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  #1  
Old 07-27-2018, 10:36 PM
eager2learn eager2learn is offline
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Fertilizer question
Default Fertilizer question

Does the fertilizer that I add get wicked up the clay pellets with the water or does only water get wicked up leaving the fertilizer behind in the pool of water
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:59 AM
DMT DMT is offline
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What I have read is the clay pellets will absorb the fertilizer. The fertilizer is dissolved in the water so this makes sense.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:29 AM
eager2learn eager2learn is offline
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Thank you.

A last question:

What are the plant's signs of over fertilization?

Last edited by eager2learn; 07-28-2018 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:08 AM
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What are the plant's signs of over fertilization?
Leaf tips becoming brown and dried and dying root tips are the most common symptoms, but there really is no excuse for overfeeding.

Orchids are, for the most part, VERY undemanding of fertilizer. For a plant (any plant) to gain one pound of mass - maybe 30 days for corn, a couple years for a cattleya, or a lifetime for a tiny pleurothallid - it must absorb and chemically process about 25 gallons of water but only about 5 grams of fertilizer nutrients.

In nature, orchids see only 10-15 ppm of nutrient ions, but they get that whenever it rains - maybe several time a day. I mimic that by using 25 ppm N (divide 2 by the %N on the label; the result is teaspoons per gallon to use) every time I water, which is probably 2-3 times a week. If I fed once a week, I'd double that.

Adding more fertilizer does not make the plant grow or bloom faster, it actually has negative impacts. As I implied earlier, water is really the driving force for growth. If you can water very often, your plants will grow faster.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:03 PM
eager2learn eager2learn is offline
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Hey Ray,

Your website mentioned to feed w/ K-Lite at every watering.

If the clay pellets can absorb/wick water/fertilizer, wouldn't this cause the salt/fertilizer levels to build up?
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:21 PM
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Hey Ray,

Your website mentioned to feed w/ K-Lite at every watering.

If the clay pellets can absorb/wick water/fertilizer, wouldn't this cause the salt/fertilizer levels to build up?
Not if they stay wet.

Dissolved solids precipitate and become mineral deposits as the water evaporates. If the pebbles remain constantly moist, all the way to the top, that just won't happen.

In reality, because pebbles DO dry a bit, it is likely to happen, but by using a very dilute fertilizer solution, there just ain't that much to precipitate in the first place, and if you water by flooding the pot and do so relatively frequently, you redissolve quite a bit of it, slowing the deposition process.

If you routinely let the pots dry out, you feed infrequently at higher concentration, or you don't water properly (flushing the pot when you do), it will build up relatively quickly.

Folks who use those three-component hydroponic pots and only top-up the reservoir are setting their plants up for bad poisoning issues...
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