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  #1  
Unread 07-20-2012, 04:42 PM
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Question Homemade Orchid Fertilizer?

Anyone heard of homemade orchid fertilizer with beer, epsom salts, ammonia and water? If so, Is it safe?
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  #2  
Unread 07-20-2012, 04:49 PM
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Why would you do that? The beer costs more than fertilizer and you need not worry whether it works or not.
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  #3  
Unread 07-20-2012, 07:30 PM
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People use a variety of fertilizers. Do your research into what each ingredient adds, how they combine, what a plant needs, how easy the mixture would be absorbed, and, with chemicals, what possible reactions might take place. The key is to make certain your plants get everything they need in the right balance and amounts.
I was very successful using goldfish water from my container pond (it has pond tablets for the lilies that add calcium and magnesium to the water, plus fish waste). With the drought, I had to rely on a commercial product. As for the fertilizer you wish to try, have the person who is recommending it help you mix it the first time. That way, you are more certain nothing will go wrong (things can sometimes react with ammonia or if the amounts/concentrations are off, your plants might suffer). As MissMolly pointed out, it isn't always easy to go off the beaten path. For my non-orchids, I was using an organic fertilizer, a very good brand, but my plants were not getting enough iron. Ironite to the rescue! The fertilizer has sources of iron but my plants were not absorbing it.
To find what your plants need, do some googling.
Good luck!
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  #4  
Unread 07-21-2012, 09:47 AM
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Studies have shown that orchids absorb nitrogen derived from nitrate better than any other source. Most homemade fertilizers get nitrogen from urea or ammonia. Nitrogen from those sources are less effective with orchids. I used a homemade organic fertilizer for about a year once, and my orchids did not respond well to it. There's nothing wrong with occasionally fertilizing with a homemade organic fertilizer in the effort to give the plant some micro-nutrients and vitamins that it may not otherwise get, but my opinion is that a high quality chemical fertilizer is best.
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  #5  
Unread 07-21-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodgollymissmolly View Post
Why would you do that? The beer costs more than fertilizer and you need not worry whether it works or not.
How True!! I didn't even consider that!!!
Thanks! LOL
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  #6  
Unread 07-21-2012, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
People use a variety of fertilizers. Do your research into what each ingredient adds, how they combine, what a plant needs, how easy the mixture would be absorbed, and, with chemicals, what possible reactions might take place. The key is to make certain your plants get everything they need in the right balance and amounts.
I was very successful using goldfish water from my container pond (it has pond tablets for the lilies that add calcium and magnesium to the water, plus fish waste). With the drought, I had to rely on a commercial product. As for the fertilizer you wish to try, have the person who is recommending it help you mix it the first time. That way, you are more certain nothing will go wrong (things can sometimes react with ammonia or if the amounts/concentrations are off, your plants might suffer). As MissMolly pointed out, it isn't always easy to go off the beaten path. For my non-orchids, I was using an organic fertilizer, a very good brand, but my plants were not getting enough iron. Ironite to the rescue! The fertilizer has sources of iron but my plants were not absorbing it.
To find what your plants need, do some googling.
Good luck!
Thank you for the advice! I have not tried the homemade recipe for fear of killing my orchids. Some things are better left in the hands of expert chemists!
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  #7  
Unread 07-21-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucker85 View Post
Studies have shown that orchids absorb nitrogen derived from nitrate better than any other source. Most homemade fertilizers get nitrogen from urea or ammonia. Nitrogen from those sources are less effective with orchids. I used a homemade organic fertilizer for about a year once, and my orchids did not respond well to it. There's nothing wrong with occasionally fertilizing with a homemade organic fertilizer in the effort to give the plant some micro-nutrients and vitamins that it may not otherwise get, but my opinion is that a high quality chemical fertilizer is best.
Thank You for the advice. My husband will be pleased to know he doesn't have to share his beer with the orchids!
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