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  #1  
Old 11-09-2018, 06:14 PM
dorinda dorinda is offline
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Fertilizers, nutrients, epsom salts, kelp, MSU etc.
Default Fertilizers, nutrients, epsom salts, kelp, MSU etc.

I'm new to orchids and the amount of info is over whelming with all of different products people like and use. I really do like the Semi Hydro method of growing but I can not keep it all straight what I should be using.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2018, 11:12 PM
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What kind of orchids are you growing? In what environment (windowsill? under lights? outside?)
In all cases, fertilizer is the one of the less important factors in successful orchid growing. Orchids need very little fertilizer of any kind. First, get the watering (related to media, humidity), light, and air movement correct. Then you can fine-tune with the fertilizer part.
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Last edited by Roberta; 11-09-2018 at 11:15 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2018, 06:27 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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Welcome to Orchidboard!

I agree with Roberta. In the beginning it's good to get the culture down first and use whatever suitable fertilizer you have at an appropriate dosage (low), and once you've managed that, there's plenty of time to tweak fertilization. Some orchids have specific fertilization needs, must the majority do fine with one fertilizer/dosage for all.

But just to help you out a bit with what you've listed:

Nutrients are the elements that make up a fertilizer, the main ones being nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Fertilizer labels will list these 3 with numbers after which indicate the ratio/dosage of each (ex: NPK 10-10-10; 30-10-10; 5-6-7; and so on.) The higher the numbers, the more you have to dilute it generally. Some fertilizers contain other nutrients as well, and those are listed after the NPK values.

MSU fertilizer is a sort of fertilizer, developed specifically for orchids by the university of the same name. That does not make it a miracle fertilizer, just something different!

Kelp (you might be thinking of KelpMax sold by Ray?) is used to promote root/plant growth due to the plant hormones it contains. KelpMax is a kelp product that works far better than most due to the way it's processed/extracted. A lot of people use it here.

Epsom salts are a supplement, so only used in specific cases. It contains magnesium and it useful when using a fertilizer that doesn't contain any, with a water source that has low levels of magnesium. Can be used to correct a magnesium deficiency in plants, but that doesn't happen often in orchids.


Does that help you out somewhat?
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Last edited by camille1585; 11-10-2018 at 06:31 AM..
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2018, 08:41 AM
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I'll add a couple of things that I hope will relieve you of some of that angst:

}>- Water is the driving force for growth; to gain a pound of mass, a plant must absorb and process about 25 gallons of water, but only needs about 5 grams (roughly a teaspoon) of fertilizer nutrients. Learn how to provide a steady water supply without suffocating the roots, and your well on the way to being a good orchid grower. Don't sweat the feeding - a tiny bit, applied regularly is great.

}>- Understanding and providing the cultural needs for the plant is the key to success. There are no fertilizers or additives that can make up for a poor job of that.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:02 PM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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Hi Dorinda

Our orchid club, Northeast Georgia Orchid Society, will be having a meeting on orchid nutrition on November 18, presented at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. I will likely be posting about it on Orchidboard. The presenter has a Master's degree in plant science, focusing on horticulture. I know he will be presenting a PowerPoint, I will see if he is willing to share a PDF of that presentation here on Orchidboard.
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2018, 04:55 PM
dorinda dorinda is offline
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Thank you for you response. it would be great to have something could help put all the ducks in a row. There is so much info it is truly hard to keep it all straight. I also live in very Northern Wisconsin so not to close to any good talks on Orchids shall I say none, so I'm learning the Web be good or bad all I have.

---------- Post added at 02:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:46 PM ----------

I,m also new to using this site not a girl wonder on Web stuff any way but all info appreciated. My orchids are in Sun room lots of windows but on cooler side.
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Old 11-11-2018, 05:59 PM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Welcome to the Orchid Board! You will find tons of information here -- no promises that some of it won't be confusing, though. Successful growers oftentimes have differing methods and preferences. Over time, you will discover what works for you.

Joining your local orchid society is another great way to learn. Here is a link to the AOS (American Orchid Society -- a great resource in its own right), where you can look up societies in your geographical area.

P.S. I don't consider myself very good with Web stuff, either. You're not alone.

P.P.S. I realized the link I thought I included did not show up. Here it is, though I'm not sure any of them are in your northern Wisconsin area:

Affiliated Societies
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Last edited by Mountaineer370; 11-11-2018 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:11 PM
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Dorinda, Ray responded to your question above. If you go to his website, there is accurate, easy-to-understand information about the nutritional needs of orchids. He has products for sale, but also you can trust his cultural information.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:48 PM
dorinda dorinda is offline
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I looked on the site from AOS there is nothing here, closes one is Duluth believe it or not further north than us. I am way North but there are even further than me lol.
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