Encourage Orchids To Bloom With A Kitchen Scrap You'd Be Dumping Anyway

Orchids are popular among gardeners for their mix of beauty and ease of care. Though low hassle, most orchids benefit from fertilizer, especially during their active growth periods. While store-bought fertilizer certainly works, you may be overlooking something that is right in your kitchen since used rice water can serve as fertilizer in your garden and help orchids bloom naturally.

With thousands of different varieties, orchids are so versatile. They are also surprisingly low-key. They require infrequent watering and you don't even have to deadhead them. Orchids also attract pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. Some orchids can thrive in various lighting conditions, which allows you to incorporate them into different areas of your home or garden. One of the best parts is that while individual blooms may not last forever, some varieties flower multiple times a year. Of course, taking good care of them is paramount and a big part of good care is fertilizer.

What rice water can do for orchids

Choosing the best fertilizer for your orchid depends on several factors, including the type of orchid you have, its growth stage, and your growing conditions. However, in general, you want balanced fertilizers. They contain the three main nutrients that orchids need in equal proportions, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 is a good starting point for most orchids. Nitrogen helps grow lush, green leaves, phosphorus promotes strong roots and vibrant blooms, and potassium helps ward off disease and stress.

When looking for a natural DIY fertilizer for orchids, rice water can help in a few different ways. Since orchids require a balanced supply of nutrients for healthy growth, the biggest boost that rice water offers is that it is nutrient-rich and filled with vitamins and minerals that are essential for orchid development. Comparable to store-bought fertilizer, it contains nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium as well as several B vitamins. This also helps support foliage growth, root development, and flower production. All of this helps orchids get the proper nourishment to thrive.

Rice water helps orchids utilize starch

Rice water is naturally starchy and the starch content in it provides energy for orchids. The starch in it is a steady reserve of fuel which helps growth. By adding leftover rice water to your orchids, you can essentially give them an energy boost. In addition, rice water helps enrich the natural soil microbiome by fostering beneficial bacteria in the soil, which creates a healthier environment for their roots, yet too much of it can introduce harmful bacteria and lead to root rot. It can also attract insects that feed on starch like silverfish. Aim to add rice water to your orchids once a month. Fertilizing too often is one of the common mistakes that is sure to kill an orchid.

To add rice water to your regular orchid care routine, simply save the used rice water and allow it to cool down until it reaches room temperature. You can store it in the refrigerator and pour the rice water into your orchid pots or pour it into a spray bottle and spray it every month. For an added boost, use brown rice which is even more enriched with vitamins and nutrients than white rice.