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Fertilizing blooming plants

This is a discussion on Fertilizing blooming plants within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi everyone, I have been thinking of a asking this question for some time now. ...

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  1. #1
    hank3443 is offline Senior Member
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    Hank Johnson
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    Mostly Phals. (miniature)
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    Mar 2008
    Ocean Grove, New Jersey
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    Smile Fertilizing blooming plants

    Hi everyone, I have been thinking of a asking this question for some time now.
    At first i just didn't have the experience and just excepted the explanation that blooming orchids do not use any fertilizer, however now after six years as a hobby grower i feel i would like to see what other growers think about fertilizing when blooming. I can see the the reasoning with phals. or any orchids that bloom on old growth, but what about orchids that bloom on new growth with new plants forming? Thanks in advance your input.

  2. #2
    Real Name
    Zainal Abidin Bin Othman
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    Huntleya, Bollea, Cochleanthes
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    Apr 2006
    Melaka, West Malaysia
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    Most orchids if you didn't fertilize them their growth habits will change either very skinny or stunted, in nature the barks provide a lots of nutrient and also from the activity of insects and animals waste.
    Certain orchids like some Coelogyne alliance, many South America species like Paphinia Gallottia, Clowesia species and so on when the new growth appear the flower spikes will follow especially when they get constant balance nutrients and excess potassium, phosphate at that particular time.
    Basic principal is the same mine here always sprays twice a week with N:P:K 20;2:20 and alternate with N:P:K 67. May it's help you Hank.

  3. #3
    catttan's Avatar
    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Outside 24/7
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    cattleyas, vandaceous,paphios
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    Sep 2009
    Kedah, Peninsular Malaysia
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    I spray fertiliser weakly weekly regardless of whether they are flowering or not. I know that some buds and flowers are sensitive to fertiliser and may blast if fertiliser is sprayed directly on them but so far my orchids seem to be quite tolerant. That may be due to the fact I use a very weak solution of fertiliser.

  4. #4
    remo is offline Senior Member
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    cattleya, cymbidium
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    Apr 2010
    Marina Del Rey, California
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    Dear Hank,
    I'm going to go out on a limb and reply based upon nothing more than my own baseless opinion...I think that blooming must take a lot out of an orchid plant-as it does any other can you have a strong, vigorous bloom without a strong vigorous plant? I've heard very experienced growers state that we should replicate as close as possible the plants natural environment, including what is nutritionally available to the plant-then there are growers that claim that we can and should provide a much more enhanced environment for successful growth. If you look at pictures of orchids in situ you will see some (not all!) pretty mangy specimens! On the other hand, you see photos of experienced growers' plants, in and out of bloom, and most of them look terrific! Brimming over with vitality! While it is fine to let nature take its course, we who grow orchids have certainly not done that! We have potted, manipulated, hybridized, etc. In Golden Gate Park in San Fransisco, Ca., is a replicated rainforest with orchids probably, as close to in situ, as you can get and they are for the most part a pretty mangy lot! There is also, in the same place, the display greenhouse where experts care for the orchids...beautiful! Most of the plants that we cultivate are for blooms and I think they need food! They are HUNGRY! I'm not a female...but I can only imagine that after you give birth you just might want a little something...I think my plants want the same thing-a little something.
    Just my baseless opinion...I think I'll get a snack now...Remo

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