come in handy. Also, this feature makes it possible for all nutrients to go directly into the soil provided they have dissolved completely.
Orchid fertilizers come in several forms, although the soluble powder and liquid forms are the most suitable form. Even more, most orchid farmers prefer soluble powder form, and this is because they are cheaper.
However, both forms offer unique advantages. On the one hand, soluble powder forms come in pre-measured bags and are easy to mix. While on the other hand, concentrated liquids form are more convenient to use since they are self-watering equipment ready.
In all, irrespective of the form you choose, always ensure you consider the water solubility of the fertilizer.
When Is The Best Time To Feed Your Orchids?
There is no particular time to fertilize your orchid best as it depends on where it is in its blooming period. Here are a few periods you can feed your orchids.
1. Growing Period
It is essential always to ensure your orchids are fertilized during this period just before their blooming cycle. While some orchids bloom during the summer and spring, others bloom during winter. Even more, some bloom up two times in a year.
In the orchid’s growing period, it is ideal for fertilizing it weekly while observing a break after every three weeks. Since the orchid is about to sprout, it will require extra nutrients. Also, ensure you always moisten the soil with water each time you notice dryness.
However, this method only works with soluble powder and concentrated liquids. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are making use of stick or spray fertilizers.
2. Dormant Period
The dormant period is that phase after blooming, where the orchid’s flower withers and falls off. During this phase, it is essential to fertilize the orchid frequently. The frequent fertilizing will help it to remain active, healthy, and produce beautiful blooms.
One key characteristic of blooms is that summer blooms require more fertilization than winter blooms, both in their dormant phase. Additionally, mornings are the best time to fertilize or water an orchid as the leaves get enough drying time in the sun.
How To Fertilize Orchids?
When it comes to how to fertilize orchids, there is no single method as it depends on the type of fertilizer.
With concentrated formula fertilizers that require mixing with water, you will need to apply it to the roots and soil of the orchid. You must, however, ensure you thoroughly dissolve and mix it in with the right quantity of water.
On the other hand, some fertilizers can be conveniently applied to the plant’s leaves. But make sure you follow the instructions on the label to prevent mold and fungus problems.
More so, spraying is another safe way of fertilizing your orchid except for the blooms. There are also slow-release fertilizer sticks that are inserted between the edge of the pot and the plants’ roots.
Since there are several options of orchid fertilizers in the market today, choosing the right orchid fertilizer can be a bit challenging. However, whether you are looking for a liquid concentrate, granules, or even a spray fertilizer, we have provided you with our top picks for the best orchid fertilizers available.
Top 15 Best Orchid Fertilizers 2020
1. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes
Miracle-Gro 1003661 is one of the best orchid fertilizers available in the market. It is suitable for use on all your indoor orchids. More so, it promotes the healthy growth of green leaves and attractive blooms.
They are easy to use and come in 3 packs, each containing ten spikes. This plant food does not require any form of mixing as all you need to do is break the spikes and gently insert them directly into the soil
This orchid fertilizer has a long-lasting feeding capacity. Each stick is capable of feeding your orchid for up to two months before you consider replacing them. As a result, it is expected that you insert new spikes every two months.
Additionally, it is ideal for feeding orchids that are in their flowering stage or developing new shoots, roots, or leaves. Also, applying these spikes to the soil is easy. All you do is cut the sticks into two halves and then insert them gently into your potting mix. You must also ensure you distribute the spikes evenly between the edge of the pot and the plant.
- It is easy to use
- Promotes growth of green leaves and good-looking blooms
- It has a long-lasting feeding of up to 2 months
- It can only be used during the plant’s growing period.
2. Scotts Miracle-GRO
The Scotts Miracle-GRO Mist Plant Food is perfect for feeding all indoor orchid plants. It is an ideal blend of up to nine essential nutrients hence making it suitable for fertilizing orchids or reviving a dormant plant.
This orchid fertilizer comes with a ratio of 4:4.5:8 in the order of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, respectively. Its high potassium concentration helps to promote long-lasting blooms and substantial flowering of the orchid.
Even more, its nitrogen concentrate is a perfect mixture of ureic nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen. This concentration is better than just ureic nitrogen and also contains other elements like copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.
This Scotts Plant Food Mist provides instant moisture and nutrients while also improving the orchid’s natural beauty. It helps to make the leaves shine; hence you should apply it when the leaves look dull and spotty.
Additionally, it is ideal for use during the plant’s growing season and applied during the time of watering. More so, those looking for a total orchid care can use it in conjunction with other orchid mist. It also supports application by spraying.
- It contains elements like copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.
- Easy to apply
- It has a concentrated formula that is capable of lasting long.
- It comes with high potassium concentration that promotes beautiful colors and long-lasting blooms.
- It does not contain magnesium or calcium.
3. SMEREKA ELIT Orchid food
This fertilizer is a slow-release one suitable for being added to the mulch or compost of your plants. It’s a perfect option for anyone busy, those who don’t have time or those who find it hard to remember to feed their plants.
SMEREKA Orchid food comes with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratio of 14:12:12, respectively. It has a reasonably balanced ratio that is capable of providing your plants the required amount of essential nutrients.
Since it is a slow-release fertilizer, it is capable of feeding your plants for up to 6 months. Also, it is easy to use as one application will provide enough nutrients that will last an entire growing season. More so, by adding this fertilizer in spring to your plant’s compost, it will boost its flowering.
Additionally, this orchid fertilizer is perfect for use on both a single orchid or many orchid plants for up to three years. Also, it comes packed in a resealable bag that allows you to store it for later use, making it one of the best orchid fertilizer.
It has a well-balanced phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen ratio.
Easy to use as one application is capable of feeding for up to 6 months.
Each bag offers three years’ worth of plant food.
- Expensive compared to other similar products.
4. Orchid Food Drops
This orchid food is an easy to use fertilizer produced by Chrystal. It has a 5-6-7 ratio with micronutrients and a 12-month care plan for the healthy and robust growth of your orchids.
This orchid fertilizer offers your orchid with the essential minerals it needs. Also, the minerals are such that the plants quickly and easily absorb them. It dissolves rapidly and clearly in water and does not give out any odor.
Additionally, Orchid Food Drops 5-6-7 is a convenient fertilizer that is easy to use and dose. You do not have to bother about the risk of overdosing when applying the fertilizer.
Even more, if you need a reliable fertilizer that is capable of maintaining the overall quality of your orchid, this is a great choice. When it comes to application, this orchid fertilizer is economical as all you need to do is mix one drop with a liter of water. Each food drop is capable of lasting up to two months, which makes this package capable of lasting all year round.
- It comes with a 12 Month Care plan
- Easy to use.
- Dissolves plainly in water and does not have a foul smell
- There is no risk of overdosing
- It might not be the best for increased flower production
5. Megathrive 1 Quart
Megathrive is a unique foliar fertilizer designed to formulated to support the healthy growth of all ornamental plants especially. This support covers the entire growth stage of the plant, starting from seedling to flowering and from transplanting to even reinvigorating plants that are already stressed.
This fertilizer is safe to use on orchids, and other garden and house ornamental provided it is applied as instructed. Also, it helps to enhance the bioactivities and nutritional requirements with cytokinin-like and auxin stimulants. Therefore, it helps to further improve the plant’s physiological functions, such as root formation, stronger leaves, root formation, and leaf expansion.
Mega Thrive ensures that plants utilize necessary nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. Besides, since it is a supplement, it must be used in combination with the regular orchid fertilizer separately. You must, however, note that you must not mix this supplement with other orchid plant food.
Additionally, another outstanding feature of this product is that it reduces transplanting shock. Even more, it supports all years round application as a foliar spray from leaf tip to root tip and through to the flower.
- It supports foliage growth
- Increases absorption of nutrient
- Great at bringing distressed plants back to life.
- It has a bad odor.
6. Black Gold Orchid Mix
The Black Gold 1411402 Orchid Bark Mix is a handy product to use if you want to grow and display plants. It is perfect for use on several types of orchids. This mix is suitable for providing a healthy and convenient base for flowers to flourish.
The orchid bark is easy to use and great for uniformity when filling the pot or planter. Even more, it is a top-quality Orchid Mix having a well-blended combination of Canadian Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, pumice, and small bark.
Additionally, it is ready to use and suitable for cymbidiums and several other orchids. It is excellent at accommodating the incredible root structure and as a unique medium in the breeding of orchids.
Besides, it has lime as an added ingredient and is perfect for use on houseplants and indoor pots or containers. It stands out in terms of its uniformity and OMRI certified for the cultivation of both semi-terrestrial and terrestrial orchids.
- It is a commercial-grade orchid fertilizer
- Additional lime creates a balanced pH
- It comes ready to use
- Excellent at helping to retain moisture
- It contains a little bark.
7. Jack’s Orchid 7-5-6
This fertilizer is a unique option that contains both the Liquid 7-5-6 and Blossom Booster 3-9-6. The two fertilizers are easy to mix, use, and have both minor and major elements, including magnesium and calcium. These elements are vital when using reverse osmosis water, pure waters, and rainwater for growing.
This orchid fertilizer mix is excellent at ensuring your orchids produce exceptional blooms and leaves all year round. It contains elements like Potassium, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus and serves as a typical blossom booster that is available in a liquid form.
More so, it also contains magnesium and calcium in a highly concentrated form. It works best with orchids and is highly soluble. It is readily available and offers nutrients with maximum purity and balanced with deionized water source.
- Its bottle has a user-friendly design
- Mixing of the liquid formula is easy
- When used on small or medium gardens, it is long-lasting.
- Measuring the right amounts for a smaller number of plants can be a bit difficult
8. Better-Gro Orchid Plus
The Better-Gro Urea Free Orchid Plus is one of the products from the Sun Bulb company. This orchid fertilizer is a professionally developed 20-14-13 ratio fertilizer. It contains a fast-acting urea free nitrate nitrogen that helps increase the healthy growth of orchids.
This orchid fertilizer boasts of being on the most preferred option for orchid professionals, enthusiasts, and several others that are interested in growing orchids. It contains vital minor elements that are excellent when it comes to fighting deficiencies that occur while making use of the soilless potting mix.
Even more, this urea free orchid fertilizer is certified by the American Orchid Society. Since orchids need food to grow and blossom, this water-soluble option ensures the orchids are healthy, live long and blooms.
In terms of application, you can apply it during every watering while ensuring you soak the root system and foliage of the orchid thoroughly. The quantity of the soluble solution to use will depend on the frequency of watering. Moreover, the fertilizer comes in a resealable bag that makes it easy and convenient to store it.
- It is water Soluble
- More Readily Available Nitrogen
- It is a urea Free fertilizer
- Features a resealable Bag
- Not suitable for those looking for less nitrogen
9. Jack’s Classic Orchid
This orchid fertilizer is a liquid product from the JR PETERs INC. It helps promote the extraordinary growth of leaves. Also, it is easy to mix, use, and has both minor and major elements, including magnesium and calcium.
These elements are crucial for growth, most notably when using reverse osmosis water, pure waters, and rainwater. It is a perfect choice for those looking for an orchid food that offers a bit higher quantity of nitrogen.
This 7-5-6 ratio fertilizer is reliable when it comes to improving foliage and building a robust stem. More so, it comes from ammonium nitrate, which makes it an excellent option for increasing blooming and plant strength.
Additionally, Jacks’s Classic Orchid Fertilizer promotes all-round health of plants thanks to its composition of carefully chosen micronutrients. Even more, it comes in an 8 oz container capable of lasting long for those having a small or medium orchid garden.
Other features that make this product one of the best orchid fertilizers include its user-friendly pump construction that features a built-in wand, nozzle, and cup for easy pouring. Also, there’s a measuring spoon to help in applying the correct quantity hence protecting the orchid from burning.
- Its bottle has a user-friendly design
- Mixing of the liquid formula is easy
- When used on small or medium gardens, it is long-lasting.
- It is difficult measuring the right amounts for a smaller number of plants
10. Better Grow Combination
This product is a urea free combination of the Bloom 11-35-15 and Grow 20-14-13 Fertilizer. It is a professionally manufactured urea free nitrogen fertilizer containing a very high amount of phosphorus concentration, which is a powerful blooming agent.
This urea free combo helps boost bloom size, speeding up the flowering process, and enhancing bloom color. More so, this combo produces beautiful and vibrant blooms capable of lasting longer and is ideal for use by enthusiasts, professionals, and other lovers of orchid cultivation.
Additionally, it contains several essential elements the orchid will require to fight deficits commonly seen in soilless containerized or potting mixes. Also, the application of both Bloom 11-35-15 and Grow 20-14-13 together ensures your orchids get all the necessary nutrients it needs. Even more, you get more fertilizer at a lesser cost.
In terms of its packaging, it comes in a resealable package that ensures easy and convenient storage. On the other hand, this combo fertilizer works best when applied during watering. Besides, the quantity of fertilizer you will use will depend on the frequency of application.
- Comes in re-sealable bags for convenient storage
- It is a urea free combo
- Strong blooming agent
- Not suitable for non-watering applications
11. Dyna Gro Orchid Pro
Dyna-Gro is a product manufactured in the United States and stands out as not just a fertilizer but a total nutrient solution. It is a professional and balanced formulation that contains all the essential micro and macronutrients the orchid needs.
This plant food comes with a 7-8-6 NPK ratio that makes it suitable for use on all types of orchids. More so, it features a unique nutrient combination that readily provides all the essential elements the orchid needs for maximum blooming and growth.
Additionally, the Orchid Pro 7-8-6 is urea free and contains all 10 and 6 vital micronutrients and macronutrients, respectively. These nutrients are suitable for plants grown in orchid bark, too, and promotes flowering and healthy growth.
Even more, it is a perfect choice for the fast cure of nutrient deficiencies in your orchid. This product is useful in the growing of orchids in both outdoor and indoor gardens. Also, it is usable with indirect or direct lighting.
When used in conjunction with Pro-TeKt, it helps to rapidly adjust the plant to a new environment or medium, making it one of the best orchid fertilizer.
- Orchid-Pro is compatible for use as a foliar spray
- It is urea free
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
- Perfect for all orchid types.
- It is for general purposes and not for specific needs.
12. Better Gro Orchid Plus
Better-Gro is a brand from the Sun Bulb Company, an organization that has been in business since 1956. It is a professional and urea free formula that contains essential elements the orchid requires to fight deficiencies that are common with most soilless containerized mixes.
Sun Bulb 8303 contains quick-acting nitrogen nitrate that is perfect in promoting the healthy growth of plants. Also, it is easy to use and is ideal for orchids and other African Violets too. Simply mix this product with water, depending on the frequency with which you water your garden.
Besides, this fertilizer is capable of thoroughly soaking the foliage and root system of the plant. In turn, it helps to encourage the production of beautiful blooms and overall healthy growth of the plants.
Additionally, this is a specially developed orchid fertilizer that is suitable for use by all orchid professionals, lovers, and enthusiasts.
- It is easy to use
- Contains fast-acting nitrogen nitrate
- It is urea nitrogen-free
- Promotes beautiful blooms and healthy growth
- It tends to attract plant flies.
13. Sun Bulb Orchid Better-Bloom Urea Free 11-35-15
Sun Bulb Orchid Better-Bloom is a urea free formula that has an 11-35-15 NPK ratio. It is a professionally formulated orchid fertilizer that contains high phosphorus content which makes it a potent blooming agent.
Thanks to its precise blend of ingredients, it helps to encourage the growth of brighter and bigger blooms that are long-lasting. It stands out as an excellent bloom booster fertilizer. Also, it works perfectly well when it comes to increasing bloom size, fast-tracking flowering, and improving bloom color.
More so, it contains traces of minor elements that come in handy when you need to create a robust root system. It comes in a convenient resealable bag for easy storage and carrying and is capable of lasting for an extended period.
In terms of usage, you have nothing to worry about. All you do is mix the fertilizer with water as instructed by the manufacturer and apply it during watering. However, for the best results, you must ensure you thoroughly soak both the foliage and roots.
- It is a water-soluble formula
- Contains no urea nitrogen
- Convenient storage as it comes in a resealable bag
- It is a great blooming agent
- It’s a little costlier compared to similar products
14. Smiling Worm
Smiling Worm Hoya Plant Fertilizer is arguably the most popular fertilizer in Thailand and is suitable for use on all ornamental plant types. These plant types include orchids, foliage, bonsai, flowering plants, not forgetting pot grown perennial plants, hanging baskets, and fruit vines.
This orchid fertilizer comes with the capability of building a healthy and robust root system. It is excellent for use on Hoya Compacta Tricolor Succulent Vine Plants. More so, it offers an economical dilution and encourages the development of robust roots.
This orchid fertilizer is rich in micronutrients like iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and NPK, among others. All these nutrients are vital in stimulating cell growth, production of erect foliage, tasty fruits, lush, and large flowers.
Additionally, this plant fertilizer comes in a husk fiber packaging. This fiber is suitable for use in orchid baskets lining or even as a drainage layer for your organic pot. Even so, this fertilizer is capable of lasting for up to 2 years, provided it is kept under cold conditions.
- Excellent at developing healthy and rigid roots
- Suitable for all ornamental plants
- It has an economical dilution
- Capable of lasting up to 2 years
- Not suitable for spraying
15. Sun Bulb 50000
Sun Bulb 50000 is a multi-purpose potting mix that is ideal for growing dendrobiums, epiphytic, and orchids. It features a unique blend of hardwood charcoal, sponge rock, and western fir bark. Well-trained orchid growers have specially formulated these ingredients.
Thanks to its superior versatility, the Better Gro Orchid Mix stands out as one of the best orchid fertilizer. It is a perfect choice for professional growers, orchid hobbyists, and small orchid collections.
Even more, this orchid mix is excellent at promoting the resilient and healthy growth of plants. It achieves this by providing improved drainage hence allowing appropriate root ventilation. Also, it contains perlite and charcoal that provide good drainage for your orchid needs.
Even more, this orchid fertilizer is suitable for reviving struggling plants. Besides, it helps improve the orchid’s moisture and nutrient retaining capacity.
- All-natural potting mix from a blend of natural ingredients
- It is a multi-purpose mix and suitable for use on all epiphytic orchids
- Perfect for breathing and repotting life into dying orchid flowers.
- Suitable for use for succulents.
- Darker colored potting mix which tends to heat up rapidly in hot climates.
- It may be a bit too lumpy for smaller plants or orchids with finer roots.
Best Orchid Fertilizers – Your pick?
Without a doubt, orchids remain one of the gorgeous household plants you can have in your garden. If you are interested in growing orchids, the best orchid fertilizer will come in handy in helping you grow resilient and healthy orchids having attractive blooms.
Overall, it is necessary to consider nitrogen content, essential nutrients, water solubility, and form. Also, in terms of application, you must ensure you follow the right quantity and timing when applying the fertilizer to your plants.