Do your orchids look like they're struggling? Find out how you can use garlic to revive them

by Mark Bennett

November 08, 2023

Do your orchids look like they're struggling? Find out how you can use garlic to revive them

All plants we have at home requires care, but they reward us for this effort by producing beautiful leaves and flowers. And amongst the most beloved of indoor plants, are orchids. In order for orchids to thrive, we must take care of them  throughout the year. This is why many orchid-growers use fertilizers and phyto-stimulants: there are certainly excellent brands on the market, but there is an item commonly found in most pantries that can be used to nourish orchids...

This item is garlic - read on to find out more:

Using garlic for orchid cultivation

Using garlic for orchid cultivation


The best way to use garlic for orchids, is to prepare an infusion, called "garlic water".

The recipe is very simple. Here's what you need:

  • 5 cloves of garlic;
  • 1 generous spoonful of mineral oil (or some other vegetable oil, preferably organic);
  • a drop of organic dish detergent or liquid Marseille soap (without additives), or even soft potassium soap (yellow jelly soap) in liquid form;
  • water.

Here's how to proceed:

  • Crush the garlic cloves and place them in a glass jar;
  • Add the mineral oil: add enough to cover the cloves;
  • Wait two days, with the jar closed, and then filter the oil;
  • At this point, if you also want an anti-parasite product, add the soap (a maximum of one teaspoon); if not move on to the next step;
  • Add half a liter of water and decant into a spray container.

Your DIY mix is ready to administer. By adding soap it will have a viscosity that will let it adhere to the leaves and repell parasites. Without the soap, it will be more liquid and ready to spray on the soil, at the base of the plant.


The benefits of garlic for plants

The benefits of garlic for plants


Garlic contains sulfur - as well as other substances - that are vital macronutrients for plants. Sulfur also helps with the production of chlorophyll; in some plants (such as tomato plantations), it also stimulates root production.

Above all, garlic is useful as a natural pesticide and anti-fungal agent. It should be remembered that, compared to chemical solutions formulated specifically for these purposes, a garlic infusion is about half as powerful, so applications will have to be more frequent than with commercial products.

Don't overdo it: too much garlic can be harmful to orchids

The presence of sulfur in garlic also has a down side: if you overdo the applications, it will damage the orchid. Specifically, new shoots can be killed off from an excess of sulfur.

A bit like with all homemade remedies for plants, don't expect immediate miracles; and just like with any fertilizer, it is always best to be cautious with the doses and the frequency of application.