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Using wood ash on orchids (???)

This is a discussion on Using wood ash on orchids (???) within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I can't find any discussions about using wood ash as an orchid fertiliser. Has anyone ...

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  1. #1
    Delila is offline Member
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    Default Using wood ash on orchids (???)

    I can't find any discussions about using wood ash as an orchid fertiliser. Has anyone tried this and have experiences worth reporting, good or bad?

    I have developed a new appreciation for ash this year. I used to view it as too caustic/alkaline to use in any quantity, but this year a new fertiliser recipe has done wonders for all of my other non-orchid flowering and fruiting plants like tomatoes, capsicum, jasmine:
    - 50% fresh compost
    - 30% hardwood ash
    - 10% human pee
    - 10% rainwater
    > Mix and leave to 'brew' for 24 hours or more, then distribute around base of plants.

    Never had so many flowers and fruit on everything!

    So could this be any good on orchids...or too risky?!

  2. #2
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Others with more knowledge than I have are likely to answer this, but one thought I have is that you'd want to take what you end up with and dilute it heavily before you try it on the orchids, they need very little feeding at low concentrations. I couldn't begin to tell you if that mixture would be good for them or not though!

  3. #3
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    I second Carol's suggestion of having it be extremely diluted to use on orchids.

  4. #4
    PaphMadMan is online now Senior Member
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    Like the others, I am concerned about the concentration, but also the pH. I wouldn't use it on any potted or mounted orchids without knowing the pH and total dissolved solids. This could also vary a lot from batch to batch. If you have semi/tropical terrestrial orchids like Phaius and Spathoglottis planted in the ground then I would consider using it in moderation after trying it on some other plants first. Soil gives you a lot more buffering and dilution so much less risky than in a pot.

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