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View Poll Results: Water and Fertilize or Fertilize Directly

Voters
42. You may not vote on this poll
  • Water first and then fertilize

    17 40.48%
  • Fertilize directly

    22 52.38%
  • does not matter

    3 7.14%
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Water and Then fertilize or fertilize directly

This is a discussion on Water and Then fertilize or fertilize directly within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; i used to subscribe to the water first method, but now i have too many ...

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  1. #11
    coeruleo's Avatar
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    i used to subscribe to the water first method, but now i have too many orchids to water everything twice. and since the roots are spongy, it seems i'd rather they get a good soak of the weak worm tea, when i use it.

  2. #12
    dlbush is offline Member
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    For bare-root vandas, I spray water first to open up the roots and then spray 1/4 strength fertilizer during the morning watering. At night they just get water (go to bed hungry). I may try 1/8 strength twice a day.

    For potted Catts and Phals, I run water through the bark for 10 seconds or so, then I run one pot volume worth of 1/4 strength fertilizer through the pot. This happens about twice a week since it's summer, the clay pots have holes on the side, and the bark seems to dry fairly quickly. It seems to be working well so far. No sign of burnt roots (fingers crossed).

  3. #13
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    I always fertilize directly. If the soil is completely dry (which I let happen for time to time to kill gnats) I skip the fertilizer altogether until the next watering, as I've read that fertilizer isn't good for plants when they are really thirsty.

  4. #14
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    I fertilize directly, but in very small doses of the fertilizer

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynesav View Post
    I fertilize directly, but in very small doses of the fertilizer
    BINGO!

  6. #16
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    It states that the fertilizers balance them personally, fertilize every 15 days in the summer and once a month in winter, excluding those at rest, of course after having abundantly irrigated.
    summer cycle, from March to November, using three concentrations of 20-20-20 fertilizer are used specifically to the needs of individual species or the needs of single plant (debilitated, recovery, etc ...).
    concentration force 1, 300 ppm = 0.6μS
    concentrated strength 1/2, 150 ppm = 0,3μS
    concentrated strength 1/4, 75 ppm = 0,15μS
    every two months I do a fertilization with calcium nitrate (Ca (NO3) 2) of course after having abundantly watered.
    winter cycle, from November to March,
    using three concentrations of 20-20-20 fertilizer.
    concentration force 1, 220 ppm = 0.44μS
    concentrated strength 1/2, 100ppm = 0.2 mS
    concentrated strength 1/4, 70ppm = 0.14 mS
    no fertilization with calcium nitrate (Ca (NO3) 2)
    For particularly sensitive plants to the salts after about two hours after fertilization do leaching.

  7. #17
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    I think leaching after fertilizing is the key. In the wild the roots get a high dose of fertilizer when it first starts raining. If there is lightning along with the storm, which there usually is, there is nitrogen in the rain water plus all of the bird droppings, sap from the trees, etc gets washed over the roots. As it continues to rain the water becomes much cleaner thus rinsing off the roots. Studies that have determined the amount of nitrogen in rain water have shown that the nitrogen becomes lower the longer it rains and in higher amounts of rainfall. The roots are designed to quickly suck up nutrients and water when available. If the salts of the nutrients are left on the roots to dry then it can burn them. I think leaching is beneficial even if the orchid is not particularly salt sensitive.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencegal View Post
    I think leaching after fertilizing is the key. In the wild the roots get a high dose of fertilizer when it first starts raining. If there is lightning along with the storm, which there usually is, there is nitrogen in the rain water plus all of the bird droppings, sap from the trees, etc gets washed over the roots. As it continues to rain the water becomes much cleaner thus rinsing off the roots. Studies that have determined the amount of nitrogen in rain water have shown that the nitrogen becomes lower the longer it rains and in higher amounts of rainfall. The roots are designed to quickly suck up nutrients and water when available. If the salts of the nutrients are left on the roots to dry then it can burn them. I think leaching is beneficial even if the orchid is not particularly salt sensitive.
    I agree with the claims, in decades of studies, experiments, successes and failures, both in the world of orchids both beautiful bonsai, I came to the conclusion that the principle of least is the key, the minimum for a living is what gives life and thrive better our orchids, but not all require leaching, I have about 350 orchids, botanical strictly, what I require is about 10%, the few I have two drops every two months.
    For me the biggest challenge is to understand the needs of each species and to understand it takes experience and many failures involving long recoveries.

  9. #19
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    I have hard water but used it trying to convince myself that it was not a problem. It was. The phal roots that were watered, fertilized or not, started to get woody and lost their ability to soak up water. This was especially true with the roots above the pot that dried out quickly. Now that I am experimenting with growing bare root, I still have to use my hard water to soak them because I will have to store rain water for the winter, but when I take them out of the soak I spray the roots generously with rain water to rinse off any fertilizer and salts. The new roots are much healthier and moist looking. It is about the best I can do without investing in RO or a distiller.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencegal View Post
    I have hard water but used it trying to convince myself that it was not a problem. It was. The phal roots that were watered, fertilized or not, started to get woody and lost their ability to soak up water. This was especially true with the roots above the pot that dried out quickly. Now that I am experimenting with growing bare root, I still have to use my hard water to soak them because I will have to store rain water for the winter, but when I take them out of the soak I spray the roots generously with rain water to rinse off any fertilizer and salts. The new roots are much healthier and moist looking. It is about the best I can do without investing in RO or a distiller.
    Distiller you do not recommend it, before I used rainwater, bringing it up to 50 ppm with tap water, very good, but for the few plants now use reverse osmosis, is just as well, I can produce all the water you need, I would advise , comfortable.

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