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This is a discussion on Input on orchid and magnesium within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; This is an intressting topic but unfortunate it is a topic with alot of stories ...
This is an intressting topic but unfortunate it is a topic with alot of stories but very few controlled good studies.
What most people that give advices forget is that most growers have no clue to what their water quality actually is. And the water quality will differ hugely ower the globe. To remind the hard core orchid fantast most people do not use RO water (RO = reversed osmosis).
Alot of people talk about Magnesium as essential for the plant as it is a key part of the photosyntesis. What they fail to tell is that Iron also is a key part of photosyntesis as is Calsium. There is a classical experiment that show the iron deficient of the oceans were a boat spread iron and the explosion of photosyntetic alge was traced from air.
As long a plant gets all nutrients in a balanced combination they will never show any sign of deficiency even at heavy starvation. What plants do is that they react to stress and that is exactly what happens if given a high dosage of a particular nutrient. The plant seams to react very well by flowering or growth but in reality you have most often just stressed it and it is thereby more sensitive to bad things diseases, fungus, rot, insects and soo on.
My advise is always: know your water, give a well balanced fertilizer and supply the best growing condition you can and you will grow strong resistant plants
I also agree with what Magnus says about the type of water quality in different regions. Barbados is basically one huge chunk of prehistoric limestone and coral so as the rainwater filters through the earth to the natural underground reservoirs, minerals like calcium and such are deposited. We have some of the cleanest water in the Caribbean because of that natural process. I really have no idea what is in the water but I can say that once a year or two I put the Epsom salts to the fruit trees and they perk up. I know some people here use 5 gal buckets of the pickling water that the salted pig tails (local delicacy; we bar-bq them) come in to help large trees that have what is called 'blight'; a fungus like substance blackening leaves and branches. I've seen the positive results more than once over my life time.
Well thanks for all the input, it is interesting to see all the different views on the subject. This basically comes down to different strokes for different folks, but it is nice to know, knowledge is power after all. Bring on the power my OT people!