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Homemade Orchid Fertilizer Recipes

Miss Chen
2017年08月11日
The orchid family (Orchidaceae) includes approximately 600 genera and about 30,000 natural species worldwide. Orchids thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 1 through 13, depending on the species, but most houseplants are tropical orchids. These exotic-looking plants have earned a reputation as being difficult to grow, but many are surprisingly easy to care for. Lighting and watering needs vary, but most orchids require fertilizer high in both potassium and calcium. Making your own orchid fertilizer from common household items is quick and easy.



Eggshells and Chicken Bones

In two vital ways, chickens provide orchids with the nutrients they need to grow. Both eggshells and chicken bones contain high amounts of the calcium and potassium that orchids crave. Wash and dry eggshells and crush them with a mortar and pestle to create fertilizer for orchids. Dried chicken bones require the same technique, but are a little more difficult to process. Once you've created the crushed mixture, sprinkle it over the orchid's bark mixture.

Don’t Throw Out Cooking Water

The cooking water from both potatoes and rice provides valuable nutrients to orchids. While rice water provides a good source of vitamin B, potato water contains calcium and potassium. Save the water from cooking potatoes and rice and store it in the fridge. Apply the water to orchids every two weeks.

Milk, Molasses and Epsom Salt

Ordinary cow's milk provides a good source of protein for your orchids, but dilute it first -- 1 part milk to 4 parts water -- or get into the habit of rinsing out your milk carton with water and using it to water your orchids every two weeks. Molasses gives your orchids a boost of potassium. Mix a teaspoon of molasses to a quart or two of water and use it when you water your orchids. Mixing a teaspoon of Epsom salt in two quarts of water gives your orchids a boost of magnesium – but use caution not to use scented Epsom salt sold as foot wash. Look for Epsom salt in the gardening section of your home improvement center.

Oak Leaves and Teabags
Oak leaves and teabags, which are high in nitrogen can be used as natural fertilizer to boost orchid growth. Oak leaves need to be brewed -- 1 part water to 2 parts leaves -- for about two weeks in the sun to create liquid fertilizer. Water your orchids with the brewed oak-leaf tea once a month. Open teabags and sprinkle the contents on the soil of your orchid plants once a month during the growing season.

Easy Does It

Orchids are light feeders and do not require frequent fertilizer. While homemade orchid fertilizers provide them with the nutrients they need to thrive, heavy applications may harm your orchids. Try one or two remedies at a time and use the health of your orchids as your guide to fertilizer application. Signs of over-fertilization include a white crust on top of the bark, leaf tips dying and roots that turn black. Always flush your pot monthly with water to remove the build up of salt from fertilizers. Homemade fertilizers may not give your orchid all the NPK nutrients it requires for proper health. If signs of poor health occur that are not from over-fertilizing, supplement with a water-soluble 20-20-20 blend, mixed at one teaspoon per gallon of water and apply monthly.
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