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  #1  
Old 12-07-2018, 10:29 AM
cluelessmidwesterner cluelessmidwesterner is offline
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Wait on fertilizer after repot Female
Default Wait on fertilizer after repot

Hi Everyone,

What is the consensuses on the amount of time one should wait before using fertilizer on a repotted orchid.

I had to one week ago repot a Phal I had purchased the week before in bloom. The media (bark with a moss plug I discovered) was totally broken down. The roots were in fairly good shape considering. She's in fresh bark now and after a week's rest I watered her today - the media was completely dry when I check digging down with my index finger .

Surprisingly after the change in environment and repot in two weeks time, she hasn't dropped any of her flowers or the bud plus I think she's in the process of forming at least one more now. I was wondering how long I should hold off.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2018, 10:57 AM
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MrHappyRotter MrHappyRotter is offline
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Wait on fertilizer after repot Male
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You're asking the orchid community about fertilizer/fertilization, there will likely never be a consensus.

In a very general sense, if you're dealing with plants that don't go dormant or require a rest (i.e. the average florist phal) , and if you have healthy (and especially if you have actively growing) roots then it's okay to fertilize (with a multitude of caveats).

If the roots are unhealthy, dying, or dead then it's basically worthless to fertilize the potting mix. If there are few to no roots actually in the potting mix, then it's basically worthless to fertilize the potting mix.

Additionally, there's essentially no harm or risk in holding off on fertilizing for a few weeks or longer, especially in regards to epiphytic orchids that tend to be light feeders to begin with.
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  #3  
Old 12-07-2018, 11:38 AM
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Echoing that last post, "there are as many ways to skin that cat as there are cats..."

Personally, as roots moved into a new environment are already stressed to one degree or another, I think it's best to hold off until you see new roots emerging.
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2018, 12:43 PM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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Wait on fertilizer after repot Male
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Fertilizer is very low on a priority list for meeting an orchid's needs. Echoing some of the prior comments, an orchid won't use fertilizer unless it is actively growing and has healthy roots. There is no harm in waiting.

A possible harm in providing fertilizer too soon: if there is any root damage following the re-pot, added nitrogen and other nutrients could potentially fuel growth in bacteria and fungi (both require nutrients to grow).
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:35 PM
cluelessmidwesterner cluelessmidwesterner is offline
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Wait on fertilizer after repot Female
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Thanks everyone.

I don't want to stress this plant any more than what she is presently.

From what I have read, taking it all with a grain of salt, it seems Phals in general "bounce back" faster (relativity speaking) than other species of orchid. I realize that its actually a case by case sort of thing since there are so many factors that have to be consider.

The Phal is now potted in a clay pot rather than a clear plastic (me and plastic pots are not a good combo no matter what species of plant) so seeing new roots might be a challenge. That being said I was thinking it would at least 8 to 10 weeks at the earliest to adding orchid food. That would put it around early to mid March when (in theory) the weather will begin warm here in the Northern Midwest and daylight will really start to become stronger.
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2018, 08:58 PM
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Ray is being shy. If you go to his Web site, in his signature block, and look for Free Information, you will be able to read a lot about fertilizing orchids.
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2018, 06:05 PM
WeirdGuySeattle WeirdGuySeattle is offline
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Just go slow with fertilizer - do 1/4 strength 1 time a week, and you will be fine. Don't worry about how soon after repotting unless you are trying to recover a dead root system.

You might give your plant a week or two to settle into its new pot - but that is really all they need before you resume normal watering / fertilization.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2018, 10:23 PM
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My personal philosophy is to observe what the plant in question is doing and then support that process. If it isn't doing anything, it makes sense not to second-guess it.
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