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  #1  
Unread 03-25-2011, 10:10 AM
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Default Fertilize Phal while in bloom?

Hello - just purchased a new Phal from Lowe's. Looks pretty healthy and is in bloom right now. Quick question: do I fertilize it while in bloom? I believe you do not fertilize after blooming so as to give it a rest. So it seems if that is the case, then you should fertilize while in bloom or it will be a while until next feeding. Hope all that makes sense. Thanks for any thoughts.
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Unread 03-25-2011, 10:40 AM
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I can't be certain so take what I have to say with a grain of salt but I feed my phals with a weakly fertilized water with every watering (in or out of bloom). I use hydroton (semi hydroponics) to grow mine, though-- unlike moss, hydroton won't hoard fertilizer salts etc as well.

What kind of medium is it planted in?
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Unread 03-25-2011, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for answer. Right now it's in sphagnum but I plan on repotting to bark after it's finished. I understand that sphag is not the best medium and I did move another phal last year from sphag to bark and it now has a spike with 6 buds.

What do you consider the "best" all-around fertilizer for orchids?
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Unread 03-25-2011, 12:36 PM
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I feed while in bloom, but use a 200 ppm mix (which is rather weak) for most of my orchids orchids
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Unread 03-25-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic100 View Post
Thanks for answer. Right now it's in sphagnum but I plan on repotting to bark after it's finished. I understand that sphag is not the best medium and I did move another phal last year from sphag to bark and it now has a spike with 6 buds.

What do you consider the "best" all-around fertilizer for orchids?
Moss works for some people-- so I wouldn't say it's not the best as whatever works for you and the plant is best. I use moss on occasion because it can be used to hold a mass of water in my very very dry conditions. It's also what the plant was grown in. If it was grown in wet moss all its life, it'll do just fine. If possible, pull the plant out of its pot and keep an eye on the roots. If they begin to go soft, I would not wait ti repot.

Repotting doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose the blooms. I've repotted plants at all stages of growth with no ill-effect.

I use Grow-More fertilizer for Phals (urea free). I believe its a 20-20-20, though I now that I think on it, I don't think thats right... but its a fairly balanced fertilizer nonetheless. Its the container that is a weird light blue-to-green color (as opposed to other ferts for other orchids that come in containers that are pink or yellow etc). Anyway, I use it at quarter strength and use it with every watering.
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Unread 03-25-2011, 01:17 PM
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Phals grow continuously. They don't rest like some of the other orchids do. They can also be in bloom for many months. I always figured since they are always growing I don't want to withold fertilizer for four to six months while they're in bloom. I fertilize once a week at about 1/4 strength. I also make sure to flush the pot once a month to flush out excess salts. From what I've read it probably wouldn't be a good idea to use a very high nitrogen fertilizer while the plants are blooming. High nitrogen can force some orchids to grow more leaves and less flowers. Good luck.
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Unread 03-25-2011, 02:33 PM
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I do the whole "weakly weekly" routine with balanced fertilizers and don't change the routine to account for in bud, in bloom or recently out of bloom.

That said, I never use KLN or Superthrive if the phal is in spike, bud or bloom.

- J
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Unread 03-26-2011, 02:21 PM
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Thank you all for your great answers - they really clarify a lot for me. To take the discussion one step further, if I purchase an all purpose such as Grow-More for the phals, can it also be used on catts or dendrobiums? Also, not sure what KLN is - thanks again.
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Unread 03-26-2011, 02:58 PM
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You can use the same fertilizer on all your orchids. KLN is a rooting compound. It encourages new root growth. Some people use it when they divide or repot orchids.
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Unread 03-26-2011, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucker85 View Post
You can use the same fertilizer on all your orchids. KLN is a rooting compound. It encourages new root growth. Some people use it when they divide or repot orchids.
+1 -- any fertilizer will do for general feeding of orchids. I'm sure there are specific needs some orchids need fulfilled but in general, something like grow-more will do.
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