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What's a good fertilizer?

This is a discussion on What's a good fertilizer? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I love that stuff and my vandas loved it, so did everything else, but I ...

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  1. #41
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    I love that stuff and my vandas loved it, so did everything else, but I grow outside so I can spray that and then go back inside and don't have to deal with the smell, my dog Zoey loves the stuff and comes running everytime I get the bottle out, she loves the smell, I used it full strength.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by stateless View Post
    I love that stuff and my vandas loved it, so did everything else, but I grow outside so I can spray that and then go back inside and don't have to deal with the smell, my dog Zoey loves the stuff and comes running everytime I get the bottle out, she loves the smell, I used it full strength.
    I find it interesting that your vandas love it. Mine don't seem to care for it. The roots get discolored and seem to shrivel when I use it, and I use it sparingly. It probably has something to do with the different culture...since I have mine in vases, the fish fert is probably absorbed at a different rate (or some other equally complicated explanation...)

    It's nice that you don't need to deal with the smell too much either... one time I accidentally forgot to dump out a vanda's vase and left it soaking overnight in water that had the fish stuff in it. The next morning I actually had cloudy water and a ring of slime around the top of the vase!! Oh, and my house smelled like a fishing boat on a hot day...

    Oh, and as for your dog's, um...fondness for the smell... have you checked to make sure your Zoey isn't growing any new random root tips? You know...from huffing too much seaweed? You don't want to end up with a mutant dog, I imagine...


  3. #43
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    It's taken a couple of days for Bruce and I to get together on this, but Rick Lockwood just had an article published in the AOS Orchids magazine that might be of interest. Here is the proof copy he sent me: What Do Orchids Eat?

  4. #44
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    Thank you ray. Here in Oz, I can buy a seaweed product which I'm sure will be similar to yours. Once again, may thanks!

  5. #45
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    Very interesting article, Ray.

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    Okay, so now I am more confused than ever. Ray, can you please write a Reader's Digest version for those of us that do not have a Ph.D in Chemistry, Botany, or Biology.

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    Don't know if I can get THAT succinct, but:

    The basic concept is that potassium binds preferentially within plant tissues and potting media. If applied in excess when not accompanied by sufficient calcium and magnesium, it occupies sites that should be for those other minerals, leading to deficiencies in them. Deficiencies in Ca and Mg can lead to a general weakening of the plant, leaving it more susceptible to attack by pathogens, particularly fungi.

    Among epiphytes, their natural environments are quite low in potassium, so they may have evolved to 1) not really needing much, and/or 2) not being able to handle it well. If we over-apply, we set the plants up for the situation in my prior paragraph.

    As an aside, I just recently read about a study that analyzed the "trunk flow" (rain cascading out of the forest canopy), and while not nearly as concentrated, the analysis was about 10-1-1-12Ca-4Mg. The fertilizer developed in the study is 12-1-1-10Ca-3Mg, so not all that far off.

  8. #48
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    Ray, with the seaweed extract, does the application schedule differ for recent transplants and plants in distress? What if a plant has very few roots and needs to grow some pronto?

    I used the extract for a month continuously, and I saw mostly positive results, with vigorous root growth. Because of the manufacturer's recommendation to take a break between applications, I now take 2-week breaks, then add the extract for the next 2 waterings (every other day ). But some of my rootless rescues could use an extra kick - would it help to apply it more often?

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECC_lectic View Post
    Ray, with the seaweed extract, does the application schedule differ for recent transplants and plants in distress? What if a plant has very few roots and needs to grow some pronto?
    In cases like that, I will mix up the KelpMax at one ounce per gallon (roughly 8 ml/L), and immerse the plant for about an hour, then pot it up, put an inverted plastic bag over it to trap humidity, and set the whole thing on a seedling heat mat to try to accelerate root growth.

    If you use a synthetic hormone treatment like SuperThrive or K-L-N, go with a teaspoon per gallon.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    It's taken a couple of days for Bruce and I to get together on this, but Rick Lockwood just had an article published in the AOS Orchids magazine that might be of interest. Here is the proof copy he sent me: What Do Orchids Eat?
    Just got my copy and read that article, too - excellent.

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