The most important advantage of commercially available fertilizers is the possibility of precise dosing according to type and quantity and the resulting satisfaction of the requirements of the plant.

Nitrogen can be considered as nutrients (N), Phosphor (P) and potash (K), where N is substance-forming, P influences the formation of flowers and K essentially effects the development and consolidation of the flowers and fruits.

Depending on the age, State of development and season of the year are to be fertilized differently. Penningsfeld, Weihenstephan, has subjected the nutritional problem to in-depth studies. At the time of the new through-shoot he recommends an increased supply of nitrogen and stronger phosphorus at the end of the shoot- and Kali emphasis.

The fertilization scheme looks like this:

The order of the numbers corresponds to the proportions of nitrogen, Phosphorus and potash.

The receptivity is differentiated within the genres. The information here relates to the most important orchids in horticulture. However, they are equally interesting for the orchid lover. Nutrient requirements and salt tolerance seem to be linked, the order from lowest to higher demand is roughly: Cymbidium, Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Cattleya. Paphiopedilum are relatively sensitive to salt; Inorganic fertilization is not recommended, even organic fertilizer should only be given in the mildest form.

So far, only liquid nutrition has been discussed. Stock fertilization by adding nutrients in solid form to the plant matter is generally not common. References can be found in the literature, that good successes through horn, bone- or blood meal, which were added to the substrate in small amounts. For orchids, which receive humus plant material – wie Cymbidium, Coelogyne, Lycaste u.a. -, there are no concerns. With those genera, which Osmunda-based substrate received, such fertilization is not advantageous because of the more rapid decomposition of the material.

Like much else in orchid care, fertilization is a matter of opinion.

1 Cattleya import upon arrival; 2 Import plant of Cattleya skinneri; 3 Imported pieces of Oncidium phymatochilum; 4 Oncidium leucochilum, established; 5 Paphiopedilum callosum import after arrival 6 Paphiopedilum callosum, established; 7 Imported piece from Hartwegia; 8 Block culture of small orchids

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