Food & fertilizer                                                                    

orchid orchids Food & fertilizer orchid orchids

Orchid care comprises 4 major issues as discussed on this web site:
FOOD & FERTILIZER | LIGHT | WATER & HUMIDITY | TEMPERATURE
CLICK ONE of the above underlined items for more information about that particular orchid care aspect.

IN ADDITION, an extensive chapter on this web site about fertilizer mixtures comprising a number of assisting ingredients and agents, can be reached by clicking: Fertilizer

BASIC ORCHID CARE discussed in 20 interactive chapters, a photo gallery with more than 7,000 interactive full screen orchid photos, and an orchid classification system on MöhltiMedia's Orchid cd rom.

ORCHID CARE | FOOD & FERTILIZER | LIGHT | WATER & HUMIDITY | TEMPERATURE | FERTILIZER | ORCHID CD ROM

FOOD & FERTILIZER

Introduction
Like other plants, orchids need a mixture of basic food and additional nutrients in order to grow and bloom. Without a proper mix of food and additional nutrients, orchids will not grow and bloom optimally.

Major basic food components are carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor and light, together with a series of additional nutrients such as minerals. The basic food components are converted by the assimilation process with the assistance of light into plant material. This light assisted assimilation process is also known as the photosynthesis process.

The major food components carbon dioxide and water vapor are present in the air.

Carbon dioxide - CO2
Carbon dioxide constitutes 0.036% of the air volume. Raising the % of carbon dioxide by a factor of 4 has shown positive results on plant growth. However, raising the % of CO2 in air is not easily achieved by orchid hobbyists. Possibilities are: slow release of CO2 gas from a CO2 cylinder, or clean burning of natural gas, propane gas or butane gas.

Water - H2O
Water vapor possesses a varying and temperature dependent %-presence in air (for more details see: WATER & HUMIDITY). The water vapor content of air can be increased by misting water around plants, or by spraying water on the floor of the greenhouse.

Light
Light is derived from sunlight or from artificial light sources such as growth lamps (for more details see: LIGHT).

Fertilizers
The other nutrients are often present in fertilizers. The role and importance of fertilizer mixtures with respect to orchids is often underestimated or not well understood by some orchid growers. A separate chapter on fertilizer mixtures is included on this web site and can be reached by clicking on: FERTILIZER

Temperature
Temperature is one of the controlling factors for growth and flowering of plants. If temperature comes below 50F (10C) or above 110F (40C), growth generally stops and the plants may experience harmful effects. For more details see: TEMPERATURE

Food absorption, migration and growth
Water vapor and CO2 are absorbed from air through pores (stomata) in orchid leaves. The humidity (water vapor content of air) and CO2 concentration of air should be sufficiently high. Additional nutrients, in the form of dissolved fertilizer in water, can be sprayed upon leaves, or can be poured on orchid potting material and orchid roots. The minerals then migrate to the leaves and other parts of the plant to participate in the assimilation process.

Water, CO2 and additional nutrients present in orchid leaves, stems or root tips are converted by light into plant tissue. This photosynthesis or assimilation process is the start of the complex growth process. The basic building blocks resulting from photosynthesis participate in the further growth process through composition of more complex structures such as leaves, stems, flowers, etc.


FOOD & FERTILIZERS are, among others, discussed in a series of 20 interactive chapters on orchid care, present together with a photo gallery with more than 7,000 interactive full screen orchid photos, and an orchid classification system on: MöhltiMedia's Orchid cd rom.


ORCHID CARE | FOOD & FERTILIZER | LIGHT | WATER & HUMIDITY | TEMPERATURE | FERTILIZER | ORCHID CD ROM









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