Techniques for fertilizing three different genera of orchids
Hello. I am new to orchid gardening and have a question for the knowledgeable people on this forum. Any advice would be appreciated. :)
I have been reading about orchid fertilizing and am confused on a few points. I seem to find more information about what to use when fertilizing orchids rather than how to actually apply the fertilizer. I plan to use a 20-20-20 powder fertilizer for orchids that you dissolve in water.
- I have read you should water the plant first. Immediately before?
- Do you soak the pot in a dish with the dissolved fertilizer or just pour it on? If soaking for how long?
- Is it important to apply the fertilizer just to the roots or also to the leaves? If it does get on the leaves do you need to clean them before they dry?
The orchids I have are:
- A recently purchased small Vanda in a small black plastic basket with bare roots. I have anchored this basket to a wood fence on my deck with metal hooks.
- A Dendrobium moschatum orchid in potting mix I just repotted into an 8" slotted terra cotta pot placed next to the fence on my deck outside. The plant is four feet tall and I have had it for years. When I transplanted it I found it had an amazing number of incredibly tightly packed roots. The few times I have fertilized it I have just poured fertilizer over the top of the potting mix after watering it.
- And the final orchid I have is a Phalaenopsis that has four nice healthy leaves and almost no roots. I just repotted it from rotten sphagnum moss it came in (why it lost all its roots) into orchid potting mix in a slotted terra cotta pot on the dresser in my bedroom. It seems water just runs right out from the potting mix on this one so I am not sure how effective pouring fertilizer over this
Sorry for the length of this post.
Thanks for your help and cheers!