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orchid Fertilizer question

This is a discussion on orchid Fertilizer question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Because my water is so hard I've started using steam distilled water. I've thought about ...

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  1. #1
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    Default orchid Fertilizer question

    Because my water is so hard I've started using steam distilled water. I've thought about rain water but worry about pollution and acidity of the water plus algal growth etc.
    My plants are on different watering schedules so I might water one every day or every couple of days. Can the fertilizer be added to a jug if distilled water and kept for a week or two or is it best to mix fresh fertilizer each time?

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    Depends on what fertiliser it is , some well break down with a lot of sunlight & possibly be a good place for bacteria etc to grow , if you do keep mixed feriliser for any length i would use a sealed container & keep it in a dark place.

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    Ah ok. Thank you Steve. I guess I wot chance it. I've been throwing the rest of the fertilizer water on my outside plants and other indoor plants so I guess I'm technically not wasting it. It isn't worth risking the orchids to save the water.

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    Always hard to answer this. There are elements that will precipitate after they are in solution (like magnesium and phosphates). Let the mix stand for too long the chance you end up without any of these element available for your orchids is big.
    I advise to start fresh every water gift.

    What is steam destilled water?

    Maurice
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    Thanks Maurice. I plan to mix fresh. Not with the risk.
    I'm assuming the steam distilled is just the method that was used to purify the water. They must boil water that has been purified and the collect the steam that evaporates and condense it down. The orchids do seem much happier with the distilled.

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    Traci,.. here said not to use distilled water, but not explaining reason,.
    https://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=77

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    Thanks Lijun,
    I read that and can only think that it is because it won't have calcium and magnesium as some fertilizers don't contain those. I understand no softened as sometimes that adds sodium.
    I am going to try to join my local orchid society. Hopefully they can tell me what they do since we all have the same tap water.
    Maybe someone here can help us figure out why no distilled?

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    Distilled water can still contain minerals( water is boiled & the steam condensed).
    So it could have minerals in it that are not beneficial to orchids or at least it will add to the TDS of your feeding.
    so it really depends on the water that you start with to how "pure" the distilled product is.
    If you feed lightly i can see how distilled would be better than some tap water.

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    Hi Traci,
    I'm in the same boat as you about the 'hard' water and have taken to using distilled water as well - at least until I can get a reverse osmosis system to save money and time lugging the jugs. What I've heard is don't use plain distilled water only as your plants won't get their essential nutrients and minerals. I do know that it's very important that you make sure you are using a fertilizer that is specifically designed for distilled or pure water. Otherwise you can have salts build-up or not enough of certain minerals given to your orchids and they will suffer for it. I also know that there are some fertilizers designed for 'dirty' water - i.e. tap water. It just depends on what you use. I bet your local orchid society could help with that. Earlier I wondered about water type and started a thread that may be of help to you as well: http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...r-orchids.html

    When I fertilize, I have determined how much I need and re-calculated for the amount I'm using so I don't waste as much fertilizer nor water mixed with it; it's using a conversion. For example: If your fertilizer, like mine, says 1/2 tsp per gallon, you can use a conversion to determine a smaller amount you need. There are 16 cups per gallon, so if you take (0.5 tsp/gal) multiply it by (1 gal/16 cups) and then multiply that by the amount you want to make, say 4 cups (as I usually make-up about 4 cups at a time to use with my orchids) that translates to a total of 1/8 tsp per 4 cups, if that makes sense. Then you can decide if you want to fertilize weaker than that more often or only at specific intervals. If it doesn't make sense I can help you convert what your fertilizer says to a smaller amount like 4 cups, just let me know.

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    Just like OrchisAmor I stopped bying all these 20 liter cans of destilled water at the local hortishop. But it is always beter then giving tapwater. I calculated how long ot would take me to earn my investment back if I bought a RO-system at the aquarium shop. Only 3/4 of a year!!! I use my RO system now for 3 years and I check it regularly with a EC meter and I am very happy with this system.

    Build up of salts is prevented by giving low dosages of fertilizer (stay under 0,3 mS) and change it per fertilizer round with pure RO water. Despite all the negatives about this I do it already 3 years like this and works fine. I think it is because you dilute again all the salts on the block and in pots and that you really don't water with 0 uS of water.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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