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Found some growing tips

This is a discussion on Found some growing tips within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    scopinox's Avatar
    scopinox is offline Mad Scientist in Training
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    Default Found some growing tips

    I just bought a book on orchid growing and made 2 observations which I wished to share with you.

    • the first and most important thing is that orchids do not derive any nutrition from the media in which they grow, and thus derive all nutrition from the fertilisers that we give them. I know it sounds so blatantly obvious, but nobody ever remarks about it, even in books. It was less than a side comment in the book I read. I always thought that they can gain some nutrition from the bark that they’re growing in

    So thus the amount of growth you get is directly proportional to the amount of fertilizer you give the plant.

    • I also found out that if your plant is not blooming on time and the conditions are perfect, you can make it bloom by feeding it with a bloom booster. I noticed this happen in my collection, which consists mainly of autumn bloomers. The first is that my dend nobile, which supposed to flower in spring, flowers in autumn/winter, which I suspect is because the bloom booster fertiliser spills onto it sometimes.

    The second is that my vanda decided to push out a spike at that time as well. Unfortunately, the temperatures meant that everything had to brought indoors, which meant that I stopped misting it (the only mister I have is one of those large 5 litre jobbies) and watering frequency was reduced, which meant that the tiny spike dried up. Have just started feeding it now and hoping to see results

  2. #2
    desertgal's Avatar
    desertgal is offline Senior Member
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    Brawley, CA
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    OK forum, recommend a great bloom booster for me! Thanks,


  3. #3
    Piper's Avatar
    Piper is offline Hangs
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    Dec 2004


    The roots will draw whatever nutrients are available, whether it's from potting material or something dissolved in the water you use. Some media contain no nutrients: S/H, clay, expanded shale, etc. Some do: bark supplies nitrogen, sphagnum moss supplies a range of nutrients, but in small amounts. You still need to fertilize.

    Bloom boosting ferts are high in phosphates the second number of the three listed on the label: ie, 10-30-10 That's nitrogen-phosphate-potash. Bloom boosting ferts shouldn't be used year round however. They're not a good long term balance for an orchid.

    Many things can trigger blooming; temperature drop, day length changes, proper light levels, as well as the correct nutrients. Sometimes the addition of trace elements can push a stubborn plant into blooming. It's not simply a matter of fertilizing, but certainly fertilizer helps. Too much can burn a plant's roots and leaves, however. It's a matter of experience learning which ones are heavier feeders and which ones aren't.

    I figure a blooming size plant should flower for me within 16 months after I acquire it. Sometimes a change in conditions will set a plant back for a few months, and different orchids bloom in different seasons. If, after 16 months, it hasn't performed, then I start tweaking its conditions, because it clearly isn't happy.

    I grew my collection pretty quickly last spring and summer, so I'm looking forward to a lot of new bloomers this coming spring!


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