I agree Wade.
I think that you can consider the NPK and other mineral nutrients as the building blocks used by the orchids. You can't build essential proteins without N for example. K and some other nutrients function to facilitate essential plant processes. Orchids grow slowly and don't need much N, but they do need it. Water and carbon dioxide are other essential building blocks.
The real energy though is sunlight. You can think of it as the bricklayer that puts it all together (or better yet, maybe the breakfast that drives the bricklayer)
All of these component's are needed in some measure to get good growth and performance. Plant performance is always limited by the component that is in shortest supply (this is called Liebig's law of the minimum).
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