Orchids are a very popular family of plants in gardening for their pretty flowers, although they have the unfortunate reputation of being very difficult plants to care for. While it is true that some members of this family require very specific care, most orchids that you can buy in specialized stores are plants that require fairly basic levels of care. But even in these cases, the fertilizer is a key point in almost all of them. These plants need a suitable fertilizer and applied correctly to develop well and survive for a long time.
If you want to learn how to make compost for orchids at home , join us in this article.
Type of fertilizer for orchids – what is it like?
The fertilizer for orchids seeking to supply the plant all chemical elements that this would find in their natural habitat but, instead, are not present in a common substrate for plants or soil of a garden.
The most important of them are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium , vital elements for the formation of plant structures and tissues. Also calcium, magnesium and sulfur are very important. All these elements must be present in the orchid compost, although always in adequate quantities, since an excess of them can be as harmful as their absence.
How to make compost for homemade and natural orchids
You can save a lot of money on chemical fertilizer, while you reuse it, if you take advantage of some of the waste products that are generated at home to provide extra nutrients to your orchids . These are some of the best homemade products that we recommend if you want to learn how to make homemade and natural orchid compost .
The empty shells of the eggs you use can be a rich supply of calcium that your orchids will certainly appreciate. In order to take advantage of them, you need to wash them completely and let them dry overnight.
Then, with the help of a mortar, crush the shells until they are finely crushed, into a powdery texture. Sprinkle the eggshells on the substrate , and the water itself will be the one that penetrates the powder into the substrate when you water.
You can use the cooking water of potatoes or rice to provide extra calcium, potassium and vitamin B to your plants, but only if you have cooked them without salt. It is vital that you pay close attention to this point, because no matter how little salt you have used in cooking, if you take something and use it with your orchids you will severely damage them and you can even kill them. Save the cooking water of your potatoes and rice only when you have cooked them without any added salt, and water them every two weeks with it.
Calcium can also be supplied to orchids through cow’s milk. If the milk is diluted in water, with 20% milk and 80% water, the orchids can be watered with it every 15 days.
A small tablespoon of these salts diluted in 2 liters of water provides the plant with an extra magnesium that it will appreciate. It can be watered with them every 15 days, although it is necessary that the salts used do not contain flavorings.
Used tea bags
Green tea bags or other types of tea, if possible organic, that have already been used in infusions can be dried to give your orchid, or other plants, additional nutrients. Once dry, open the bag and spread its remains around the base of the plant. This form of subscription can be applied once a month .
When and how to use orchid compost
Orchids are somewhat delicate plants when it comes to the supply of nutrients. An excess of some nutrients will be as detrimental to the plant as a shortage of them, so special care must be taken to respect the subscription periods specified here.
When it comes to liquid fertilizers , it is enough to incorporate them into the irrigation water of the plant. With solid fertilizers , on the other hand, the simplest thing is to spread them over the upper part of the substrate and let the irrigation water itself make the elements penetrate to the depth of the roots. In addition, it is better not to use more than two of these contributions mentioned above at the same time. If you see that your orchid seems to be drying out or weakening, wash the pot to remove accumulated elements and lower the dose of compost.