Which foods for orchids?

"Compost", "Coco Husk", "Sphagnum Moss", "Orchid Focus Feed", "Superthrive vitamin-hormone", "Mineral Magic clay powder organic matter", "Diamond Nectar Fulvic Acid", "Bio Essentials micro nutrients", "Clonex rooting gel", "Hydroton Clay Pellets", "Superdrive natural additive", "Humic Acid Concentrate Liquid"
"AAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHH!"... I read orchids were easy to grow; this list I've found complicates it all... My idea of growing plants was 'seed/bulb', 'dirt', 'water', 'light' & 'time'...
Is the above list necessary? What are their merit?
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I have three fertilizers for my Orchids and they thrive.

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On 11/22/2007 12:30 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

For feeding, use any commercial orchid food that has equal N-P-K numbers and that dissolves easily in cool water. For each use, mix per the instructions. Be careful not to make the mix too strong, or you will burn the roots. I feed my Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium every other weekend. On the weekends that I don't feed them, I water them; I also give the Cymbidium extra water mid-week.
Tropical orchids are generally epiphytic, growing in the leaf debris that accumulates on tree branches. In flower pots, they are usually planted in either something fibrous (e.g., tree fern bark) or chunky (e.g., small pieces of fir bark). In any case, the medium should absorb water but have perfect drainage, allowing air to reach the roots. Sphagnum moss in strands is okay, but don't use screened sphagnum because it holds too much moisture and blocks air.
Temperate orchids are generally terrestrial, growing in the ground. But they too need excellent drainage. My do-it-yourself potting mix (see <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html ) with an equal amount of partially composted wood chips and without added nutrients would be a good medium.
Most orchids need strong indirect light without direct sun shine. They also prefer high humidity. I meet that need by setting their pots on top of pebbles in saucers and keeping water in the saucers up to the top of the pebbles. The bottoms of my pots might touch the water, but they're not sitting in water. Humidity is also provided by having my orchids surrounded by other house plants.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On 2007-11-22 15:30:10 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com said:

You don't need any of that stuff. You could use Miracle grow to feed at half strength every other watering or 2 during the growing season.
Superthrive isn't fertilizer, as a matter of fact it's snake oil.
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Since orchids are epiphytes, you don't need to worry about dirt.
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
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Yup, no dirt, orchid mix.
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wrote:

Actually, I've been to visit with people who hybridize orchids are are working on a true red currently and they use many different mediums on different orchids. I've seen some of them in a mixture of compost, pine needles, horticultural charcoal and moss. Some were growing in the charcoal, pine needles and wood chips. It depends on whether or not the orchid is an epiphyte or not. That said, it depends on what kind of orchids you have and there is an entire library in every imaginable form on the Internet. I recommend you visit on of the thousands of websites which give explicit instruction on growing orchids. They are very easy to grow if you have all the right conditions.
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[snip]
Or -- Orchid care is overstated. Don't obsess over the "right" conditions -- orchids are incredibly easy to grow and VERY forgiving, especially in Florida or Hawaii. You just go out and buy some inexpensive orchids and give them some water/orchid fertilizer mix every once in a while. When I see one that I like (both price and color) I'll buy it, stick it in with the others I've bought in a shelter I've made, and water/fertilize them whenever it occurs to me. After four years I've got an oncidium that's 3' around with flower stalks 5' long, a garden full of epidendrum radicans "ground cover", a vanda terrete that's 10' tall growing in a Royal Poinciana, a couple of Cattleyas that flower twice a year that I've tied into the trunk of Australian tree ferns, some Cymbiums that have naturalized in the ground, and others. The Phaleonopsis ("Moth Orchids") don't seem to like this routine -- probably too much water during our rainy summers. My solution -- I don't buy them any more.
Orchids here take a lot less care than roses or most other landscape plants. It's only when you decide you want the perfect blooms or want to do some hybridizing or you decide to make it a really serious hobby that it starts to take up your time, so start with cheap and easy, keep them out of the cold and don't let them get direct sun. They'll tell you what they need after that.
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Good info at http://www.gardeners.com/Growing-Orchids/default/5072.page
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