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  #1  
Old 11-30-2018, 12:49 PM
Rebecca817 Rebecca817 is offline
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Default Bone meal and a suggestion

Has anyone tried bone meal in their potting mix for orchids? Thoughts? I watched a video where a guy used Dolomite lime for hearty leaves and roots, but my garden store did not have any lime so they suggested bone meal.

Suggestion: is there a sub-category on here specifically for orchid fertilization? Would it be beneficial to start one?
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Old 11-30-2018, 01:55 PM
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orchidsarefun orchidsarefun is offline
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I top dress my plants with a teaspoon of bone meal and a teaspoon of blood meal when I place them outdoors in Spring. Another dose roughly 3 months later. It makes a noticeable difference.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:43 PM
Arizona Jeanie Arizona Jeanie is offline
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I tried using bone meal in my garden. My dogs went nuts, dug up everything and ate a lot of bone-meal-spiked dirt. In the front yard, I'm not sure if it was the neighbors' dogs or the coyotes who did the digging. Needless to say the plants didn't do so well. Never felt the need to try it on the orchids. Using a complete fertilizer seems to provide plenty of phosphorus. Blood meal sounds ghastly, but I'm sure the dogs would like to give it a try.
Dolomite lime will make the pH more alkaline, be sure that's what you want before using it. I think that most orchids prefer a slightly acidic pH.
Outdoor soil here has a pH of 8 or higher, adding lime would just make it worse. (Most Western soils are naturally already too alkaline.)
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Old 12-01-2018, 09:20 PM
plantzzzzz plantzzzzz is offline
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We have problems with flies when we use bone/blood meal in our vegetable garden. It keeps squirrels away though.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:52 AM
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I heard once bone meal is fantastic for roses. I used to apply it to my roses, ground orchids , ginger and every thing . Once I put tiny bit to my oncidiums . It is worth applying it to a mixture if the pot is in covered area may be rats can sniff it.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:24 AM
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Bone meal... blood meal... you make this hobby sound like we are summoning some unholy entity from a forbidden dimension...
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:19 AM
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Subrosa Subrosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantzzzzz View Post
We have problems with flies when we use bone/blood meal in our vegetable garden. It keeps squirrels away though.
No amount of flies could possibly offset the benefits of keeping even a single squirrel out of a garden! Sounds like a good reason to add some to my terrestrial mix and the manure I use for my Catasetum!
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:21 AM
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Such additives are really intended for soil gardening, where you're likely to incorporate the stuff into the soil for long-term supplementation. In orchid potting media they tend to be less effective because they are granular and exposed to drying.

If your water supply has a sufficient amaount of calcium, or if not, you're using a fertilizer containing it, adding more is of little to no value, and if you're thinking such additives are going to improve your plants, just remember that nutrients will never compensate for better culture.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:39 PM
Maryanne Maryanne is offline
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Hello-
Yes, I have used bone meal in potting mix for paphs, also finely ground eggshells. Why, because I like to experiment. Seems to have worked on some plants.
I have both bonemeal, seaweed extract around because I supplement the vegetable garden with them.

Fine ground bone meal can just be put into the medium - I use a couple of teaspoons per pot. The eggshells I dried thoroughly in the over, pulverized them with my coffee grinder, boiled them in a cup of water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Why? because some chicken bone broth recipes instruct you to add a little vinegar while boiling down - the acidity helps dissolve some calcium into the solution. You get a slightly milky solution with the grounds on the bottom. Use the cooled "broth" with usual watering and seaweed supplement. Also, the powdered eggshells can be used a top dressing or mixed with media. Does it help? I think so...at least a little.
The MSU fertilizer I have seems to dissolve OK, but there is always a clump of undissolved calcium ( in whatever form is used) on the bottom of the missing vessel. : -(
Of course, I also use blood meal in the garden, so I have used it dissolved on orchids too. I am also the kook who uses chicken manure ... (Laelia anceps seems to like it) : -)
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:15 PM
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I had an experience similar to Arizona Jeanie's. I read in an old English gardening book that award-winning sweet pea growers dig a trench 3 feet / 1 meter deep, put down a layer of blood and bone meal, backfill, then plant sweet pea seeds.

I did that against 40 feet of fencing. When I came home from work the next day the dogs had dug up the entire 40 feet of trench, 3 feet deep.

The same book recommended fertilizing with trapped rats wrapped in an old handkerchief and buried near the bottom of a large pot at repotting time. I haven't tried this.
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