- Fun Facts -

Some 450 years ago, Spanish conquistadors
found the Aztecs of Mexico adding bits of an orchid's fragrant seed pod to their cocoa.
Vanilla planifolia traveled to Europe and thence to Madagascar. Today, that island supplies half the world's vanilla needs. The vanilla flower lasts only one day and must be pollinated by hand, since no Madagascan insect performs the task.

In their native habitat, orchids scavenge nutrients from whatever happens to be nearby: decomposing leaves, bird or animal droppings, or minerals borne in rainwater. You can help your orchid to grow faster and bloom sooner by feeding it the right fertilizers. Look for products that contain nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), along with trace elements such as iron.

Potassium (K) is mainly responsible for the control of flower, and fruit development. Phosphorous (P) for flower production, and Nitrogen (N) for healthy vegetative growth. The amount of feeding depends on the plant concerned, the time of year and general health of the plant. Investigations have shown that feeding should begin with more Nitrogen just when the new shoots are showing, more Phosphorous and Potassium being necessary towards the end of the season.

THINGS TO CONSIDER: Orchids growing in bark need more nitrogen than either phosphorus or potassium (in proportions of 30-10-10). This is because the bark is decayed by bacteria that use a large amount of nitrogen, leaving very little for the plant. Therefore, the most important step to remember when feeding your orchid is to correctly identify the type of fertilizer you should be using. Beautiful Orchids has five different orchid foods available from our online catalog. Before feeding your orchid, always read and follow the directions carefully.

RECOMMENDED BOOK: Orchid Growing Basics by: Gustav Schoser

A. Read instructions carefully to make sure you are using the correct orchid food.
B. It is best to water your plant thoroughly prior to feeding.
C. A granulated or dry orchid food must first be dissolved in water before being used. Do not apply dry orchid food directly to the plant. Most dry orchid food is highly concentrated and will kill the plant if used in correctly.
D. Pour dissolved granulated orchid food directly on to the pre-watered plant. To prevent standing water in the bottom of your decorative container, ensure all water has drained from the plant prior to placing it back in its decorative container.


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