nature, plants get nutrients from organic debris that collects at
roots. This can be anything from decaying tree bark to bird
Complex interactions involving live bacteria,
microbes break down this organic matter so the plant can
process is almost impossible with potted plants. Potting
mixes are sterilized, killing the bacteria needed to
transform organic matter into a form your plants can use. So,
potted plants rely on you to
nutritional elements for growth.
Real Food Plants Need
Don't confuse "Plant
with "Plant Food".
real "food" plants use to grow
is light, water,
and air. See box at right. Nutrients (or fertilizer),
on the other hand, are the minerals plants absorb at the roots to
help "digest" the real food for growth.
If you're not
giving your plants the real "food" they need to grow (light, water,
air), your choice of nutrients
Plants manufacture their own "food". Using the
power of the sun, they mix air, light,
and water to make
These carbohydrates are the real
"food" that stimulates new growth. This process is
Nutrition" is the mineral
elements collected by the roots to
enhance photosynthesis. These
compensate for lack real food plants use for growth (air, light, and
give your plants that extra shot of energy with more nutrients, make
sure they're getting the
"real food" they need for healthy new growth.
||2. "Bloom" Fertilizers
Don't Make Your Plants Bloom
"Bloom" fertilizers won't make your orchid bloom. They simply
encourage bigger, brighter flowers
that last longer.
their own internal calendars that determines when
they flower. When the time is right, proper light and
temperatures are the only things that trigger blooming cycles.
Don't try to
forcing your plants to change their blooming schedule - it won't
work! Flowering times vary with each type of orchid.
Some plants bloom
in summer, others prefer winter.
3. Don't Over Do It!
In nature, orchids
grow where moisture and
nutrients are scarce. To survive in this harsh
environment, they've adapted to living comfortably on a slim diet of
water and nutrients.
So over do it with fertilizer! Choose a
quality fertilizer -
and be stingy when applying it.
Healthy plants come from the right amount
of light, water, and air - the
food for growth.
I've never seen an orchid die from lack of fertilizer.