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  #1  
Old 01-08-2021, 10:49 AM
mm0sdk mm0sdk is offline
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New member - feeding Dendrobium Nobile &amp; Phalaenopsis
Default New member - feeding Dendrobium Nobile & Phalaenopsis

Hi everyone, it's my first post.

I've been reading through the forum for a few days now and decided to register. I'm also new to gardening and keeping houseplants too so have very limited knowledge. I have only 2 houseplants - Dendrobium Nobile & Phalaenopsis that i'm hoping to repot once flowers drop with a fresh bark/perlite/charcoal/coir mix i've just bought.

I'm just wondering about feed. I have a soluble Miracle Grow all purpose feed i could use but not sure if it would be suitable. If not, are there any recommendations for feed here in the UK that's available.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2021, 11:59 AM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Congratulations on your first post!

I just use a liquid fertiliser for orchids (eg. yates liquid orchid food) ------ since no need to wait for the solids to dissolve into water. I just use one-quarter to one-third of what the bottle instructions recommends for the dosage ------ and I apply the fertiliser to my orchids (grown in scoria mainly) just once-a-month.

There are discussions about using regular miracle gro (eg. all-purpose) on orchids. And there are those people that report no issue. While others recommend to not use fertilisers containing urea ----- not to use on orchids that is. See this link.

As I have options and choices ..... I've just stuck with my readily available "yates liquid orchid food" (which is not really 'food' because 'food' relates to energy-containing sugar type substances that the body can use - eg. sugars produced from photo-synthesis process).
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Old 01-08-2021, 02:24 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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I think that you can use the fertilizer that you have, but use 1/2 as much as the directions say. Orchids need very little fertilizer. We say "once weekly, weakly"... you can actually do less that that. A note about the nobile-type Dendrobium... fertilize only during the spring and summer. In fall and winter, you will also reduce (but not eliminate) watering - these need to "rest" a bit for best blooming. Phalaenopsis, on the other hand, want to be watered and fertilized all year.
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Old 01-08-2021, 03:40 PM
jcec1 jcec1 is offline
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I use Miracle Gro All Purpose feed with no issues. As said in other posts - half the recommended strength is fine.
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:06 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Orchids are sensitive to urea. It is the cheapest form of Nitrogen which is why it is often found in the cheaper brands but like with multivitamins there are better and worse kinds. Miracle gro is not a Fertilizer I would use on my orchids. According to the composition:

Quote:
Ingredients. The primary ingredient in Miracle-Gro is urea, which is high in nitrogen. The plant food also contains urea phosphate, potassium chloride, sodium molybdate, ammonium phosphate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, chlorine, boric acid, manganese EDTA and ferric sodium EDTA
Most supermarket fertilizers containe Urea.

The best Fertilizer for orchids available in the uk is this Rain mix Orchid Fertiliser, potting compost and orchid supplies- Orchid Accessories
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:19 PM
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I haven't found urea to be a particular problem, especially for the more common commercial orchids. Contrary to what I have seen bandied about, orchids do have bacteria in their roots that can take advantage of that form of nitrogen. I am reminded of an elderly grower who is no longer with us, who always had fabulous blooms that broke all the rules... terete Vandas (now Papilionanthe) that grew and bloomed outside in southern California (where it should have been too cold) in the shade (where they want sun) for example... when asked what fertilizer he used, he said "Whatever is on sale"... which was usually MiracleGro or some such. That's when I learned to relax and realize that in the grand scheme of things, fertilizer is fertilizer, and orchids don't need much. Can one get into the fine points and maybe do a little better? Sure. But for basic orchids for a person starting out, not a need for a major investment in something that will hardly get used. Actually, Andy (of Andy's Orchids fame) also recommended that I use one of the "soil acidifier" fertilizers (loaded with urea nitrogen) when I was doing more growing with tap water. So even the professionals use it.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:18 PM
mm0sdk mm0sdk is offline
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Thanks for all of your opinions on using the miracle grow. If i do go ahead and try using it, i might just start with 1/4 of the directed strength. I wait until my Dendrobium is completely dry then water with little as possible at the moment as im addressing my previous tendency to overwater everything through inexperience.

For the Phalaenopsis, i wait for the media to go dry and roots grey, then give it a soak for a few minutes then drain.

As i say i'm just starting, so have so many mistakes ahead of me yet. I'm probably making a few now.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:24 PM
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Fertilizer is the least important factor in orchid culture, since orchids need so little of it. If it's a little less efficient than a "dedicated" formulation, no worries, it is still probably going to be more than the plant actually needs. I think you have the right approach to watering... maybe water the Phal before it gets completely dry, though. Instead of soaking, I like to use running water that runs through the pot - that approach pulls air through the root zone as the water flows. It may not wet things as thoroughly but that is a good think. You might have to water more often, but again that pulls air into the pot (and also flushes "crud" buildup, whether from minerals from tap water or fertilizer, or organic breakdown products.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:10 AM
jcec1 jcec1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidtinkerer View Post
Orchids are sensitive to urea. It is the cheapest form of Nitrogen which is why it is often found in the cheaper brands but like with multivitamins there are better and worse kinds. Miracle gro is not a Fertilizer I would use on my orchids. According to the composition:



Most supermarket fertilizers containe Urea.

The best Fertilizer for orchids available in the uk is this Rain mix Orchid Fertiliser, potting compost and orchid supplies- Orchid Accessories
I've had no issues with Miracle Gro across many genera including paphs, phrags, and masdies for the last twenty years. Maybe I'm lucky but I'll keep using it as it's cheap and as you state can be easily picked up from the supermarket and can be used on all the other plants I grow as well.

---------- Post added at 11:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:08 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mm0sdk View Post
Thanks for all of your opinions on using the miracle grow. If i do go ahead and try using it, i might just start with 1/4 of the directed strength. I wait until my Dendrobium is completely dry then water with little as possible at the moment as im addressing my previous tendency to overwater everything through inexperience.

For the Phalaenopsis, i wait for the media to go dry and roots grey, then give it a soak for a few minutes then drain.

As i say i'm just starting, so have so many mistakes ahead of me yet. I'm probably making a few now.
Sounds like the right approach to me, good luck growing and hopefully it will work for you.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:46 PM
mm0sdk mm0sdk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcec1 View Post
I've had no issues with Miracle Gro across many genera including paphs, phrags, and masdies for the last twenty years. Maybe I'm lucky but I'll keep using it as it's cheap and as you state can be easily picked up from the supermarket and can be used on all the other plants I grow as well.

---------- Post added at 11:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:08 AM ----------



Sounds like the right approach to me, good luck growing and hopefully it will work for you.
Thanks for the advice. I think i'm going to start off in really low concentrations and go from there. I have a big tub of the stuff that will last me ages as i don't have a large garden at all, so if i can use it here that would be great. I suppose if i flush the root system / medium every now and again might help. I'm getting really good at preventing myself from buying more. The ones that got away.
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