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The thing that finally got all your orchids flowering well... What was it?!

This is a discussion on The thing that finally got all your orchids flowering well... What was it?! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; After a few years of orchid-keeping, did you hit on some kind of funky fertiliser ...

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  1. #1
    Delila is offline Member
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    Default The thing that finally got all your orchids flowering well... What was it?!

    After a few years of orchid-keeping, did you hit on some kind of funky fertiliser or variation in your husbandry that suddenly turned your orchids into prolific, reliable flowerers? What have you learned to do differently that's made all the difference to flowering?

    I ask because I have a lot of orchids of various genera that have well and truly hit flowering size this year, and the weather's been great, yet hardly any flowering.

    In contrast, I've found the key to making almost every other non-orchid plant flower like crazy! It's a delightful combination of wood ash, compost and pee. It's most likely not suitable for orchids, but has highlighted the point that hitting on the 'certain something' that's missing can truly work wonders.

  2. #2
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    ravenmike12100 is offline Senior Member
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    Few years ago i had a problem getting many of my vandas too flower--so before i left to visit my uncle in Thailand i spoke to them--i told them if your not flowering by the time i get home in 4 weeks your all going under the mower.---late in the 1st week in Thailand i spoke to my wife and she told me ive 2 vandas going to flower.-by the time i got home i had 6 going to flower and now 3/4 of my 90 odd vandas continually keep flowering.--so for me a little chat worked wonders for all my vandas.

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    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    I don't know about it making more flowers yet, but since I came across this saying (I can't remember who said it or where I read it) and began heeding it, my orchids in general became much healthier. It goes like this:

    Grow the roots and the orchid will follow.

    I now have beautiful roots on most of my orchids and I have lost very few as well.

    ---------- Post Merged at 06:29 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by ravenmike12100 View Post
    i spoke to them--i told them if your not flowering by the time i get home in 4 weeks your all going under the mower.
    Sounds more like a threat!

    I haven't gone that far yet. I still encourage them when I talk to them.

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    The most dramatic change I ever saw over the years was when I finally had a situation with abundant natural light indoors. Moved in fall, and everything went wild the next spring. 103 plants in bloom or bud at once out of 220 or so mature plants, and most of the rest bloomed later that year. The difference between "enough" light to keep plants looking good, and truly enough light.

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    I used the lawnmower line on my phals this evening. Now I'm just waiting for the spikes to roll in!!!!

    I hope I was convincing enough and they didn't see that it was an idle threat!

  6. #6
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    Perhaps it was your neglect of them that did it, rather than fussing with and worrying about them?
    Quote Originally Posted by ravenmike12100 View Post
    Few years ago i had a problem getting many of my vandas too flower--so before i left to visit my uncle in Thailand i spoke to them--i told them if your not flowering by the time i get home in 4 weeks your all going under the mower.---late in the 1st week in Thailand i spoke to my wife and she told me ive 2 vandas going to flower.-by the time i got home i had 6 going to flower and now 3/4 of my 90 odd vandas continually keep flowering.--so for me a little chat worked wonders for all my vandas.

  7. #7
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    I'm going to try Michael's "Threatening Bloomer"...hahahaha

    Keep us up to date Harvey on your part...hahahha

  8. #8
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    Light light and light, the only factor that helped some of my most stubborn plants to bloom. You have to threaten them to the point of complete dessication.

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    I agree with Amey that light is important, but it has to be the correct light, not the maximum light. Phalaenopsis, for example, will bloom less well if they get too much light.

    I think the "Ah HAH!" moment for me was when I came to the understanding that a well-grown plant that has been given exactly what it needs, will bloom to its maximum, genetically-programmed, capability. There is nothing we can do that will "push" it beyond that (although that is a very difficult mindset to overcome), but anything we do that short-changes that "ideal culture" will diminish it.

    No "magic" fertilizer exists. In fact, I have seen better growth and more reliable blooming since I started feeding at every watering, but at very low fertilizer concentrations - a fraction of what I had been doing. Orchids have very meager food supplies in nature, so have evolved to have minimal nutrient demands. Giving them too much food is as bad for them as it is for us - actually making them more prone to diseases and infections.

    Having said that, I am still a big proponent of growth stimulants like KelpMax and "plant probiotics' like Inocucor Garden Solution, but not because they are going to improve the plants, but because they help reverse, or compensate for some of the shortcomings in my culture.

  10. #10
    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    I have to partly disagree with something Ray said. Whatever is lacking in environment or culture, NOTHING else can be the "magic" that makes up for it. Your plants can only grow and bloom as well as the LEAST favorable aspect of your culture allows. Only one thing at a time is the true limiting factor - one nutrient, one environmental factor, one physiological limit of the plant itself.

    When something like KelpMax or Inocucor helps it isn't compensating for shortcomings, it is correcting an existing problem or maximizing the potential of your existing culture. KelpMax may do something hormonally, but that boosts a limiting factor in the plant itself, not the culture. Inocucor may inhibit a detrimental microorganism, but that is correcting not compensating. It may seem like a small distinction, but it is the difference between relying on science or magic.

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