With the number of fertilizers on the market, choosing the right fertilizer for your orchids can make your head spin! Don't get overwhelmed, proper nutrition doesn't need to be complicated.
All fertilizers are not the same! Fortunately, manufacturers are required to follow a set of rules and when listing the chemical elements inside the package. Comparing fertilizers isn't difficult when you know how to read the label.
All fertilizers contain three main ingredients called macro-nutrients - Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potash (K). Fertilizer packages have three numbers on the front panel that describe what percentage of each element is in the fertilizer. This is called the "NPK" ratio.
The first number is percentage of Nitrogen (N) - for growing leaves and stems. The second number is the percentage of Phosphorus (P) - for flower production, and the third is the percentage Potash (K) - for stronger roots.
For example, if your fertilizer has 8-9-5 on the front panel, it contains 8% nitrogen, 9% Phosphorus, and 5% Potash.