About Orchid Excellence

A Quick Explanation on Fertiliser
My orchid growing began over 30 years ago and when I began, I used a premix variety of fertiliser. Being a Chemistry teacher was a big advantage as I had the ability to develop my own fertiliser that has suited my needs over the years. I set up an excel spreadsheet and added values until I obtained the ratios that I desired. Maybe not the most efficient method, but very effective. This then became the basis for my fertiliser, later named Orchid Excellence.
The major elements required for plant growth are: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, calcium magnesium. A quick summary of what these nutrients do for the plant is covered next.
Nitrogen, N, is required for strong growth as it is the major component of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein found in all cells.
Phosphorus, (P), has its major role in energy storage and transfer, development of strong roots and ripening of seeds and fruit.
Potassium, (K), has many important processes such as regulating water uptake, flower and seed production.
Sulphur, (S), is also found in amino acids and hence required for protein production, such as chlorophyll.
Calcium, (Ca), is involved in producing and maintaining strong cell walls.
Magnesium, (Mg), is a major component of chlorophyll which is vital for photosynthesis.
I use a few major chemicals to provide these major elements. These are ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), potassium nitrate (KNO3), potassium hydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4), calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) and magnesium sulphate (MgSO4).
The micronutrients, or trace elements that I use are: iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo). These are all provided as chelated compounds, except for boron, as this provides greater uptake by the plants.
The reason for a two-part mix is due to the low solubility of calcium sulphate and hence precipitation problems. If I were to put all the chemicals in a powder form or mixed them as a concentrate, much of the calcium and sulphate would precipitate. As both calcium and sulphur are required for plant growth they must remain in solution when the plant is fertilised. Calcium sulphate is sparingly soluble and it will remain in solution at low concentrations. This low concentration is what you provide when you are fertilising your plants.
The fertiliser that I use is my own formulation and have done so for the past 20 years. More recently, for more than five years, it has been known and sold as Orchid Excellence. After a visit from some other orchid growers to the nursery to purchase fertiliser, as they had for many years previously, a friend at that time, suggested I should sell more of my fertiliser. When we were looking at the superior growth of my ORCHID plants and the EXCELLENCE in spike habit and flowers with good depth of colour, the fertiliser named itself. This simple combination of words seemed like a great name and the fertiliser, Orchid Excellence, was named.
The fertiliser formula has the following ratio.
Element N : P : K : Mg : Ca : S 
Ratio 10.8 : 3.5 : 12.2 : 2.2 : 4.6 : 3.0
Trace elements are also added.
Beware, one mistake that many people make is that they look at a fertiliser’s N : P : K and think that if it has a high number e.g. 20.5 : 8.5 : 12 then it is a stronger, or more concentrated fertiliser. It ONLY tells you the RATIO of what is present NOT the concentration. If there are claims on a label of a double strength concentrate because the ratio is higher, then it does not necessarily follow that this is the case. I would test any fertiliser being used for its electrical conductivity, (EC), reading before I used it. There may be some surprises, either higher or lower than claimed and it is always best to know what concentration your fertiliser is before you apply it to your plants.
I fertilise at a moderate concentration, EC reading about 0.7 on my device. I do this every time I water. My belief in a little often is the best form of fertilising and as I have the ability to do this, I do so. If fertilising once a week then a concentration a little higher would be advisable but not much higher as you may well cause problems with over salting your plants.
The proof in a good fertiliser regime is in the way your plants grow. Good strong, healthy plants, with good colour that flower well would suggest you are fertilising correctly. There is nothing better than seeing an actively growing plant that provides a beautiful flowering for your and others pleasure.