Using food spikes for mounted orchids
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  #1  
Old 08-19-2019, 11:50 AM
Idril Idril is offline
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Using food spikes for mounted orchids
Default Using food spikes for mounted orchids

I got some food spikes from a friend, but when I got home I realized you are supposed to stick it into the pot, but I don't have potted orchids. Is there any way I could use them? Maybe putting it into the water when I water them and take it out when I finished? Could it work?
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:04 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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A problem with these is that you will have no idea how much fertilizer you are actually giving the plant. If they are designed for plants that grow in soil, the "dose" may end up being much more than the orchid needs or wants - most orchids are very light feeders, and giving too little (or none) is FAR better than too much. For solid/powdered fertilizers, you are usually safe using 1/4 to 1/2 of whatever it says on the bottle. Put the diluted fertilizer in a spray bottle, and spray the roots with it. That mimics what happens in nature, where the epiphytic orchid gets whatever the rainwater washes out of detritus above the plant in the canopy. Which isn't much.

Remember, orchids grow VERY slowly, and so need very little in the way of minerals to grow new tissue (the "energy" part comes from photosynthesis) A tomato plant needs lots of fertilizer, since it may grow a foot a day. By contrast, an orchid will do one or two new growths a YEAR. So anything designed for a rapidly-growing plant in soil is likely to seriously over-do it for an orchid, possibly even to the extent of killing the plant.
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Last edited by Roberta; 08-19-2019 at 01:06 PM..
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:23 PM
Idril Idril is offline
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They are for orchids, but you have to stick them into the pot and leave them there. Over time they slowly melt as you water the orchids.
This is the brand:

Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes - Plant Food - Miracle-Gro
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:39 PM
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They are time-release type... so a short spritz won't get much fertilizer out. Again, you have no idea what you are, or aren't getting. I use time-release fertilizer on some of my orchids that are relatively heavy feeders - Cymbidiums, and during the spring/summer growing season, Catasetinae. I don't use the stakes, but rather the loose time-release (little balls) as a supplement to my regular (dilute) feeding. Again, epiphytic plants don't need or want much fertilizer, but you want to know what they actually are getting. Be a sport and buy a bottle of granular orchid food, use 1/4 of the amount listed on the instructions. Save those stakes (that do seem to be designed for orchids) for the Cymbidiums, etc.
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:58 PM
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OK thank you! I save them for the time when I will have something other than Phals.
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