Orchids can live healthy without fertilizers, if they are given proper care, which means enough watering, exposing them to enough light, and pruning them the right way as needed. Fertilizers can be used if your goal is to get a well-built plant with stronger, healthier roots and more flowers. Since orchids need less fertilizer than any other plant, the use of a fertilizer should be applied with caution. Always remember to use a well diluted fertilizer mix when trying to provide additional feed for your orchid. Over-fertilizing can really harm your orchid.
The three main chemical components of a fertilizer are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K = Kalium). These three components are generally labeled NPK and printed as numbers on a commercial fertilizer label. These numbers represent the percentage of each component. A labeling of 20-20-20, for example, means that it contains an equal content of 20% each. Other elements that a plant needs are calcium, magnesium and sulfur, which can be found in smaller quantities.
As there are many commercial fertilizers with various compositions, you can also make your own orchid fertilizer using some unused kitchen products that may contain NPK such as eggshells, chicken bones, rice water, tea bags, and milk.
Eggshells They are viable sources of calcium and potassium and can be used as a fertilizer. Don’t throw away the eggshells, wash and collect them until you get 20-25 eggshells. Crush it with a mortar and bring it to a boil in a gallon of water. Let it soak for about 8 hours. Filter the eggshells and keep the water in a container. You can use it to water your orchids weekly.
Dried and shredded chicken bones are other good kitchen things useful as a source of calcium and potassium. Again, don’t throw away the chicken bones, wash them and lay them out in the sun to dry or dry in an oven. Crush the dry bones well and store them in a jar. Sprinkle the dusty bones over the potting medium monthly.
Rice water it is a good source of vitamin, vitamin B in particular. What I mean by rice water is the water that is used to wash the rice before cooking it, as well as the water in which the rice is cooked. You can use it directly to water your orchid. But be sure to cool the cooked water first.
Tea It contains non-toxic organic materials and is rich in nitrogen, which is good for orchids. Hence, you can make use of tea bags. Just open the tea bag and pour the tea into the potting medium once a month.
Milk It can be the source of protein, so it provides a high nitrogen content. You can use a milk bottle or a carton that you just emptied. Fill it with water and shake it well so that the milk residue dissolves into the water. Use this to water your orchid.
Fallen oak leaves they are naturally a good source of fertilizers. And since they are completely natural, there is no need to worry about the negative effects of chemical fertilizers. Collect the dried leaves and place them in a 5 gallon container. Fill it with approximately 2 gallons of water. The portion should be 1/3 of water and 2/3 of the leaves. Leave it in the sun for about a week or until the water shows an iced tea color. If you couldn’t get the iced tea color after a week, pour it with warm water and let it cool. Then you can use it to water your orchid for 2 weeks.
Potatoes they are another practical source of calcium and potassium. Cut an unpeeled potato into small cubes and simmer for a few minutes. To provide more potassium, you can add fresh banana slices to the boiling potato mixture and stir well. Let cool and store the mixture in a jar. Add this mixture to the potting medium every 2 weeks.
Last but not least, a kitchen item to consider as a fertilizer is molasses as a source of potassium. It is enough to take a teaspoon of molasses to dilute it in the water that you are going to use to water your orchid.
epsom salt it is a good source of magnesium.
Well, that concludes with some common household fertilizers that can be easily obtained using a little kitchen garbage. For us, that may be rubbish, but for our orchids it is a good pleasure to assume that you are not overdoing it with these fertilizing things. Happy orchid care!