Homemade orchid Fertiliser recipes

Updated February 21, 2017

Among flower and plant enthusiasts in the world, none are quite so filled with zeal as those who love the orchid. That's because few other plants offer such infinite variety in colour, shape and size while still adapting to live in homes and apartments all over the world. And while some consider the orchid to be difficult to grow, care is easy once you understand the basics. Foremost among them is fertilising your orchids.


The key to remember when making homemade fertilisers for orchids is that orchids need a fertiliser that is higher in nitrogen than ordinary plants. This is because orchids are not potted in soil. An orchid's potting medium usually consists of tree bark. The bark is home to nitrogen-loving bacteria that usually consume most of the nitrogen in fertilisers, leaving very little for the orchid itself.


Used tea bags, which are high in nitrogen, are especially good for orchids. Compared to commercial fertilisers, tea bags contain organic matter that is nontoxic and does not smell bad. To use the tea bag, open it and empty the contents into the orchid pot. Apply tea once monthly in the spring and summer months.

Milk or buttermilk

Both milk and buttermilk are animal products that are high in nitrogen because of their protein content. Additionally, because most people use them in their homes, it is a product that is easy to find and use. To use milk as a fertiliser, take an empty milk carton, fill it with water and swish it around. The dregs of the milk will be transferred to the water. You can then water your orchids with the milky water.

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About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.