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Unread 02-01-2010, 01:04 PM
Angurek Angurek is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Zone: 9b
Location: Florida
Age: 29
Posts: 1,066
Default What exactly is superthrive?

Is it a rooting hormone, or is it a fertilizer? I keep hearing miraculous and exaggerated stories about how it brings back plants that were on heaven's door.

I don't belive the hype, but if it is a good fertilizer, I don't see why I can't try it on my plants. Anyone know what vendors sell it?
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Unread 02-01-2010, 01:14 PM
Matilda Matilda is offline

Join Date: Jan 2010
Zone: 7b
Location: Raleigh NC, USA
Posts: 83

I found it at a hydroponics shop. Don't know if it's snake oil or a magical elixir. I do use it though, just in case.

From what I've heard it is a root stimulant and vitamin boost? I don't think it is a fertilizer.
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Unread 02-01-2010, 01:21 PM
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trdyl trdyl is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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Superthrive is just a root stimulant + vitamins. It is not a fertilizer. It is good stuff tho. I have been using it for the past 5 years and really like the results.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 12:58 AM
got ants got ants is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Zone: 10b
Location: Hollywood, FL
Posts: 815

I'll add this, though I may be wrong, but I have personally seen it make a difference.

Think of it as an additive that allows the plants to make use of fertilizer.

I've even started using it on my rare palms and bonzais and have seen drastic improvements.

Get the biggest bottle you can afford. Once you start seeing the results, you'll always use it (my advice is only use it when you fertilize your plants)
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Unread 02-02-2010, 01:21 AM
stefpix stefpix is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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how do you see the results? can you elaborate? it is expensive. do you use a control plant with no superthrive and notice a difference?
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Unread 02-02-2010, 11:10 AM
markinthegarden markinthegarden is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4

Originally Posted by stefpix View Post
how do you see the results? can you elaborate? it is expensive. do you use a control plant with no superthrive and notice a difference?

I have used superthrive in many circumstances, sometimes with a control group. You do not need to use a control group to see the results. The exact formula is a trade secret, but they advertise over fifty vitamins and hormones. Yes, it is expensive but I think worth the money. I have seen great results in landscape applications, bonsai, tropicals, etc.

The cheapest way to purchase is by contacting the company and ordering directly.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 11:35 AM
Undergrounder Undergrounder is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 609

It stimulates root growth in particular. I think the main ingredient are NAA, a hormone for stimulating root growth, vitamin B1 which is practically useless and a bunch of vitamine/minerals which may/may not do anything.

I've never done a control group study but i think if you search these forums and others you will find someone who has. Overwhelming consensus is that it does lead to markedly improved growth.

While stimulating root growth, it may also hold back growth of the main shoot. I have been using it for about a year now and noticed markedly better root growth and generally good leaf growth on my Phalaenopsis orchids. But to be honest, the leaves do seem to be a little small compared to the root systems. Interestingly, when i transfer my orchids to sphagnum (where they don't get any superthrive), they almost instantly start to chuck up a few big leaves.

As a result i'm considering only using it for deflasked plants, repotted plants and any other time i want to get something established.
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Unread 02-04-2010, 08:27 PM
Ferrick Ferrick is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Zone: 8b
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 16

Superthrive is like a prenatalvitamin for plants. It prevents shock when transplanting most plants. Not a fertilizer.

Not sure what it does for orchids, but I've used it on potted herbs and every other plant that I've grown.

You can use it in tandem with other fertilizers because it functions as a vitamin supplement.
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Unread 02-05-2010, 10:09 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oak Island NC
Posts: 7,649

In addition to the NAA and vitamin B1 - both root growth stimulants - there are a wide variety of other organic and inorganic "goodies" in it, such as humates and kelp extracts. Personally, I think the rooting chems are the most significant part.

Many years ago, seeing the price of the stuff, I decided to make my own version. I did a bunch of research on the effects of various vitamins and chemicals on plant growth, then mixed up my own concoction from retail ingredients. Even at that, mine cost less than 15% of the cost of ST,

I DID run a more-or-less controlled comparison using 50 seedlings each of Phalaenopsis Lemforde Novelty and Oncidium Sharry Baby for each section - all were fertilized, but one group got nothing else, one got 2 drops per gallon ST, the third group got my stuff added at the same rate - a total of 300 plants.

There is no doubt that after 3 months the plants receiving the supplements grew faster than those that did not, and it appeared that my stuff actually was better than ST, but it was probably not a statistically significant difference. I probably should have continued the experiment longer to confirm or deny that.

Instead, I embarked on trying to see the extent of treatment, so I took the two additives, and increased the dosing to a teaspoon per gallon on some of the phals - I sold the rest and the oncids to regain bench space. The plants continued to grow well, but when they bloomed, all of the phal flowers were crippled. The oncids were still to small to bloom, and after stopping the overdosing, the phals resumed blooming normally next season.

I have continued to play with SuperThrive and K-L-N (NAA, IBA, and B1) over the years, and have concluded that if there is something "iffy" about your culture, they can help, but if you're doing a pretty good job with your plants in the first place, they add little, if anything. I only use them as a soak for transplants - sort of a "kick start" to help them get reestablished.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Unread 09-19-2011, 10:15 AM
greenpassion greenpassion is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Zone: 5b
Location: Vermont
Posts: 302
Question Misting leaves with Super Thrive or Messenger ??

I have used Super Thrive added to my water along with fertilizer, but I'm wondering, has anyone ever misted the leaves with it? Is it benificial to do that? I know of a product called Messenger, that I spray on the foliage of my big tropicals on my deck, and I just thought of doing something like that for my orchids. As I write this I also want to ask about using Messenger on Orchids. Messenger works really well by the way. I notice a nice deep green to my elephant ears and bananas.
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