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  • 1 Post By Phimax
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What is the best fertilizer to use?

This is a discussion on What is the best fertilizer to use? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; What is the best fertilizer to use on orchids? I know there are several. Is ...

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  1. #1
    llstl56 is offline Junior Member
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    Default What is the best fertilizer to use?

    What is the best fertilizer to use on orchids? I know there are several. Is liquid better than powdered or granular?

    What is the BEST fertilizer to use on your orchids? Liquid or powder? Or should I use granular? I know there are several brands on the market? What are the BEST brands?

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    I use Akerne rainmix al year round and for me it works really well but there are endless possibilities to fertilize as long as you do not use a general fertilizer in the same dose as mentioned on the package Rather make it half or better use a special orchid fertilizer.
    Orchids are low feeders

    Jan

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    Personally the "best" fertilizer for orchids is to general a term, the 1 that suits your orchids & your conditions.Generally you will see the term "weakly weekly" which is pretty much what i do.Some of my orchids need more than this & i will supplement these plants with extra fertilizer in the form of slow release fertilizers(osmocote , blood fish & bone etc).
    MSU fertilizer seems very popular in the states & if you check the strength with a TDS meter(total dissolved solids) you should be on the right track.I have used natural fertilizers almost exclusively over the last 10 years or so with reasonable success for my general fertilizing but i am thinking to change over to something more like MSU.
    I believe under fertilizing orchids is more preferable to over fertilizing , slower growth is better than burning roots .

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    bechinolina is offline Senior Member
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    there's no "best fertilizer". fertilizer is only one point to look after but not the most important. a lot of my plants does not received (manually added) fertilizer, and they are growing for years! thus, you will find all and the opposite about fertilizer. my advice will be to focus on growing conditions (temp, humidity, sunlight, ventilation and stability of the media (dolomite help for this as a "regulator" of pH) and then, fertilizer doesn't matter as long as you use it SPARSELY;

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    After some 40 years of experimentation, I - like Steve - have come to believe that "less is more". I'd say the MSU fertilizer formulas were the most significant improvement in that time span, but they recommended 125 ppm N. If you consider that an orchid in nature never sees more than about 15-25 ppm TDS (TOTAL dissolved solids), that 125 ppm N seems to be overkill - and comes close to 900 ppm TDS. I now feed at 35 ppm N at every watering, and my plants seem to really do well.

    As to form - that's a personal choice. The liquids certainly are convenient, but you pay for water and the cost of shipping it. I recommend purchasing a powder, then make your own concentrate for further dilution and application. I sell a LOT of fertilizer, and it runs about 93% powder, 5% liquid, 2% controlled release.

    I avoid using "controlled release" fertilizers, as once they are wetted the first time, their release rate is controlled by temperature alone, meaning I have no earthly idea what the plants are getting. Watering with a solution gives me far better control.

    Formula is the area of biggest debate. Personally, I switched to the "K-Lite" formula in late November of 2011, and am very pleased, but I think that any formula is adequate, as long as it has all of the minor and trace elements, in addition to the N-P-K.

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