When to Fertilize Orchids When Blooming: The Right Time

When to fertilize orchids when blooming is a common question that almost every orchid grower asks and thinks about. The thing is- orchids don’t need fertilizers when they are in the blooming stage.

Fertilize Orchids When Blooming

You can apply a small nutrient dose after three weeks or at the end of the blooming. If you want details about fertilizer application time, stay till the end.

When to Fertilize Orchids When Blooming?

Fertilize orchids when blooming should be done a few weeks after the bud’s development, and at the end of the plant’s blooming period. You can also apply another one when the blooming stage is almost over. To restart flowering, remember adding more can disrupt the blooming.

In general, orchids don’t need fertilizers when they bloom, but if you feel they need minerals, the sufficient time for nutrient application is after three weeks of bud formation. Furthermore, adding fertilizers after the shedding of flowers is also a good way to initiate the next blooming period.

– Few Weeks After Bud’s Development

Adding fertilizers before and during bud development can negatively impact the blooming stage. The reason is that orchids spend the extra nutrients on vegetative growth instead of bud development.

Therefore, the best time to apply fertilizers is after three to four weeks of bud development. Most orchids usually don’t need this fertilization too. You should only add fertilizer during this period when the orchids look weak.

Your orchids may become fragile after a few weeks of bud formation when you don’t apply sufficient nutrients in the early stages. Now you may wonder that should you fertilize orchids in spikes? Well, yes, it is a good idea, especially if you have yet to apply initial fertilizers, because buds emerge from these spikes, and you should not apply nutrients in this stage.

It’s no secret that orchids need three main minerals, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, because these are the ones that are going to help the plant in this stage. When you don’t give them enough nitrogen, you will see low vegetative growth after bud development.

On the same note, with potassium and phosphorus insufficiency, orchids blooming pace will be slow, and it wouldn’t be so strong either. As a result, when the orchids show poor vegetative and floral growth, you can give a dose of fertilizer after three weeks of blooming.

Note that you should not add more nutrients after this dose for at least four more weeks. It is because adding another dose can lead to root burn, so knowing when and how to provide proper orchid care will prolong its growth.

– At the End of Blooming

Another time to apply fertilizer is when the blooming phase is ending. Like any other regular plant, orchids look slightly bland and unaesthetic when they don’t have any flowers. That is why it is ideal that you apply one more dose of fertilizers when a few flowers remain, and by doing this allows orchids to bloom further in a successful manner.

But note that you must be careful when feeding orchids, even if the blooming period is ending. Over-adding nutrients or choosing the wrong mineral composition can harm orchids, especially Phalaenopsis orchids.

It is also important to know in which season you should give fertilizers. It would help if you did not fertilize orchids in winter. The reason is that they are in the dormant phase during this period, and applying fertilizers won’t do much to the plants. However, there are exceptions.

There are a few orchids that bloom in the winter. The famous one is the Cattleya variety group. So, if you are growing them, apply fertilizers for reblooming, even in winter or even in autumn.

Which Fertilizer Is Best When Orchids Are Blooming?

The best fertilizer for blooming orchids is the ones that have the NPK ratio. These are kinds that have all three of the essential minerals: nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, and these are the minerals that it needs during its flowering stage.

– Choose the Perfect Ratio

When growing Phalaenopsis orchids, you have to be careful when it comes to fertilizers. It is because orchids are sensitive to high salts and minerals in the soil. The sensitivity increases even more when the blooming is happening. Therefore, the ideal NPK ratio is really important.

Note that in the blooming phase, orchids don’t need nitrogen much, as they require phosphorus more when growing, because this nutrient helps the orchids easily transfer from vegetative to floral growth. On the other hand, potassium is the second significant orchid food in the blooming stage, because it helps plants generate energy, which they use to form buds and then develop flowers.

Therefore, it is essential to choose those fertilizers that are rich in these two minerals. But this does not mean you can ignore Nitrogen altogether, instead, the mix should have all three of them, so you should still decide on fertilizers that have this mineral in them.

Choose the Perfect Ratio

Here, you may also wonder, what is the best fertilizer for orchids? As mentioned the minerals, now you should pick the right ration, and the best, in this case, would be to go for a 10-30-20 mixture ratio of N, P, K.

Some may suggest the 20-20-20 orchid fertilizer, but don’t got for that because it is a wrong approach as applying more nitrogen is unnecessary with such a great quantity. Also, if there is already lots of Nitrogen in the soil, then nutrient lock or fertilizer burn can happen.

We also now have special orchid fertilizers manufactured especially for orchid plants. Moreover, liquid fertilizer is also a good choice as it gets absorbed by the soil quickly. In this case, don’t apply dry organic plant fertilizers when orchids are blooming; it is because these fertilizers release nutrients slowly. As a result, most nutrients will be available when the blooming stage is over, and that is why fertilizing orchids with organic fertilizers is not a good idea.

How To Add Fertilizers When Orchids Are Blooming?

To fertilize blooming orchids, you should water them first. Then, you should follow the dosage instructions mentioned on the bottle or pack of fertilizer. The type of fertilizer to add depends on your preference. The best time to add nutrients is in the early parts of the day.

– Liquid Fertilizers

If you have decided to apply liquid orchid fertilizer, we suggest you use those specifically for blooming or flowering. In this case, you can go for you try ones that are like the Bloom Booster. 

If you want Phalaenopsis orchids to gain the maximum benefit from liquid fertilization, you should water orchids a little first. It is right to apply water when you are fertilizing your blooming orchids. If you are adding liquid fertilizer, then it already has more water in it.

For other fertilizers, you should first apply water in a controlled quantity. Then, follow the instructions on the bottle to ensure the roots don’t face root burn or nutrient lock problems.

In most cases, you mix water and liquid fertilizer in equal parts, but the dosage varies depending on the fertilizer. Follow every point to ensure orchid blooming stays smooth without any complications. That’s how to water and fertilize orchids together.

– Powdered or Granules

If you prefer powdered fertilizers, choose ones that include all three essential minerals. But such fertilizers usually have more amounts of nitrogen. Therefore, you must be mindful in this manner and provide the plant with the right needs, so go for those made especially for orchids or those manufactured for blooming purposes only.

Powdered or Granules

In most cases, you mix 1/4 teaspoon of powdered fertilizer per gallon of water, and now you should mix it thoroughly and then carefully pour it into the soil. But it is a relatively easy and fast rule as the dosage instructions vary, yet again, remember to read all the instructions and precautionary measures printed on the box.

– The Spray Kind

Generally, you apply fertilizer spray after every two weeks. The reason is that you can only apply a few nutrients when spraying. So, the plants may require you to add another application after every 14 days.

Some gardeners prefer to avoid adding liquid fertilizers and prefer sprays instead, as fungal growth and over-fertilization are real fears in the gardening world. Fortunately, it is easy to apply fertilizer spray as well, if you do it the right way.

Even when you try to make this fertilizer spray at home, it can get messy, and the nutrient composition can also go wrong. As discussed above, the incorrect composition can lead to numerous problems like root burn, which is why if you are a novice gardener, try to abstain from this one, because don’t risk placing the incorrect measurements.

– Homemade

We don’t emphasize applying organic fertilizers when orchids are blooming; on this matter, the blooming phase is short, and these fertilizers release minerals slowly. Still, some gardeners prefer them because the chances of root burn, imbalance in soil pH, and nutrient lock are almost zero when you apply them.

Homemade Fertilizer for Orchid

If you are one of them, then don’t worry, because it will work wonders for you. The best organic fertilizer to add when orchids are blooming is ground eggshells. Mix crushed eggshells, molasses, and coffee grounds to make them more powerful. These things will boost the bloom to a great extent.

However, since the nutrient composition could be more precise in them, the results will vary from one orchid to another. So, don’t get concerned when one plant starts bud development quickly and another needs to perform better.


– When Is the Best Time to Stop Fertilizing Orchids?

You can stop fertilizing your orchids when the spikes are about to form. You should also not apply fertilizers when the flowers are blooming in full swing. If necessary, add a nutrient dose after three to four weeks of bud development.

– How To Make My Orchid Bloom More Often?

To get your orchids to bloom more, you should stop watering and fertilizer application when it’s time for spikes to form. Generally, spikes are formed after four weeks of the emergence of orchid seedlings. In this phase, orchids will spend their remaining energy on flowering instead of more vegetative growth.


All-inclusive, everyone should know when to fertilize an orchid, especially when it enters the blooming phase. This article teaches you everything about it, which will help you have orchids full of flowers, and here are the main points of the whole article to revise every important information discussed above:

  • Orchids don’t need fertilization before and during the blooming phase.
  • If you still want to enrich the soil with nutrients, the best time to apply fertilizers is after three weeks of bud development.
  • For reblooming, you can apply fertilizers again when the flowering phase is almost over.
  • Make sure the fertilizer you apply has more phosphorus and potassium than Nitrogen.

Now, you can make your garden beautiful with colorful orchid flowers. You know the exact way of how and when to apply the right amount of the fertilizer for your graceful flowering plant.

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