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Fertilizing and winter

This is a discussion on Fertilizing and winter within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; If a plant is growing new roots and stems and therefore not in winter rest, ...

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  1. #1
    moniluhum is offline Senior Member
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    Default Fertilizing and winter

    If a plant is growing new roots and stems and therefore not in winter rest, is it alright to go ahead fertilize? Does a plant have to go through a period of no fertilizer or can you fertilize year round?

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    ksriramkumar is online now Senior Member
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    Very good question. what is the genera of this plant?.

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    For the most part i fertilize all year round, i do use a lower concentration as winter conditions in my grow room are not ideal for maximum growth(temps drop to low 60's high 50's when outside temps are below freezing).Phals, Paphs Phrags generally keep growing & flowering so need nutrient support , i would guess about 1/2 to 1/3 the rate of during the warmer months.
    The 1,s i do not feed are some Dens , Rossiglossum & my Encyclias(after flowering).

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    First I will state that I try to avoid growing plants that need "special attention" like a rest period.

    Like Steve, I feed year round, but rather than lowering the dose, I let the weather conditions (i.e., sunlight levels) control my irrigation frequency.

    I use about 25-30 ppm N at every watering. In the summer, that can be every other day on average, occasionally daily. As fall approaches and cloudy skies predominate, my frequency - hence amount of feeding - is reduced. Typically, January and February tend to have periods of cold, clear sky, and I take advantage of those periods to load 'em up again, knowing that spring rains will slow me down again for a time.

    Monica, considering that your winters are far better than mine, weather wise, I'd let the activity level of the plants dictate.

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    I have a few Australian Den. hybrids and a Den. amethystoglossum that is doing this while throwing flower spikes. I have questioned it myself. Until I hear otherwise, I do not fertilize any of the plants that need a pronounced rest and these "problem children" get light waterings. The others that are behaving themselves and resting like they're supposed to get wetted and misted but very little water that really soaks the media. I hope I'm doing the right thing.

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    moniluhum is offline Senior Member
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    The plants that I am aware of needing winter rest are the Dens and the Cynodes both of which I have. If there are others that you know fall under this category please let me know. However, in case of some of my Dens they are growing roots, stems and some are even budding or blooming. So, I guess it is safe to say for these it is ok to fertilize. For my Phals, Catts, and Paphs I guess its okay to start fertilizing. What about Cymbidiums, Onc, and Miltoniospis? Lots of questions but please respond...

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    I used to do year round fertilizer. Then I decided to stop after the plants go in the greenhouse for the winter one year to see what would happen. Instead of watching plants rot and die...my plants now bloom like crazy in the winter. I am told I should be fertilizing some of them, but they go nuts when I stop during the winter. I do a basic grow formula maybe three times in the winter with a bug systemic and some antifungal. If I see issues I give them a little shot of honey in my spray...but otherwise I try to leave them alone.
    NOTE: Since everyone lives in a different area, try reading your local Orchid Societies' newsletter. They usually give month by month advice according to their location. That is how I found out about stopping the fertilizer in the winter months and when to start back up. They give great advice!

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    Cymbidiums if they are winter flowering then i use to stop fertilizing in late autumn , water when needed & only start fertilizing again when they show spikes.Cymbidium's did not go in my grow room normally ,where i kept them temps could go down to high 40's low 50's(Fahrenheit)in the winter.
    Onc's & Milts generally i keep feeding throughout the year but there are exceptions.
    Like Connie says your mileage may vary , sometimes it is just down to experience , if in doubt do not fertilize , i have not killed anything yet from not fertilizing

  9. #9
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    IOSPE says this of Maxillaria tenuifolia:
    "....the flower held at mid leaf height and occurs in spring and summer and then needs a semi-dry rest through the winter months....,"


    I have only been watering my Max tenuifolia once a week with plain water since November 1. I did not last winter and I did not get flowers last year. But I think the plant wasn't mature enough to bloom then. I think it is this year.

  10. #10
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    for your cycnodes..

    watering...follow the leaves, more leaves, more water..no leaves minimal to no water
    fertilizer...............according to the PB, once the PB is almost fully develop, i stop fertilizing

    only exception is for areas with winter..where some growers do the "forced dormancy" thingy for those catasetinae that decided to grow when winter is coming...but i had no experience with winter climate...perhaps wait for others to chime in

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