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calcium and magnesium

This is a discussion on calcium and magnesium within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Can anyone recommend the name of a fertilizer that has just calcium and magnesium in ...

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  1. #1
    Puppies2 is offline Member
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    Default calcium and magnesium

    Can anyone recommend the name of a fertilizer that has just calcium and magnesium in it? I was reading on the Michigan State University site that we should be fertilizing our orchids this time of year with this. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    I am of the opinion that when it comes to individual nutrients, there is no "this time of year" attached to them.

    Calcium plays a role in the functioning of enzymes, is part of the structure of cell walls, helps control the water content of cells, and is necessary for cell growth and division. Some plants must have calcium to take up nitrogen and other minerals. Calcium, once deposited in plant tissue, cannot move to other plant tissues, so must be supplied regularly.

    Magnesium is a critical structural component of the chlorophyll molecule and is necessary for functioning of plant enzymes to produce carbohydrates, sugars and fats. Many of the biological processes of the plants use Ca and Mg at the same time, so it's important to provide them together.

    If you do a Google search for "MSU Fertilizer", "K-Lite" or "Cal-Mag", you are bound to find suppliers. Note that there are two "MSU" formulas - one intended for water supplies containing no minerals (the "RO" formula) and one for water supplies that do. The latter assumes that your water supply has enough "hardness" - usually consisting of calcium-, magnesium-, and iron carbonates - that supplementing the two elements is unnecessary.

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    Puppies2 is offline Member
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    Just for clarification. I use municipal water which probably has enough "hardness"....so not to worry

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    One question is "How serious to do want your orchid growing to be?"

    I am an engineer, so want to control everything. (Just ask my wife, who has learned how to avoid all that.) I use RO water and have to add everything I want the plant to have, so I can attempt to truly manage what's going on with them.

    You may not to invest that much of your life into them, so adopting a more casual approach and being happy with what you've got may be fine. Don't forget that there is a great deal of room for stuff in between the two approaches too - and - I guarantee you that I'm not at an extreme. There are folks a lot more anal about this then I am!

    I can tell you for sure that there is absolutely NOTHING that says my way is better, and you might actually be a better grower that I. However, at the very least, I recommend you contact your municipality and find out what is in the water, so you at least have some knowledge about it, so can make a logical, informed decision.

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    I agree with everything Ray has said, but if you still want to add calcium and magnesium, Epson Salts is a good (and cheap) source of magnesium that many growers use. I personally use a product called Magical about once or twice a month. It's a calcium, magnesium and iron supplement.

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    bacsinhan85 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Why Quick orchids disabled ?

    Orchids are plants live in symbiosis, it takes nutrients from the air and from the the.Mot of hybrid orchids are propagated by tissue culture methods acceptable to the fertilizing methods or fourassigned the root lan.No really only an alternative method rather than an optimal measure for orchids

  7. #7
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    It's time for me to add a little in as well. Thanks for the reminder...

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    bacsinhan85 is offline Junior Member
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    Calcium it fix those errors during DNA replication orchids, so much calcium and fertilizer for orchids with continuous an appropriate mode sunshine, flowers will spread to, less the petals lan.Cancium errorgood can correct minor errors on orchid petal

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    Puppies2 is offline Member
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    Ray,
    I'm a bit detail oriented but not OCD, at least I don't think I am. My family jokes about my OCD with orchids, but what do they know? Although I'd like to care for orchids as a full time job, I won't quit by day job as a nurse.
    I appreciate everyones input. To be safe, I'm opting for the MSU for tap water.
    I have noticed since dropping the pH of my water from 8.0 to about 6.0ish in early Oct. the orchids seem to be thriving (more so than usual). Especially true with the miltonia and vanda. The miltonia has kept its bloom for over 2 months and the Vanda finally opened all its buds in early November.
    Great discussion........love this forum .

  10. #10
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    I think we ALL could be considered to be displying some sort of mental issue over these damned plants!

    What I was referring to is the attitude one may have with their plants:

    When I began orchid growing while in college, my interest was solely getting them to rebloom so I could enjoy the blossoms. As I moved on with my career, that remained important, but was coupled with doing so in the simplest way that would keep them alive while I travelled extensively on business.

    Over the years I began to get more and more interested in the scientific aspects of the hobby, and have focused more and more on the nutritional part of that - especially when I was offered an early retitement package and actually had the time to delve into it. It was then that I could look at the combination of pure (RO) water, so I know that the supply of ALL nutrients were under my direct control, choice of fertilizer formula to target specific levels of the different nutrients (such as the K-Lite experiment I'm in right now), and the use of hormones (changed from K-L-N to KelpMax), in an effort to "fine tune" my regimen in an attempt to optimize growth and blooming.

    There are those out there who "just wanna enjoy them", and those that want to experiment - and a whole lot of variations of them and in-between. None of them is "wrong".

    What's funny (to me anyway) is that all my efforts to find out "what's perfect" are ultimately working to put everything on automatic, so I can go back to simply enjoying the blossoms.

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