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Can we talk about fertlizer some more?

This is a discussion on Can we talk about fertlizer some more? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hey - so, I read all the pertinant threads previous to this and still felt ...

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  1. #1
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Default Can we talk about fertlizer some more?

    Hey - so, I read all the pertinant threads previous to this and still felt I needed to ask.

    What does everyone use and rely on for great fertilzing?
    I have three in my possession for orchids:

    Two Grow More's - purchased on sale, when I had one plant! I have Urea Free 20-10-20 which I've used for the Paph's, Phrag's and Phals. And, I have a 20-20-20 that I do not believe is Urea free which they recommend for the Catts, Dends, and Vandas - though it is called "general purpose" which I do not believe since it is not urea free!

    Finally I have Grow-n-Thrive, which is what the vendor I have purchased the majority of my plants from uses in their greenhouse. I just got this maybe 3 weeks ago and have been using it. It is 8-10-8.

    Everything gets fertilzed weakly, weekly, unless I am out of distilled water, in which case they get a week off. This happened recently and I know it is good to take a week or two off every now and then to flush out salts. I generally use 1/4 tsp. per gallon for each of these.

    So, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts! Is there such a thing as "general purpose" for orchids, or would I be better off with something else for say, paphs and phrags? Also, let me know if you think NONE of these are adequate as I am heading to the nursery tomorrow and would pick something else up at that time if necessary.

    Thank you all as always!

  2. #2
    ncclimber's Avatar
    ncclimber is offline Paphhead in Training
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    I personally use dyna grow with Bcuz growth stimulant. The orchids seen to love the combo. I als fertilize weekly weakly, but only use about 1/8 of a teaspoon of each for 2.5 gallons of water.

  3. #3
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    I use Peter's orchid food.

  4. #4
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Is that some specially formulated food of yours, Peter, or is that Peter's Professional Orchid Food?

    Hahaha, I just kill myself sometimes...
    Can you give me some details? xtsp/gal? how often?Type of h2o? - you know I am particularly interested in what you are growing so well.

  5. #5
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    I've been using dyna-gro for years so I have no real comparison to it. I like the micronutrients and generally use 7-9-5, although I will mix in their bloom booster maybe once a month & some 10-5-5 during the spring and summer. I usually use 1/2 tsp/gallon for paphs & phrags, and alternate waterings between fert & plain water. Maybe plain water every 3 waterings during the growing season.

    I also use their silicon product "pro-tekt" although I don't know if it really helps the plants. I bought it, so I'm using it...

  6. #6
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    Heather, yes it is Peter's Professional orchid food but I think they changed the name to Jack's after the company changed owners.

  7. #7
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Oh, I did not realize that they'd sold.

  8. #8
    Persistence's Avatar
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    Mind if I chime in. This is purely my opinion on what I have used and what I have seen used.

    I think fertilizers are highly over rated. I have used just about everything including regular plant food and have not noticed any drastic difference.

    I personally use fertilizers at random times. I mix in chelated iron a few times a year as well as Epsom salts and a calcium supplement. I like the seaweed fertilizers as well as fish emulsion. I do know a lady that uses nothing but lake water and never supplements and grows beautiful plants.

    JMHO

  9. #9
    Aerides is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, everyone - some of you know me from another forum. This is my first post here. Looking forward to seeing old friends, and meeting new ones.

    I agree with Persistence that fertilizer is over-rated, especially in the way it is marketed. However, I also think that fertilizer *knowledge* is definitely not over-rated. I've been struggling to find out more about basic fertilizing principles for the past several months. And still don't understand a lot.

    I'm understanding more about matching your fertilizer with your water, paying attention to the type of nitrogen used in the fertilizer, compared to the sort of water you have. And also TDS. Since my tap water is close to pH neutral, I'm trying fertilizers that have mostly nitrate nitrogen. We also have very low TDS in our water, so I have been experimenting with using fertilizer for RO water. Regardless of theorizing, though, I think that this type of fertilizer still may be too high in mineral content, so I'm switching to a mostly nitrate nitrogen formula for tap water, which will have a lower rate of replacement minerals.

    Lastly, I think I'm going to keep fertilizer rates low. Not weakly weekly, exactly, but start with 1/4 tsp/gallon as a constant feed with periodic leaching and see if plants maintain health.

    I have been tempted to push fertilizer because I have pretty good conditions in my orchid room - HID light, a fogger, and cooling/air movement. But I guess they know they're not really in a greenhouse !!

    I wish I had time to volunteer at an orchid nursery....

    Just my two cents.

    John :>)

  10. #10
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    Hi John!

    Nice to see you here, welcome! We have a nice group of people here, so stick around.

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