In this guide we’ll take a look at the best orchid foods for the UK market.
I’ve compared nutritional value, effectiveness, sprayer design and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best orchid foods for the UK market.
What is the Best Orchid Food?
- Best all purpose orchid food: Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Concentrate
- Best concentrate solution: Baby Bio Orchid Food
- Best for keeping in bloom: Growth Technology Orchid Focus Bloom
- Best orchid food spray: Growth Technology Orchid Myst Spray
- Best orchid drip feeder: Baby Bio Orchid Drip Feeders
Comparing The Best Orchid Foods
Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.
- Best For
- Time to results
- Application Method
- Liquid to Water Ratio
- Our score
- Best all purpose orchid food
- Feeds for 1 week
- Soak orchid to solution
- 1 pump to 1L water
- CHECK PRICE →
- Best concentrate solution
- 3-6 weeks
- Use with every watering
- 5-10 drops to 0.5L water
- CHECK PRICE →
- Best for keeping in bloom
- 2-3 weeks
- Apply with every other watering
- 5ml to 2L water
- CHECK PRICE →
- Best orchid food spray
- 2-3 weeks
- Ready to use spray
- CHECK PRICE →
- Best orchid drip feeder
- 2-4 weeks
- 4 x 40ml
- Ready to use orchid feeder
- CHECK PRICE →
In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Orchid Foods
Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Concentrate Review
- Time to results: Feeds for 1 week
- Size: 200ml
- Application Method: Soak orchid to solution
- Liquid to Water Ratio: 1 pump to 1L water
If you struggle to persuade orchids to re-flower after their initial bloom, this Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Concentrate is a useful product for helping them come back to life.
It’s not always easy to keep on top of orchid maintenance, and I imagine we’ve all seen a few unhappy orchids in our time. However, this concentrated fertiliser does seem to vastly improve orchid health, and it’s very straight forward to apply.
Without needing to waste time with measuring out product, you can quickly distribute one ‘pump’ of formula straight into 1 L of water. It’s a very simple process, and then you soak your orchid in the solution for 10 minutes.
Given that the bottle contains 200 ml of liquid, the contents will last a long time when only using 1 pump per week. It’s therefore relatively good value for money, and even more so in that it successfully persuades new growth and flowering on old, dormant-looking orchids.
Even if you have an orchid which looks ready for the compost heap, you might find that you’re able to revitalise it – some benefits of using this orchid food can be seen within a week, including rejuvenating some rather sad-looking plants.
There’s just one small inconvenience when comparing this with some other products: seeing as the orchid needs to be soaked in this solution it’s a bit more time consuming than just spraying the product on directly, which is how some other orchid treatments are applied.
- No measuring of this solution required - simply add 1 pump per 1 L of water
- Visible results can be noticed after one use
- Good value for money as the concentrated solution does not get used up quickly
- Has to be applied by soaking orchids, which is not as simple as applying a spray directly to the roots
Baby Bio Orchid Food Review
- Time to results: 3-6 weeks
- Size: 175ml
- Application Method: Use with every watering
- Liquid to Water Ratio: 5-10 drops to 0.5L water
Orchids don’t come cheap, and looking after them can sometimes be pretty costly too. Fortunately, inexpensive yet effective orchid fertiliser does exist, and this Baby Bio Orchid Food is one of the best orchid foods to buy if you’re after value for money.
Whilst it may seem a reasonably small bottle, containing 175 ml, you only need to use 5 – 10 drops diluted into half a litre of water. Given that you only need to water weekly as well, this economically-priced product is going to last a long time.
Seeing as it’s possible to control the number of droplets that you use, you can also use less product if you want to use less water. For example, if that one orchid that your friend gave you for your birthday is looking a bit peaky, but you don’t want to mix up half a litre of formula each time, you can easily reduce the number of drops and water that you use.
Generally, after starting to use this product, orchids that may not have flowered recently, or seem to have stopped growing, start showing new signs of life; this might be in the form of new flowers, stems, or leaves. With an NPK composition of 5.3 – 0.95 – 0.7, this high nitrogen content is generally an excellent formula for encouraging growth.
The only downside to this product is how difficult the bottle can be to open; whilst not always the case, there are occasions when it feels like the bottle is sealed shut. It’s one of those situations where the child-proof seal seems to go above and beyond its requirement – you might need to be prepared to apply some elbow grease to proceedings.
- Often encourages new flowers and new stems to grow in a matter of weeks
- Lasts a very long time, as only 5-10 drops are needed per pint of water
- The screw top is child-proof
- The childproof lid can sometimes be unusually difficult to open, often requiring a very good grip whilst pressing down on the lid. May be difficult for those with arthritis.
- Some customers may not notice a difference in results between this orchid food and standard plant food
- Shouldn't be used for other plants, so don't buy this feed intending to use it as general fertiliser
Growth Technology Orchid Focus Bloom Review
- Time to results: 2-3 weeks
- Size: 300ml
- Application Method: Apply with every other watering
- Liquid to Water Ratio: 5ml to 2L water
Orchids are at their most stunning when covered in a flurry of flowers, but they’re not necessarily easy to keep that way. The high levels of phosphorus and potassium in this Growth Technology Orchid Focus Bloom are intended to focus on supporting and prolonging heavy flowering.
After using this formula, flowers have been seen to regrow even after dropping relatively recently, and new buds, stems and leaves appear a well. If you have an orchid that has been sitting dormant for some time, this formula has successfully ‘awoken’ orchids in similar states, prompting flowers where there haven’t been any for some time.
Particularly useful for people with several orchids due to the quantity of product, the 300 ml bottle holds enough formula to make 120 L of solution. For each application, just 1 teaspoon is required to mix with 2 L of water.
Of course, if you only have one orchid you can just halve or quarter the amounts so as not to use so much water.
Generally, results can be quite impressive and there are a lot of nutrients contained in this orchid food to boost the health and appearance of your plant. When it comes to the design of the bottle itself though, it is not quite as easy to dispense the liquid as with the other orchid fertilisers featured here.
The only way to measure out the formula is to pour it into a teaspoon to measure it out. Naturally, this can be a little messy and inaccurate, so it’s slightly less quick and practical to use than some other products.
- Keeps orchids in bloom for a long time
- With just 5 ml needed per 2 L of water, this orchid feed lasts a long time and is good value for money
- Helps increase soil fertility and boost growth as well as encouraging orchids to bloom
- There is no 'dispenser' so product has to be poured out and measured, which can be a little messy and inaccurate
- Results can be inconsistent and vary from orchid to orchid
- Needs to be stored in a cool place at a minimum temperature of 6°C so shouldn't be left in the shed over winter
Growth Technology Orchid Myst Spray Review
- Time to results: 2-3 weeks
- Size: 300ml
- Application Method: Ready to use spray
- Liquid to Water Ratio: N/A
Orchids often seem to be ‘wanting’ something, but it can be pretty hard to know what – Water? Humidity? Light? A melodic song?
Using the Growth Technology Orchid Myst Spray at least makes it easier to be sure your orchid is getting the right nutrients, which can sometimes be a large part of the problem.
It’s slightly different compared to the other orchid foods featured here. Whilst most other products need to be mixed in with the plant’s water, this one is misted over the roots and leaves. As a result, it can be applied more often than other orchid foods, around 2 – 3 times a week, without the need to water at the same time.
It’s therefore one of the best orchid foods to go for if you’re particularly worried about overwatering your orchid when using dilutable fertilisers. There can be times when you just don’t want to water your plant, but know it could do with some food, which is where this spray mist comes in handy.
It’s quick to use, with no need for dilution, so you don’t need to set any time aside; you just spray a couple of time every few days during the growing season. The mist contains all the nutrients your orchids need, and the spray is designed to replicate the nutritional environment of these plants in the wild.
In terms of results, the spray has brought near-deceased orchids back from the brink, and encourages flowers to form more regularly. Plus, once the orchid has bloomed, its flowers are less likely to fall.
- Much easier to use than other orchid feeds as there’s no diluting or measuring required - simply spray your orchids every few days
- Contains a natural insect repellent that should keep most pests away
- Many customers have noticed their orchids starting to bloom within a few weeks and continue to bloom
- 300 ml container should last for at least one flowering season if not longer
- Some users have commented that the spray function isn’t the best quality and is difficult to use initially
- May not deter mealybugs so if this is a primary reason for purchasing this product, you may need to buy an additional insect repellent
- Need to be careful not to misdirect the spray and accidentally spray on flowers - the formula may scorch them
Baby Bio Orchid Drip Feeders Review
- Time to results: 2-4 weeks
- Size: 4 x 40ml
- Application Method: Ready to use orchid feeder
- Liquid to Water Ratio: N/A
These Baby Bio Orchid Drip Feeders automatically dispense food for your orchids, without any further action required from you. Therefore, if you’d prefer to just focus on watering your orchid correctly, without the worry of adding additional fertiliser, you’ll likely find this to be one of the best solutions.
Food is delivered drip by drip to the orchid; you just need to cut off the tip of the feeder and then push it into the soil. If you tend to catch sight of your orchid when it’s just that little bit too late, and it’s already going over, this type of feeder will stop that from happening -consistently maintaining its health without requiring any drastic action.
Given that each feeder lasts four weeks, and four feeders come in one pack, this is a pretty decent-value set as well. Even using them regularly will cost less than occasionally buying a replacement orchid, if that’s what you’re tempted to do! Plus, these feeders can also help keep your plant alive whilst you’re on a short holiday without enlisting the help of a neighbour.
Orchids grow quite significantly in size when using this product, and flowers also seem to bloom much more regularly. A single bottle is recommended for a pot of 15 – 20 cm in diameter, so if you have larger pots you may have to use more than one.
The biggest downside is the dependence on single-use plastic – there is no easy way to refill the drip feeders once they run out, so, really, they have to be just thrown away which doesn’t feel great in terms of the environment.
- The easiest plant food to use - you can just place it into the soil and leave it to get to work
- A great option for those who regularly forget to feed their orchids
- Most users have noticed their orchids becoming healthier and more vibrant
- Each feeder lasts for around 4 weeks
- More expensive than buying a single bottle of orchid feed - not the best value for money
- Not the most eco-friendly option as each orchid has its own individually-packaged single-use feeder
- Some users have found their feeders don’t drip correctly and need regular monitoring
- The packaging is bright and somewhat garish, sticking out of the flowerpot, which some customers feel spoils the look of their orchids
Things to Know Before Buying Orchid Food
Orchids are widely available and easy to grow (with a little know how!), making them perfect for both beginner gardeners and those with slightly greener thumbs.
Choosing fertiliser that is specifically designed for orchids is a great way to keep your plant healthy and encourage plenty of new flowers.
Finding the best orchid food for your plant will help it thrive, so there are a few things to bear in mind when deciding which product will work best for you:
General Orchid Care
Using orchid food is a great way to encourage your orchids to grow stronger and healthier. However, if you don’t have the right conditions to begin with, orchids can be a tricky plant to grow.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to properly care for an orchid plant:
It’s easy to overwater an orchid, so this is the first thing to avoid.
Insert your little finger several centimetres into the pot to ascertain how damp the soil is. If it is wet or damp, the orchid doesn’t require watering. If it’s dry – it’s time to water.
How often you will need to water depends on your orchid and the environmental conditions, so checking the soil is a good way to gauge when to water.
Try to use distilled water, or collected rain water, to water your orchid.
You can water by submerging – this means leaving the orchid to sit in water for 10 – 15 minutes and then allowing it to drain for 5 minutes before pouring the remaining water out.
Water using ice cubes – if it is not winter or too cold, one ice cube twice a week can be placed under the leaves, on top of the potting bark. Remove excess water if you notice any pooling.
Water using a watering can – water sparingly and avoid getting water on the plant. You want to be aiming for the roots.
Humidity and Sunlight
Orchids are originally from humid environments, so keeping the atmosphere humid helps them thrive. Misting can help recreate this humidity. It must be done with a very fine mist, and be wary not to overwater even when misting.
Be sure to keep your orchid out of direct sunlight. This can’t be stressed enough! Your orchid needs indirect sunlight and a consistent temperature (no drafts or radiators!) to thrive.
Feeding Your Orchid
- Don’t pour orchid food onto the leaves of the plant as it will scold them and do more damage than good!
- Be mindful to apply liquid food directly onto the soil, using a watering can with a narrow spout can help this.
- If your orchid is in a period of active growth, this is a great time to feed it.
- You can feed your orchid even during its dormant period (orchids often have a 6 – 9 month dormancy period). Using half-strength fertiliser every couple of weeks, or every month, will help keep your orchid happy during this time.
The Different Types of Orchid Food
Orchid feed comes in many different forms. The most popular options are either concentrate (which will need diluting), misters or drip feeders.
These foods require diluting before use. They tend to offer the best value for money because there are a lot of applications in one bottle.
In general, concentrated products work well. They can be mixed in with the plant’s water, and are generally applied weekly or biweekly.
Some concentrated products have been designed to be easier to dispense than others. They may have a ‘pump’ dispenser that allows you to easily dispense the correct amount of fertiliser, or a ‘drop’ dispenser that stops you from using too much product.
These are easier to use than products without a specifically-designed dispensing system as those products have to be measured out manually using a teaspoon or other utensil.
Misting sprays are very easy to use, and can be used more frequently than concentrated food. A few sprays should be misted over the orchid’s leaves and roots, generally every few days.
These sprays also help add humidity to the orchid and allow you to give it food without risking overwatering.
You can skip watering if your plant doesn’t need it, without having to skip fertilising as well.
If you are not a confident orchid grower, or you’re just looking for a fuss-free feeding route, a drip-feeder is a really convenient and reliable option. You can set a drip feeder running and not have to give orchid fertilisation a second thought until it runs out.
These feeders can generally last for around four weeks, so you’ll only need to focus on watering your orchid during this time.
Drip feeders can also be a good choice if you’re going away on holiday and are looking for something to tide your plants over.
The primary downside of purchasing drip-feeder products is that they are often single-use plastics, so they are not the best choice for the environment.
Orchid Feed vs Standard Houseplant Feed
Many people choose to feed their orchids using normal houseplant food. However, this food doesn’t normally have quite the right formula for orchids, and likely won’t give your plant the real oomph that you’re after.
Complete orchid feeds contain a huge range of nutrients specifically for orchids, as well as the standard mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This is often referred to as ‘NPK’ because of their chemical symbols.
Sometimes standard fertilisers can be ‘NPK 20-20-20’ meaning they have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. However, orchid feeds tend to have different NPK mixes to normal plant foods.
Some orchid foods have a higher nitrogen content. Nitrogen is beneficial for encouraging stem growth and healthy leaves, creating solid foundations for flowers.
For example, the Baby Bio Orchid Food has an NPK composition of 5.3 – 0.95 – 0.7, this high nitrogen content is considered a good choice for encouraging growth.
The section below gives a bit more information about the different nutrients and their purposes.
The Purpose of Different Nutrients
Most orchid feeds contain a diverse range of nutrients and a specially designed formula. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the three main nutrients required by plants.
It can help to know what each nutrient is beneficial for, as sometimes different strength formulas can be more beneficial at different moments in the growing cycle.
Nitrogen tends to encourage new growth. This is good if you have a very sparse plant. It also encourages the development of leaves and a strong stem, creating a good base for flowers to grow from.
Phosphorous is good for the roots of a plant and to encourage flowering. This is why it can be especially good to feed your orchid when you notice that it is in an ‘active growth’ stage, as you will be giving it the nutrients needed to flower.
Potassium is another valuable nutrient for flowering orchids, aiding the growth of blooms. Not only that, but it promotes overall plant health.
Speed of Results
Orchid feeds can generally act quite quickly, but it does also depend in what stage of its cycle your orchid is.
The fastest-acting orchid feed can start to noticeable affect your orchids in just a few days, although it may take up to 3 weeks before you notice a difference with the slower acting feed.
If your orchid is in its dormant phase, you may notice a difference to the general health of the plant in around a week, but it will not start flowering until it comes out of dormancy.
Some people who use orchid feed notice their orchid start to bud and flower within a couple of weeks of using the product; however, it can be hard to say for sure if this is as a direct result of using orchid food, or if it would have happened anyway.
Orchid Food FAQs
How often should I feed and water my orchid?
Orchids do not like to sit in water and their roots may rot in wet compost. You should water then about once a week but ensure that you allow excess water to drain away thoroughly. Ideally, use tepid rainwater, or distilled water.
Orchids also like high humidity. To increase humidity you can mist them, or sit their pots on a wide saucer of gravel half-filled with water to act as a humidifier.
Different types of orchids have different nutrient requirements; however, most are not particularly heavy feeders. As a general rule, feed with a liquid orchid fertiliser every/every other watering during the growing season.
Many orchids have a dormant rest period, usually during the winter months, when watering and feeding should be reduced (but not stopped entirely).
Can’t I just use a more diluted houseplant food to feed my orchid?
You can do this, and it will probably keep your orchid alive and flowering. However, complete orchid foods have added micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, boron and copper that these plants require in small amounts for optimal health.
It is a good idea to use a specific orchid food at least once a month to ensure your plant gets the full range of nutrients it needs.
Where should I position my orchid?
Try to find a bright place out of direct sunlight for your orchid. Near a north facing window usually suits them well. Most orchids like daytime temperatures of about 18°C and a night time temperature of about 10°C.
Of course, during winter this isn’t always possible, so you just need to make sure you keep it in the warmest room that still has sufficient sunlight.
Don’t place your orchid near any drafts or radiators – fluctuations in temperature will not be appreciated by these plants!