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  • 4 Post By Brutal_Dreamer
  • 2 Post By Spiker

Orchid Fertilizer

This is a discussion on Orchid Fertilizer within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I know this is a common topic but I am confused (also common). My sister ...

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  1. #1
    Spiker is offline Junior Member
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    Default Orchid Fertilizer

    I know this is a common topic but I am confused (also common).

    My sister bless her heart, feeds her phals 25-10-10 and gets non stop flowers. I feed 19-31-17 and get leaves and roots. I have checked and have found that, to me the numbers don't match what is happening.

    Also she has her phals in a window that gets direct sun (right up against the glass) for several hours in the late morning with no ill effects. She uses a bark mix and I use moss. She soaks her roots when dry and I do the same but I also spray them daily.

    My flowers last about two or three months and hers are six month or more. I have even given her some of mine that have stopped blooming only to have them start again.....

  2. #2
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    Most likely it is not a fertilizer issue, Nancy. Sounds like a light issue to me. Nine times out of ten when an orchid is large and mature enough to bloom and it is not, it is because it is getting insufficient light. Try increasing the amount of light your orchids get. Also, you note that she is growing in a bark mix. Her orchids might have better air exchange in their root systems too. This could account for the longevity of her orchid blooms. Repot one or two of your orchids into a bark mix and see what happens in 6 months or so. I would expect a marked improvement. In any case, with sphag, you need to repot every 1.5 to two years because of the amount of decay and how the moss will hold fertilizer salts. Good luck.

    cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    I concur with BD.

  4. #4
    Spiker is offline Junior Member
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    Does this mean that the numbers on the fertilizer are not as inportant as light? I did not mention that mine are under a grow light from 8am to 10pm and are in a frosted window that gets some sunlight in the late evening. Is there a better grow light to use? I do not have a window where they get better light. The light I am using has F20T12 Wide Spectrum Plant and Aquarium on it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiker View Post
    Does this mean that the numbers on the fertilizer are not as inportant as light? I did not mention that mine are under a grow light from 8am to 10pm and are in a frosted window that gets some sunlight in the late evening. Is there a better grow light to use? I do not have a window where they get better light. The light I am using has F20T12 Wide Spectrum Plant and Aquarium on it.
    Yes is the short answer. Overall, I would guess it is a light issue - especially now that I know you are using that Aquarium type plant light. Try adding additional grow lights or even moving your light down closer to your plants. Many times people using grow lights hang the light too far above the plants for them to get the full effect of the light. A few inches above the tops of the plants is fine as long as the light is not physically heating the foliage.

    cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
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    To add more complexity to the answer what triggeres flowering in Phals is short days i.e. less duration of light (remember this is different from low and ligh light intensity, they need bright light but for a shorter duration) Your artificial lighting sounds very long for me. Short days coupled with lower temperatures signals winter to orchids which triggers blooming. You must increase the intensity of light, but decrease the duration and if the plant is standing at the moment in a uniform temperature controlled room try getting it to a window sill where it will experience temperature shifts. This should do the trick.

  7. #7
    Spiker is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks to everyone, I'll make the corrections and see what happens. I must say I'm a little jealous of the flowers on my sister's phals but now maybe I'll be able to achieve the same results. Thanks again....

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