Fertilizers

Basic orchid care essentials are about sunlight and water. However, for orchid plants to really perform well and bloom vigorously, nourishment with fertilizers becomes essential. For orchid growers (such as Toh Garden), fertilizing is a MUST, as only flowering plants are commercially viable. Of course, for private collectors, fertilizing is really optional – but will be recommended if one is keen to devote more.

First and foremost, inorganic fertilizers are the preferred type of feed for orchid plants. For orchid plants to grow well and flower vigorously, they need specific elements in their diet. Most inorganic fertilizers for orchids comprise of 3 main elements: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in varied ratios, (Otherwise, known to be NPK fertilizers, where N, P and K are the codes annotating these elements) and small amounts of trace elements. Fertilizing is applied twice weekly in Toh Garden. However, as a rule of thumb,  the more regular, the better – just take note to dilute the fertilizer concentration. The foliar fertilizer that Toh Garden utilizes are also available for retail sales (NPK63 for healthy growth & NPK67 for improved flowering). Of course, slow-release fertilizes can also be used as a form of supplement to the Orchid’s nutrition needs.

In any case, fertilizing regimes differs between different nurseries – for example: fertilizing once or twice a month; rather than as regularly as possible. This is a matter of different perspectives, so feel free to carry out trials to ascertain the most optimal regime for your plants.

(Distributed by Toh Garden) Ez-Gro NPK63 & 67 – recommended usage

Dissolve half ~ one teaspoon (2.5 ~ 5 grams) of NPK fertilizer to 1 litre of water. Feed fertilizer solution to orchid plants’ roots. Bear in mind, not to water the plants on days of fertilizing, otherwise it will be doubling their fluid intake. Although NPK67 improves the quality and size of flowers, prolonged usage of NPK67 alone will result in stunted plant growth. The best way to go will be using NPK63 for 2~ 3 weeks; followed by 1 week usage of NPK67 or only switching to NPK67 prior / during the flowering season. Younger plants would require mainly NPK63 for vegetative growth. Otherwise, a pure diet of NPK63 would suffice in boosting the plant’s health and growth, laying good foundations for flowering. More often than not, NPK67 is treated as fertilizer that improves flowering frequency. This conception is true to some extent only, as the frequency of flowering depends on many factors such as the environment, general plant health and its inborn seasonal cycle. Bearing in mind, what NPK67 significantly improve is the quality (longer stalks / robust blooms) of the flower.

48 Responses to “Fertilizers”

  1. does one of those led growth light helps in promotion of growth and blossom?

  2. Hi Yee Fong, LED light are usually too weak for growing of tropical orchids but it might be possible for orchids that require lesser light. silverelf

  3. I have trouble with ants in my baskets, the orchids are hanging in my tree and some are full of ants

  4. The ants generally don’t attack the orchid plants.. You might wish to try buying some ants pellet.. For non toxic repellent, you might want to try using some cinnamon. silverelf

  5. As I do not have time to drop by your gift shop and I have a question. Do you have fertilizer products (that comes in much smaller pack) for home /residential use? Appreciate your advice, thank you.

  6. Hi Dennis, Yes, we do have them in smaller packs for residential use. silverelf

  7. Um Silver elf, I’ve noticed some orchids cannot tolerate inorganic fertilisers while others thrive on them. So most orchids I find fall into either one or the the other camp, orgnic or inorganic. Can you tell me the best way to feed orchids that like organic fertilsers, I find getting the stuff to stick to roots a big problem. Where I live it rains a lot so i dont use substrate at all, if I did the roots would simply rot as i don’t have access to hard wood chips. So my orchids roots are free hanging or attached to trees. This is not a problem with inorganic lovers as you can simply spray with a spreader mixed into the solution. But how do you get fish emulsion or those sheep pellets to stick to the roots? Regards (I hope to be buying some orchids from you in the next few weeks on my trip to Singapore)

  8. I ask this question mainly out of curiosity: If I mix 50% of 13.5 :27:27 with 50% of 21:21:21 , would the resulting formula be better still?

  9. I emailed out of curiosity about mixing various fertilizer-formula together. Would 13.5:27:27 and 21:21:21 solution be too strong for Orchids if 50% of each was applied?

  10. Hi Mr Teoh, No the resulting formula will not be better, but more convenient. The NPK 63 (21:21:21) and NPK 67 (13.5:27:27) have different usage application. NPK 63 is for feeding purposes while NPK 67 is for flowering purposes. For best results, it is still better to apply them separately. Mixing the 2 fertilizers @ application rate of 50% will not harm the orchids. silverelf

  11. Hi Anton, You can simply apply the organic fertilizers the similar way you apply your inorganic fertilizers by mixing them with a spreader. I suppose your organic fertilizers are mostly emulsions? Just dilute them into the solution and spray them onto the orchids. You do not have to make sure that they stick to the roots, just like the inorganic fertilizers. silverelf

  12. Hi Silverelf, You fertilize the orchids twice a week but I’d like to know the intervals between application. Is it safe to fertilize once every 3rd day eg. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Tuesday etc.at full strength? I had to ask because my orchids are not flowering regularly.

  13. Hi Mr Teo, Yes, the idea is to space out the two intervals. If its rains heavily and you are unable to fertilize, you can fertilize the next day as well. The flowering frequency of the orchids are different for each type. Some varieties flower more frequently than the others. If you have a lot of sun and like orchids that flower frequently, I’ll recommend you the following orchids. Vanda John Clubb, Mokara Moonlight, Mokara Singa Gold, Brassavola hybrids, Vandoritis Hao Xiang Ni. These varieties flower more frequently in our climate under 80% to full sun. silverelf

  14. My orchids’response to increased dosage of your 13.5:27:27 was incredible! Within a few days after application, flower spikes were produced mostly from my Dendrobiums. I therefore would like to buy more packets of EZ-Gro 13.5:27;27 but where can I get them, apart from your Toh Garden? Do they have expiry dates? I usually go to the nurseries in Hougang and only one has your formula BUT they are in old-looking and dusty packets of 200g each and so they were never bought. My main concern is their date of expiration.Your reply is important. Thanks!

  15. Hi Mr Teoh, There is no exact expiration date but I would advise to keep it for about 5 years. Most of the stock that we have is less than a year old. A note on the application of NPK 13.5:27:27, do not overuse this NPK as it will cause the orchid stems to grow thinner and thinner as they exhaust their supply of stored sugars for flowering. After the flowering phase, feed them with NPK 21:21:21 so that they can grow fat before the next flowering. Yes, some nurseries there do distribute our orchids and supplies. You may also order orchids directly from them if its more convenient for you to pick them up. =) silverelf

  16. Hi ! Recently I saw a fertilizer with NPK ratio of 15:45:15 . What is this formulation beneficial to? And which NPK ratio is better to produce flowers- 15:45:15 OR 16:32:20 ?

  17. Dear Silverelf, I read that applying fertilizers to a flowering orchid may cause premature wilting of the flowers. Some growers over the internet gave unhelpful answers. They said that orchids don’t need fertilizers during their flowering season because they do not help the plant in anyway. So should I stop fertilizing to prevent early loss? I need enlightenment on this topic. Thank You!

  18. Dear Silverelf, What is EZ-Gro’s 21:21:21 different from other brands such as Polyfert’s 21:21:21 ? Do you add macronutrients/trace minerals that Polyfert doesn’t/does ?

  19. Dear Silverelf, What is the difference between 21: 21 : 21 from EZ-Gro and Polyfert?

  20. Dear Zhang, We haven’t use Polyfert 21:21:21 before and thus I can’t advise on this. But yes, there are trace elements added to our fertilizers. This is just in very small quantities of other ions such as calcium etc. The main composition of the fertilizers are still the nitrogen, phosphate and potassium composition. silverelf

  21. Hi, Thanks for the article. When fertilizing, I use a spray for mounted orchids. Some have flowers, some have not. Is it ok if the flowers get sprayed as well with the Npk63 or npk67 ? Thanks P.s. Do you have vanda mimi palmer at the moment ?

  22. Hi Joe, Thanks for reading. =) It okay but not advisable to spray the flowers. The flowers will not last if the pollen grains are dislodged. We have the plant but its not in flower at the moment. silverelf

  23. Is it okay or better to mix 2 NPK formulae fertilizers as a combination spray to give the orchids more nutrients? In fact, I mix 13.3-27-27 with 15-45-15 and spray them every 4 days and they have started to produce flower spikes after a dry flowering spell of 2 months. Is this a coincidence or that the mixture is working. Is mixing of different formulae risky in your opinion? Thank you.

  24. Hi Zhang, Its better to separate the 2 formula, and there’s no risk in mixing formula. The only risk is over application of fertilizers. When you mix your formula, you will still have to apply at the closely similar rate of dilution advised on the fertilizer packaging. Over dosage of fertilizers is not good for the plant and excess fertilizers may promote fungal growth. silverelf

  25. Hello! Can someone tell me what fertilizer can i give to a month-old vandas? They were tissue cultured. Thank you.

  26. Is your fertilizer available in Malaysia?

  27. Dear Lim, Our fertilizers is currently not available in Malaysia aside from commercial shipment. However, we can try to send them to you if you arrange a pickup via DHL or Fedex. silverelf

  28. I want to try out your fertilizers. Are they available in any nurseries other than toh garden?

  29. Hi Choo, Yes! You can get the fertilizers at Candy Floriculture, Retail Centres at Kovan, several market stalls all over Singapore (e.g. Tiong Bahru, Red Hill, Jurong, Bukit Batok etc). You may also order our orchids with these stalls for convenience. silverelf

  30. Hi John, Apply half the usual concentration for seedlings. silverelf

  31. Hi, I bought 2 Airplants from Toh Garden at Bigbox. Can you recommend a suitable fertilizer for growth and flowering? Thank You

  32. Hi Patrick! Thank you for your patronage! You can use Ezi Gro NPK63 which is also available from the stall. Miss the plants once a week with it. silverelf

  33. I was told when the orchid is flowering, we should stop fertilising so as to avoid premature wilting? Is it true?

  34. Hi Caroline, That’s probably not true. We continue fertilizing our flowering orchids. silverelf

  35. Hi Silverelf, Re: January 30, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink Hi Patrick! Thank you for your patronage! You can use Ezi Gro NPK63 which is also available from the stall. Miss the plants once a week with it. silverelf I went to BigBox today (4 Feb 16) during lunch. I could not locate NPK63. I found 2 types of fertilizer; pink and blue near the airplants. Nothing on both to indicate that either is NPK63. Try asking the folks at the cashier counter, but to no avail. Please advise.

  36. Hi Silverelf I understand from this thread that NPK64/67 is available at Bigbox. I’m residing in NE, pls confirm if can get there currently?

  37. Hi, do you still have a stall in BigBox? Does Far East Flora sell your fertilizers?

  38. Would NPK 67 help phalaenopsis to re broom?

  39. Hi Jennifer, NPK63 and NPK67 is no longer available at Big Box. We were there for the flower show last year. You can order it from our online shop or drop us an email to order. We can provide delivery for small items like fertilizers and accessories at rate of $10 per trip. silverelf

  40. Hi Guan Hong, No, we are only at BigBox for the orchid show. You can order fertilizers from us online. silverelf

  41. Hi Anthony, Yes, NPK67 is used for inducing flowering. However, the orchid plant need to be mature in order for the flowers to be induced. NPK63 is for growth and feeds the orchid during the resting phase for its recovery after flowering. silverelf

  42. Hello Silverelf, Let’s say about dendrobium. If I grow them from seedling. How should I know dendrobium is mature and ready for flowering ? Thanks. Frenki

  43. What is the urea content/percentage in the 2 types of fertilizers NPK 63 and 67?

  44. Hi Tingting, Its NPK63 12.6% Urea, NPK67 3.14% Urea. silverelf

  45. Hi Silverelf, I recently obtained one long neglected strap leave Vanda, the leaves condition looks okay except few burned spots. But I have problem with its roots, I only have a few roots which absence of the greenish tip. How should I resume its health and trigger its root growths? Thanks

  46. Hi Bryan, Orchid roots without the green root tips have stopped growing. This can happen when the plants is transplanted or shocked. If cultivated in the correct conditions, it will take about 3-6 months to recover. You should be able to observe new root growth (with green tip) around the 3 months period if you are growing the orchid correctly. silverelf

  47. I’ve bought the EZ-Gro orchid fertilizers both blue and pink coloured packs (400gm) from your facilities in Singapore. I’ve different types of orchids in pot, namely mokara, Vanda, Oncidium, Cattleya, Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis and few other orchids which i can’t name. Plz advice me proper use of this EZ-Gro fertilizers. I leave in Bangladesh and weather here is similar to Singapore weather. Regards

  48. Hello Chy, As a basic guideline, apply the blue fertilizer twice a week, and the pink one twice a month. =) silverelf

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