8 Best Orchid Fertilizer + When To Use Orchid Food

Last update: January 1, 2022

Growing orchids has increased in popularity in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why! Their uniquely dramatic appearance makes them a wonderful, slightly exotic decorative plant.

They also promote a calming environment and are understood to act as a stress reliever. What more could you ask for?

However, growing orchids can be a little tricky. They are renowned to be temperamental plants that seem to wane occasionally for no reason at all.

Even the most well-seasoned growers have been known to struggle! As such, for many people, growing an orchid is more frustrating than calming.

If this sounds like a familiar problem, you’ve likely looked into the benefits of fertilizing your orchid. Although, finding the right fertilizer can seem like an impossible task in itself.

Even though orchids do benefit from an extra boost of vitamins, they are also particularly sensitive to some ingredients, meaning that some fertilizers can actually do more harm than good.

Not to worry though, trying to find a fertilizer isn’t a completely fruitless task. There are some wonderful fertilizers available that will bring your orchid back to life and promote its overall health and appearance.

To help you on your orchid growing journey, we have listed the 8 best orchid fertilizers available today. They have been hand-selected according to their ingredients, benefits, and how easy they are to use.

Following, we’ve also put together a handy buyers’ guide and FAQ section, to ensure that you purchase the right fertilizer for you.

We cover beneficial ingredients, explain over-complicated jargon, and teach you how and when to fertilize your orchid using a handy step-by-step system. Check it out below!

#1. Sun Bulb Company 8305 Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer

OUR RATING

4.5/5

Sun Bulb Company 8305 Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer

#2. EarthPods Premium Orchid Plant Food

OUR RATING

4.5/5
EarthPods Premium Orchid Plant Food

#3. rePotme Feed ME! Orchid Food 

OUR RATING

4.5/5

rePotme Feed ME Orchid Food

#4. Miracle-Gro Ready-To-Use Orchid Plant Food Mist

OUR RATING

4/5

Miracle Gro Ready To Use Orchid Plant Food Mist

#5. J R Peters Inc 50708 Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food

OUR RATING

4/5

J R Peters Inc 50708 Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food

#6. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes 

OUR RATING

4/5
Miracle Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes

#7. Florikan Dynamite 10-10-17 Orchids & Bromeliads Fertilizer

OUR RATING

3.5/5
Florikan Dynamite 10 10 17 Orchids Bromeliads Fertilizer

#8. Espoma Orchid Liquid Plant Food

OUR RATING

3.5/5
Espoma Orchid Liquid Plant Food
AT A GLANCE: 8 Best Orchid Fertilizer + When To Use Orchid Food
Our Top Pick
1. Sun Bulb Company 8305 Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer
2. EarthPods Premium Orchid Plant Food
3. rePotme Feed ME! Orchid Food  
4. Miracle-Gro Ready-To-Use Orchid Plant Food Mist
5. J R Peters Inc 50708 Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food
6. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes 
7. Florikan Dynamite 10-10-17 Orchids & Bromeliads Fertilizer
8. Espoma Orchid Liquid Plant Food

1. Sun Bulb Company 8305 Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer

Sun Bulb Company 8305 Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer

If your orchid has been struggling to bloom and is in dire need of a little boost, Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer might solve all of your problems. This fertilizer in particular accelerates flowering, enhances bloom color, and maximizes bloom size.

Formulated to be urea-free and containing a high content of phosphorous, this fertilizer is comprised of a specific combination of ingredients and nutrients that will really bring your orchid to life.

In fact, reviewers are frequently astounded by the ability of this fertilizer to revive the orchids that they assumed were beyond help.

This fertilizer is also very easy to use. All you have to do is mix one teaspoon of the formula with one gallon of water.

Following, you should water the orchid using the concoction, ensuring that you thoroughly soak the orchid’s root system, in addition to its foliage. For regular fertilization, it is recommended that you use this product every fourth watering.

Due to the recommended usage of one teaspoon every month or so, the 16-ounce bag should last some time! In turn, considering the quality of this product, it is also particularly budget-friendly.

If your orchid is in a dire state, Better Gro Orchid Fertilizer is definitely the best all-around option!

Pros:

  • Urea-free – makes this fertilizer less damaging.
  • High phosphorus content – great for growth.
  • High-quality ingredients – enhances bloom color and size.
  • Easy to use – ideal for beginners.
  • Small quantity needed – pack should last a long time.

Cons:

  • Small quantity needed – if too much is used it can be very harsh for the orchid.

 

2. EarthPods Premium Orchid Plant Food

EarthPods Premium Orchid Plant Food

We love the EarthPods Premium Orchid Plant Food! In addition to being one of the best slow-release fertilizers on the market, it is also a super sustainable, natural option!

As such, if you’re looking to give your orchid a boost in an environmentally responsible way, look no further!

This urea-free fertilizer is comprised of natural plant minerals, nutrients, and growth hormones. It also includes beneficial microbes, such as bacteria, humic and fulvic amino acids, and fungi.

This unique combination of ingredients works to stimulate root growth, leaf development, and boost flower bloom, whilst also remaining child and pet friendly!

This fertilizer is also very fast and easy to use. There is no confusing measuring spoons or messy liquids, thanks to the pod form.

If your orchid is growing in a soil mix, simply push one EarthPod into the mix. If you are growing your orchid in bark, open up the pod and spread the contents evenly. Then, just water as normal!

The EarthPods break down slowly and work to gradually release nutrients directly into the orchid’s root zone.

It is recommended that you use these pods every 14 to 21 days and use more EarthPods at one time depending on the size of your plant. For some very large plants, it might be necessary to use up to 8 EarthPods at a time.

Pros:

  • Urea-free – means this fertilizer is less harsh.
  • 100% naturally sourced & sustainable ingredients – makes this product child, pet, & environmentally friendly.
  • EarthPod form – very easy to use and slow-release.

Cons:

  • EarthPod form – will need to use quite a few pods for larger plants, meaning you may need to repurchase the product sooner.

 

3. rePotme Feed ME! Orchid Food  

rePotme Feed ME! Orchid Food 

If you are looking for a versatile fertilizer, look no further than the rePotme Feed ME! Orchid Fertilizer.

It is designed for use with a number of different water systems, and helps to re-hydrate the soil, aids in fostering healthy foliage and blooming, and works to elevate the overall health of your orchid.

Specifically, this fertilizer is designed for use with reverse osmosis, rain, and low alkaline tap water, making it a very versatile choice.

Its ingredients also make for a rich, urea-free composition that includes calcium, phosphate, nitrogen, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, boron, copper, molybdenum, and potash.

The main purpose of this combination of ingredients is to fully hydrate the soil. In turn, the foliage will appear healthier, the flower will bloom to be larger and brighter, and the root system will be invigorated.

Even reviewers who are new orchid owners boast about their wonderfully large, colorful, healthy orchids after using this product.

The manufacturer recommends that you use around ¾ quarters of a teaspoon of this granulated fertilizer, per gallon of water. In turn, the 8-ounce jar should last a particularly long time!

However, some reviewers have found it difficult to use, as the instructions aren’t the clearest. In this case, using your best judgment is necessary!

Pros:

  • Urea-free – mean this fertilizer is kinder to plants.
  • A hydrating mix of ingredients – helps growth, bloom size, and color.
  • Small quantity needed – means the 8-ounce pack will last a long time.

Cons:

  • Unclear instructions – mean this product might be better suited to individuals with a bit of experience.

 

4. Miracle-Gro Ready-To-Use Orchid Plant Food Mist

Miracle-Gro Ready-To-Use Orchid Plant Food Mist

 

If you’ve been known to struggle with the often fiddly nature of fertilizing your orchid, this Miracle-Gro Ready-To-Use Orchid Plant Food Mist will solve all of your problems.

Although many seasoned growers are sometimes skeptical of the efficiency of spray fertilizers, this one definitely doesn’t disappoint!

This spray fertilizer is an ideal product if you need to fertilize your orchid efficiently and quickly.

It doesn’t need diluting and can be dispensed directly onto the roots, soil or bark, and leaves. It is recommended by the manufacturer to use this product on your orchid around once a week.

Some reviewers who were seasoned growers expressed caution before using this fertilizer on the leaves, as orchid leaves are prone to burning.

However, they were wonderfully surprised to see that this fertilizer caused no harm at all!

Although, this product is probably most appropriate for beginner growers. Thanks to its super convenient spray bottle, even reviewers prone to killing orchids boast about their wonderfully vibrant plants after using this fertilizer.

However, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer’s instructions well. Specifically, this spray fertilizer should not be sprayed onto the flowers of the orchid, as it can cause a large amount of damage.

This might sound a bit intimidating, but we promise you, even if you’re a total beginner, it is a very easy task to accomplish.

Pros:

  • Spray bottle – super easy and effective to use.
  • Already diluted – can be used straight away with no preparation needed.
  • Good formula – can bring orchids back to life.

Cons:

  • Can’t be used on orchid flowers – so caution is needed when applying this fertilizer.
  • Costly – it is likely that you will go through a bottle quite quickly, and thus, will need to repurchase sooner than the other fertilizers in this list.

5. J R Peters Inc 50708 Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food

J R Peters Inc 50708 Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food

If you’re looking for a fertilizer that will provide your orchid with a good amount of nitrogen, Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food is your best bet.

As a liquid fertilizer with quite a balanced formula, it is a great option for those of you who are looking to improve the health and robustness of your orchid’s foliage and stem.

The formula of this fertilizer releases nutrients gradually, providing up to four months of vigorous growth. Derived from ammonium nitrate, this fertilizer is specifically great at strengthening orchids, and ensuring a good size bloom.

The formula is also blended with an enhanced micronutrient package which provides the most optimal nutrition and helps improve the overall health of your plant.

Included within the pack is a free measuring spoon to ensure easy and precise application. Also included is a label that details the recommended amount of fertilizer to use per quantity of water.

It is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions as well as you can, to ensure the fertilizer doesn’t cause any damage to your orchid.

Reviewers rave about incredibly fast root growth after using this product. In particular, some describe multiple orchids producing spikes within just a week of using this fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions!

If you want a quick result, Jacks Classic Liquid Orchid Food is a great option!

Pros:

  • Derived from ammonium nitrate – perfect to enhance the strength of the orchid.
  • Formula blended with enhanced micronutrient package – provides optimal nutrition and helps to boost overall health.
  • Measuring spoon and clear instructions included – very easy and straightforward to use.

Cons:

  • Small recommended portions – can be difficult to measure out for some people.

6. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes 

Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes 

If you’re busy and tired of the time and effort that fertilizing your orchid takes, these Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes are perfect.

They are super easy to use and have a carefully balanced formula that will leave your orchid with gorgeously green leaves and bright, colorful blooms.

These food spikes have a carefully balanced ratio of 10-10-10, making them a great orchid fertilizer. It is also a slow-release formula, that works over a two-month period.

Therefore, you won’t need to worry about weekly or monthly feeding! They also don’t need to be used outside of your orchid’s growing season, but they still manage to provide amazing year-round results!

This fertilizer is also particularly easy to use. First, you cut a fertilizer stick in half. Then, you gently press the stick into your potting mix and distribute evenly between the plant and the edge of the pot.

Then, in two months’ time, replace the spikes with fresh ones. It really is that simple!

Even the most skeptical reviewers love this fertilizer. In addition to raving about the growth and strength of their orchid after using this product, many were also shocked by how long the pack lasted.

For instance, if your orchid is sat in a 4-inch pot, you will likely need to use one of the sticks each time. As there are 10 sticks in one pack, one pack can last years!

Pros:

  • Balanced formula – great for growth, strength, and color.
  • Slow-release – only need to fertilize once every 2 months during the growing season, and not at all outside of this season.
  • 10-pack – will last for years.

Cons:

  • Packaging – some reviews note that the spikes arrived crushed.

7. Florikan Dynamite 10-10-17 Orchids & Bromeliads Fertilizer

Florikan Dynamite 10-10-17 Orchids & Bromeliads Fertilizer

If you like the laid-back style of the option above, but want a fertilizer in a more traditional form, the Florikan Dynamite 10-10-17 Orchids Fertilizer is ideal for you.

In fact, this fertilizer is probably the best possible option for busy plant owners who struggle to find the time for upkeep and maintenance.

The formula of this fertilizer is super slow-release. In this case, this means that you only have to feed your plants once during the growing season.

Yes, you read that right. Once! It also boasts a high potassium content. This is perfect for you if you want your orchid to flower consistently throughout the year.

Before using, it’s important to know the size of your orchid’s pot. The size of the pot will dictate the number of granules you use on your orchid.

However, this is super easy to do, as you can just use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the diameter of the pot.

Once you have figured out the right amount of granules, you simply sprinkle them in and around the potting medium. After you have done this, the only maintenance you need to carry out is regular watering.

Reviewers absolutely love the effects of this slow-release fertilizer. Even beginner growers have reported their orchids quickly outgrowing their pots, and some have even been surprised with as many as 11 orchid babies!

If you purchase this fertilizer, it might be a good idea to buy a few extra pots too. You have been warned!

Pros:

  • Super slow-release formula – only needs to be used once throughout the growing season!
  • High potassium content – helps orchids flower consistently.
  • Granules – easy to measure and use.

Cons:

  • Strength – might not be enough to recover the most damaged or waning of orchids.

8. Espoma Orchid Liquid Plant Food

Espoma Orchid Liquid Plant Food

If you’re looking for a fertilizer for your orchid that has all of the benefits of a top-end product but for a fraction of the cost, look no further than the Espoma Orchid Liquid Plant Food.

The carefully derived formula is jam-packed with all of the nutrients that will give your orchid a real boost!

Specifically, this fertilizer is derived from fish protein, soy protein, hydrolyzed poultry, bone meal, kelp extract, and potassium sulfate. It also contains calcium, a lot of microbes, Bacillus Licheniformis, and humic acid.

These active and non-plant food ingredients work to significantly boost the overall health of your orchid, in addition to making it look wonderfully bright and colorful.

For the best results, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s clear recommendations. Before opening the bottle, it is first necessary to turn it upside down for a few seconds. Then, turn it upright again, and open the bottle.

With this product, you need to be particularly careful when opening the bottle for the first time, as it has been known to explode and spill.

Once the bottle has been carefully opened, pour out a dose of the fertilizer and combine it with one quart of water. Then, simply add to your orchid’s pot.

As a bonus, you can purchase 8-ounce bottles of this product in 2-packs, 3-packs, 4-packs, and 5-packs! This is ideal for people who hate having to repurchase items quickly or those who have a house filled with beautiful orchids!

Reviewers absolutely love the results of this fertilizer. Many reports having used it for years, and refusing to buy any other brand! Although, some note that the smell isn’t ideal.

Pros:

  • Formula packed with microbes and nutrients – great for boosting the overall health of your orchid.
  • Pre-measured – makes for an easy application system.
  • Multi-pack – budget-friendly and ideal for people with lots of plants.

Cons:

  • Prone to spilling/exploding – requires very careful opening.
  • Smell – might be off-putting for some.

Buyers Guide 

Fertilizers come in all different formulas, and as such, it can sometimes be hard to sift through the plant jargon to figure out which product is most suitable for you.

To help you along with this process, we’ve put together a handy buyers’ guide. Here, we will give you all the info you need to make the most informed decision possible! Check it out below.

Ingredients 

Main ingredients

The main ingredients you want to look out for are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You may notice that fertilizers with these ingredients are often labeled as NPK fertilizers. Check out the benefits of these ingredients below.

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is understood to nourish green leaves and promote rapid growth. It’s a great ingredient to look out for if you want quick and sturdy growth, or if the leaves of your orchid are lackluster in appearance.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a great ingredient that encourages root growth, large blooms, and green leaves. If your orchid is in dire need of some TLC, keep an eye out for a fertilizer that is rich in phosphorus.

Potassium

Potassium is a completely essential ingredient for orchids. Potassium promotes healthy root systems, which in turn, provide orchids with a bright, lively appearance.

If the leaves of your orchid are turning yellow, it is likely that they are low in potassium!

Active ingredients 

If you’ve been on the hunt for good fertilizer, it’s likely that you’ve come across the term ‘active ingredients’. But, what does this actually mean?

The term ‘active ingredients’ simply refers to the composition of the fertilizer. The first and most essential group of active ingredients consists of those described above – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

The second group of active ingredients is constituted of those that are still important but tend to be included in much smaller amounts than the first group. These ingredients include macronutrients, such as calcium and magnesium.

The third group of active ingredients is made up of micronutrients. These include substances such as iron, copper, zinc, and growth hormones.

These can be very beneficial, even though they come in even smaller quantities than the second group.

Type of fertilizer

Orchid fertilizer can come in many different forms. Specifically, they can be liquid, granular, capsules, or powder.

Generally, the type of fertilizer you should opt for will depend on your experience and the amount of time you are able to dedicate to plant maintenance.

If you are new to the world of orchid growing, it might be a good idea to opt for a capsule or liquid fertilizer. These are much easier to use, as they generally come in a pre-measured dosage.

This will make the process of fertilizing your orchid very easy.

If you are a particularly busy plant owner, you will want to consider using a slow-release fertilizer. This means that you generally only have to fertilize once every few months.

For the best of both worlds, opt for a capsule or liquid slow-release fertilizer! Though, always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations down to a tee.

Frequently Asked Questions 

When Should I Use Orchid Food? 

The best possible time to feed your orchid is straight after you have watered it. Specifically, the fertilizer will do best if it is applied after the bark or soil has been thoroughly submerged in water.

Should I Fertilize My Orchid When It’s Blooming? 

You can fertilize your orchid when it is producing a bloom. However, it is worth noting that the flowers of an orchid are very sensitive to fertilizer.

As such, the manufacturer will generally suggest trying to keep the fertilizer away from the flowers of the plant.

If you are concerned about this, it’s a good idea to reduce the strength of the fertilizer that you give your orchid when it is blooming.

This can be done by fertilizing your plant less frequently or lessening the quantity of the fertilizer in the fertilizer-to-water ratio.

However, if you have opted for a slow-release fertilizer, you won’t need to worry about this issue. Simply continue to replace the fertilizer whilst the orchid is blooming, if necessary according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Should I Fertilize My Orchid In The Winter Months?

This depends heavily on the breed of orchid that you have. If your orchid grows all year round, it will be necessary to continue to feed it throughout the winter.

Although, it’s a good idea to lower the dosage of fertilizer, as it will naturally grow more slowly over these months.

How Do I Fertilize My Orchid? 

Prepare Fertilizer

First, it is important to prepare the fertilizer according to the package instructions. Ensuring that you are prepared will prevent any unwanted spillages or mistakes.

Generally, for powders or granules, you will need roughly 1 teaspoon of the fertilizer for each gallon of water.

Sometimes it can be tricky to measure out such small quantities, however, remember that too little fertilizer is far better than too much fertilizer!

If you are using a fertilizer that comes in capsule form or has a pre-measured dosage, you don’t need to worry too much about this step.

Prepare the Orchid

To prevent your orchid from sitting in a pool of fertilizer, which would cause an immeasurable amount of damage, it is important to remove your orchid from its pot. Place it in a sink or bucket to prevent too much mess!

However, it is important to note that, if you are using a capsule fertilizer, this step will be unnecessary!

Water

This step is super important. Before fertilizing, it is always necessary to ensure that the soil or bark that your orchid is growing in has been thoroughly watered.

Fertilize 

Using a watering can, or whatever method the package instructions suggest, apply the fertilizer to the orchid.

Focus on the root system rather than the plant itself, unless you are using some kind of spray fertilizer that dictates otherwise.

Drain 

Make sure that you let the fertilizer solution drain from your orchid to prevent any damage. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to leave your plant out of its container for five minutes.

Return to its container

Return your orchid to its container. Make sure that you don’t water it anymore that day, as it has received thorough hydration already!

Repeat

You can then repeat this process as needed. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the best overall result.

However, it is important to be slightly over-cautious when you fertilize orchids. Although they do enjoy the boost of supplements provided by fertilization, they are also prone to damage.

For instance, if you even slightly over-fertilize your orchid, a build-up of sodium is likely to occur. This can cause your orchid significant damage.

As such, giving your orchid a rest from fertilization every now and then is a good idea.

Final Thoughts 

Orchids are a beautifully unique plant, the flowers of which can brighten up any room. However, they can be tricky to look after.

We hope that our list of the 8 best orchid fertilizers, and the accompanying info-packed buyers’ guide, help you on your way to growing super healthy, gorgeous, and long-lasting orchids.