Can You Use Orchid Fertilizer on Other Plants?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:32 pm

In this article we will look at the topic “Can orchid fertilizer be used for other plants?”. The article contains detailed information about the use of orchid fertilizer for other plants. What are the special properties of orchid fertilizer? Also, we will try to answer your questions about using orchid fertilizer for other plants.

Can orchid fertilizer be used for other plants?

Yes, you can use orchid fertilizer for other plants. It is safe to use orchid fertilizer unless you are using it to fertilize the vegetables you grow at home. Orchid fertilizer can be safely used to grow houseplants. However, you will need to apply the fertilizer in smaller amounts.

Can You Use Orchid Fertilizer on Other Plants?

Orchids are not big consumers of nutrients. There is a high risk of wasting the orchid fertilizer, as it will expire after some time. Instead of wasting the fertilizer, you should apply it to other plants around the house. Besides, you definitely don’t want to strain your wallet. So it’s better to share the orchid fertilizer with your plants.

What’s different about orchid fertilizer?

There’s a common myth about orchid fertilizer that says you’ll get maximum production if you feed an orchid special food. Orchids need an adequate amount of nitrogen in the soil. Orchids’ nitrogen needs are met by adding nitrogen to fertilizer. So fertilizer for orchids may contain slightly more nitrogen than normal fertilizer.

A normal fertilizer usually contains ammonium phosphate, ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate. The fertilizer for orchids also contains the same ingredients, but it contains ammonium nitrate in a higher concentration. This is because orchids require nitrogen in a higher concentration.

Some orchid fertilizers also contain a high concentration of phosphorus. These fertilizers can therefore also be used for growing other flowering plants. Orchid fertilizer is usually dissolved in water and then applied to the plants. Therefore, in most cases, there is an increased chance that the fertilizer will be wasted. It is better to apply the fertilizer to the other houseplants.

Which plants are not suitable for orchid fertilizer?
Fertilizer for orchids should not be used for growing vegetables. This applies to both leafy vegetables and vegetables that bear fruit. The reason is that orchid fertilizer contains not only phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen in higher amounts than usual. The fertilizer also contains certain other chemicals that are not suitable for vegetable crops. So, the orchid fertilizer must not be used for vegetable cultivation.

Mineral ions are necessary for the proper functioning of enzymes. These mineral ions are needed by the roots for efficient nutrient uptake. Magnesium is the main component of chlorophyll, which is needed for photosynthesis. Phosphorus and potassium are needed for the active uptake of water and mineral ions by the root. A deficiency of any of these minerals will cause plants to grow excessively. However, an excess of these minerals can also negatively affect plant growth.

See also  Why Does My Potting Soil Have Mold? (And How To Fix It)

An increased concentration of nitrogen in the soil leads to increased leaf production. Plants would not form flowers and instead focus on leaf development. As a result, vegetable production is also affected. Increased potassium and phosphorus concentration in the soil will unbalance the mineral ion concentration in the plant. Thus, the orchid fertilizer is not suitable for vegetable production.

In addition, orchid fertilizer contains anti-fungal chemicals that are not safe for human consumption. Therefore, the vegetables grown with orchid fertilizer are not safe for human consumption.

How to use orchid fertilizer for growing houseplants?

Can You Use Orchid Fertilizer on Other Plants?

The fertilizer for orchids is usually used dissolved in water. Buy the orchid fertilizer and then dissolve a certain amount in the water. Add the fertilizer to the soil around the plant. When applying orchid fertilizer, there is no difference from other plants. It must be applied in a similar way as for orchids.

However, before you apply the orchid fertilizer to the regular plants, you should check the nutrient content of the soil. If the soil already contains too many nutrients, you should not add nutrients to it, as this will have a negative effect on the plants. Increasing the amount of fertilizer in the soil will also negatively affect the growth and development of the plants.

Only if the soil has a nutrient deficiency should you add the orchid fertilizer to the soil. This would not change the osmotic balance of the soil or the pH of the soil. Since orchid fertilizer is slightly acidic, it could change the pH of the soil around the plant. Therefore, it is recommended that you never add orchid fertilizer to a plant that prefers alkaline soil.

Orchid fertilizer can only be added to plants that prefer to grow in acidic soil. So check the pH of the soil before adding the fertilizer.

Orchids are actually very frugal plants. Most orchids will forgive you periods when you take less care of them. When it comes to fertilizing, however, they have a few quirks.

And you should know them to avoid making care mistakes. Because in the worst case, the orchid will not forgive them. Therefore, in this article you get five simple but effective tips on the subject of fertilizing orchids.

Fertilizing orchids – Tip 1: Use special orchid fertilizer

Should you use special orchid fertilizer? I answer this question quite clearly with yes. This is because orchid fertilizer, unlike “normal” plant fertilizer, is tailored to the nutrient requirements of orchids. And above all, orchid fertilizer is dosed significantly lower than conventional flowering plant fertilizer.

This is important because orchids in their natural habitat are used to a lack of nutrients rather than an excess of nutrients. Therefore, their roots are also extremely sensitive to excessive concentrations of fertilizer. The salts contained in it can damage them permanently.

So for the sake of your orchids, you should definitely use special orchid fertilizer. Using an 08/15 fertilizer, which you also use for all other houseplants, is usually not a good idea.

Fertilizing orchids – Tip 2: The form of fertilizer is important

Liquid fertilizer or fertilizer sticks? Of course, this is also a matter of taste. But I clearly tend to liquid fertilizer. In my opinion, it has several advantages. For one thing, it is easier to dose. You simply add a certain amount of liquid fertilizer to the water and you’re done.

See also  How to Regrow Store-Bought Carrots at Home?

Fertilizer sticks, on the other hand, have to be distributed in the pot. On the other hand, they dissolve over time. In my opinion, this makes it difficult to know how many sticks to use per plant and when to apply the next fertilizer.

Also, with fertilizer sticks, the fertilizer is distributed very unevenly in the pot. So it could happen that some areas and roots get too much fertilizer, while in other places no fertilizer at all.

For other types of plants, fertilizer sticks may be practical because they sit in normal soil and the distribution is different here again. For orchids, however, I think liquid fertilizer is clearly better.

Fertilizing orchids – Tip 3: Calmly apply variety.

There is now a wide variety of orchid fertilizers on the market. Sometimes the choice is not easy. Each fertilizer also has a slightly different composition. Among other things, there are special fertilizers for the time of flower formation, for the time of leaf growth and so on. You certainly don’t need to have ten different orchid fertilizers in your cupboard. And if you feel you are doing well with one, you can safely stick with it.

However, I myself tend to have several different orchid fertilizers in the house. I apply these in loose sequence one after the other. This way, the orchids get a slightly different nutrient composition with each fertilizer application. They can always pick out the nutrients and nutrient concentrations that they need at the time. So I would recommend to alternate the fertilizer brands calmly from time to time or even regularly.

Fertilizing orchids – Tip 4: The right dose at any time of the year

When fertilizing orchids, you should always pay attention to the current season and weather. Because in spring and summer, when the orchids grow their leaves and roots, they need more fertilizer or more often than in autumn and winter, when it comes to flowering. When the orchid shows the first new leaf growth in the spring, you can start to slowly increase the fertilizer applications.

My practice is to add fertilizer to the water almost every time I water in the summer. In winter, I do this accordingly only with every second or third watering. Since the orchids generally use less water in the winter and are watered correspondingly less often, this reduces the absolute amount of fertilizer again. Thus, orchids receive significantly less fertilizer in winter than in summer. In general, you should also water in summer from time to time without fertilizer, so that salt residues can be rinsed out a little.

Fertilizing orchids – Tip 5: Less is more

When I add fertilizer to my dipping water for the orchids, I always use a little less fertilizer per liter of water than indicated on the packaging. Reason: Too little fertilizer harms the orchids, if at all, much slower than too much fertilizer. You should never overdose orchid fertilizer. Once the roots are damaged by too much fertilizer, they often do not recover properly.

In addition, the fertilizer also accumulates in the orchid substrate and can thus reach a concentration that is harmful to the roots over time. If you can already see white salt crystals on the surface of the substrate, it is time to give the orchid fresh substrate. In general, you should repot orchids about every two years. New substrate is sometimes already pre-fertilized. If this is the case, you can skip fertilizing for at least four weeks after repotting.

See also  How Do You Grow A Motherwort Plant?

I hope that my tips on fertilizing orchids have helped you. If you have more questions about fertilizing orchids, feel free to leave me a comment.


In this detailed guide, we have successfully addressed the issue of “Can orchid fertilizer be used for other plants?”. The fertilizer specified for orchid cultivation can be used for other houseplants as well. However, the fertilizer can not be applied to the vegetables. Depending on the ingredients of the orchid fertilizer, it can be used for other plants as well. If you have any questions about using orchid fertilizer for other plants, feel free to ask them in the comments section.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can orchid fertilizer be used for other plants?

Yes, orchid fertilizer can also be used for other houseplants. The leftover fertilizer can be used for flowering plants. However, it is not suitable to use it for vegetables.

Can I use orchid fertilizer for tomato plants?

No, you can not use orchid fertilizer for tomato plants. The fertilizer for orchids contains a high percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Besides these mineral ions, it also contains certain other chemicals that are not suitable for growing vegetables. Tomato plants are big consumers of nutrients. If the soil already has a high nitrogen content, adding more nitrogen would dry out the plant.

Can orchid fertilizer be used for other plants?

Yes, orchid fertilizer is also good for other plants. However, the plants must not be vegetables. The commercially available fertilizer for orchids is quite expensive. Therefore, in most cases, there is a risk that the fertilizer will be wasted. But you can use this fertilizer for growing houseplants.

Is orchid fertilizer acidic?

The fertilizer for orchids has a pH value in the range of 5.5 to 6.5. This pH value is slightly acidic and is needed for the growth of orchids.

Does orchid fertilizer contain something special?

No, orchid fertilizer does not contain special ingredients. There is a widespread myth about orchid fertilizer, which says that orchids need special nutrients. However, this is just a myth and does not correspond to reality. The orchids contain only some of the minerals in a higher concentration than the normal plants.

How can I decide if the orchid fertilizer is suitable for growing houseplants?

You can decide that by looking at the description on the fertilizer bag. Most manufacturers have written the ingredients and instructions on the bag. Based on this information, you can decide whether the fertilizer is suitable for growing houseplants or not.

Can orchid fertilizer be used for other plants?


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *