For healthy orchid growth, is a fertilizer spray on leaves useful?
For most orchids, feeding when you add water to the growing medium, to be absorbed by the roots, is the most effective pathway. If an orchid has damaged roots, it is possible to give it a foliar (leaf) feed with a product that is designed for leaf feeding. Some orchid growers use a combination of root feeding and foliar feeding to maximize absorption of different classes of nutrients. In this case, foliar feeding is a supplement rather than a replacement for feeding by roots.
There is a very good article from the St. Augustine Orchid Society describing when, what and how to feed different types of orchids by foliar feeding as a supplement to root feeding that you may find interesting.
For additional information about different types of orchids, including what times of year to feed, please see our orchid guides:
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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