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orchid Fertilizer Questions ??

This is a discussion on orchid Fertilizer Questions ?? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Here in the US at the big box stores they carry Better-Gro brand of fertilizer ...

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  1. #1
    rich63's Avatar
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    Default orchid Fertilizer Questions ??

    Here in the US at the big box stores they carry Better-Gro brand of fertilizer in two different formulas. Both are urea free, first one is 20-14-13. The bloom booster numbers are 11-35-15. Is it best the switch off with both of these every other time? What would happen if if you mixed the powder 1/4 of one and 1/4 of the other? I know that either one, I only use half of the recommdended amount per gallon. I'm currently fertilizing twice a month. Then plain water in between. I really was wonder about mixing to two together, if that is a bad idea? Thanks,Rich

  2. #2
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    gardenguysorchids is offline Don't be afraid to color outside the lines
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    Great question Rich. I am looking forward to reading the opinions expressed by others. Your question is something that I have benn wondering about . Thanks for asking it.

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    I just checked out their website, they do not list the ingredients, but they say that the fertilizers are urea free, also they are backed by the AOS, so I would rely on the info and consider them to be good. Now regarding your experiment, if you mix the fertilizers in equal proportions then you will end up with a fertilizer that has the average values for NPK for both the fertilizers, i.e the resultant mix will be 15.5:24.9:14 or simply 15:25:14. It is the different proportions of these elements that along with environmental conditions (light+ temperature) that signal flowering or vegetative growth, so I won't mix them both. Secondly mixing two fertilzers is also not a good idea because they may contain different chemicals which when combined might become unavailable for the plants. For eg. commercial orchid producers always use two fertilzer solutions ones which contain phosphoric acid and the other which contains calcium. They are never mixed because upon mixing they form a salt calcium phosphate which is insoluble in water and unavailable for plants to absorb.

    So I would recommend that you use the fertilizers separately, actually I do not like the bloom booster combination at all. It is now scientifically proven that it is not the high concentrations of phosphorus, but the low concentrations of nitrogen that trigger blooming. So a fertilizer low in nitrogen but high in Potassium is good, something like 10:10:20 would be appropriate.

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    Thank you so much for the information. I was hoping that you would see this posting. I will keep my eyes open for a good 10-10-20 for blooming. I will not mix the fertilizers together. Thanks,Rich

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    I Enjoyed and also appreciate the advice you have given Amey. AL

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    Default Photo of Package

    The green left bordered photo is the 20-14-13 and the purple left side border is the 11-35-15. This shows the analysis of the ingredients. Thanks,Rich
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    It's good to read these things...and always good to keep up on the latest recommended fertilizer. Thanks...

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    Helpful orchid fertilizer question and helpful answer!! Thanks.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    I have also been wondering the same thing about fertilizers. Thanks for the information Amey! This is one of the many reasons I'm glad I joined this forum: Lots of great questions with friendly, insightful responses.

    -Jason

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    I wouldn't bother with it. I've been very happy with the MSU fertilizer that I get from First Ray's. Don't remember the exact formulation, but its high on N (maybe 13%) and low on P (maybe 3%) along with all the micronutrients. I use 1 tspn/gal for heavy feeders, 1/2 tspn/gal for lighter feeders. Great stuff.

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