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  #1  
Old 12-23-2021, 11:27 AM
Shadeflower Shadeflower is offline
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I wanted to add a site I came across quite a while ago already and I know at the time I skimmed over it but did not realize how much information was contained. Maybe I didn't believe the author or person who compiled these articles had the right knowledge or there were pictures missing to keep me interested. I dunno but if it helps, we all know how confusing it is to know whether to feed lots of Nitrogen, when to feed Potassium, why or even why not, how much phosphorous, how many micronutrients?
Are organic better than non-organic fertilizers? After putting a few of these hypothesis to the test I am fairly happy that I think this is a really knowledgeable source of good articles but it is only the conclusions that are posted. I'm sure the actual scientific papers these conclusions came from exist somewhere but this is just the conclusions so I wasn't sure whether to post this or not but it has helped me so if anyone is confused or wants to know what previous trials have concluded this might be good.

Well the answers are all here:

https://www.orchids.org/headings/the...or-fertilizers

Quote:
To Promote Better Flowers A wide-spread error is that high-phosphorous fertilizers promote more blooms; however, a deficiency of phosphorous does inhibit blooming; a soluble 15-30-15 fertilizer at 1 tpg. about once every two weeks will supply the relatively small amount needed.
Quote:
Seasonal Changes If plants are in a bark mix, prosper from a 30-10-10 mix all year round; for those at rest, do not water or fertilize. It is a fallacy to change fertilizers according to season; it is a belief based more on folk-lore than on proven fact.
Quote:
Proof of Absorption by Cattleya Roots They can absorb nutrients both through the roots and the leaves, as shown in a report published in 1967, and recent reports from Southeast Asia.
Quote:
In Parts Per Million Six hundred parts of fertilizer to one million parts water passing through a cymbidium is the maximum.
Quote:
FERTILIZERS: Injury Caused by A frequent problem; only 2% of the composition of the plant tissue includes mineral content; over-fertilization inhibits growth; diluted liquid fertilizers are best;
Quote:
Ideal Fertility Frequency Use low concentration of dissolved fertilizer at every watering; avoid excess deficiency conditions.
Quote:
High-analysis Types A 9-3-6 fertilizer contains only one-third the value contained in a 27-9-18 formulation; both have the same ratio and cost about the same.
Quote:
FERTILIZERS: "hardeners" For vandas in the fall a 7-56-14 fertilizer is used to harden off the plant.
Quote:
Formulas, Their Meaning A 12-4-8 formula contains four times as much nutrients, in the same proportions, as a 3-1-2
Quote:
For Heavy Feeders Cymbidiums, lycastes, softcane dendrobiums, zygopetalums are among the heavy feeders and require more fertilizer.
Quote:
For Flowering In Dendrobium nobile and its hybrids flowering is prolific if they are fed every three or four weeks while in active growth with low nitrogen and high phosphorous; from August to October feed 1/2 tpg. with potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2P04) NH78(1)10
Quote:
For Cattleyas In nutrient culture, growth of hybrid plants was optimal with 50 ppm. each of nitrogen, potassium and magnesium. RHIn parts per million: N-50, P-20, K-50, plus Mg-50.
Quote:
Fertilizers Higher rate produces fewer flowers
Quote:
FERTILIZERS: Element Requirements for Cattleyas N -- 50 ppm., P -- 50 ppm., K -- 50 ppm., plus Magnesium Sulphate -- 50 ppm.

FERTILIZERS: Element Requirements for Most Other Than Cattleyas N -- 100 ppm., P -- 20 ppm., K -- 75 ppm., Mg -- 25 ppm., Fe -- 8 ppm., Ca 50 to 200 ppm., Mn -- l ppm., Cu 0.025 ppm., Zn -- 0.2 ppm., B -- 0.025 ppm., Mo -- 0.001 ppm, and S -- 10 ppm.
Quote:
"bloom Booster" Application should alternate every two or three feedings in a mixed collection with one of high nitrogen but the frequency should be reduced for winter.
Quote:
Best for Cymbidiums In an experiment in Southern California a balanced 20-20-20 produced 50% more spikes than 25-10-10 at the end of two years.
Quote:
Best After Test Levels of fertilizing on cymbidiums which gave best results were N -- 100ppm., P -- 20ppm., K -- 75ppm., Mg (Magnesium sulphate) 25ppm., and Fe (Chelated Iron) 8 to 10ppm.; these represent very weak strengths but produce remarkable growth rates.
Quote:
Balanced It provides nutrients in these ratios: 1 molybdenum, 60 copper, 200 boron, 200 zinc, 500 manganese, 1000 chlorine, 1000 iron, 10,000 sulphur, 20,000 magnesium, 20,000 phosphorus, 50,000 calcium, 100,000 potassium, 140,000 nitrogen.
To convert 20-20-20 to 2-2-2, use one-tenth of the prescribed amount.
So lets grow some great flowers next year. Have a nice Christmas everyone

Last edited by Shadeflower; 12-23-2021 at 11:39 AM..
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2021, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
Are organic better than non-organic fertilizers?
The term "organic" is (ab)used by the media and product marketeers to suggest that something is healthier, but the use of the term "organic" is little more than an appeal to a popular fad. Many poisons, such as arsenic, are organic. Here's a short (sarcasm) EPA list of organic poisons http://www.sanjoseca.gov/home/showdocument?id=37205. Further, the most popular orchid fertilizers are almost completely inorganic.

If someone wants to avoid inorganic fertilizers, they would not want to use K-Lite or MSU. A primary ingredient in K-Lite (12-1-1 + 10 Ca, 3Mg) is calcium nitrate (15.5-0-0 + 19 Ca), Ca(NO3)2. It is a white to light gray solid synthetic compound that doesn’t occur in nature. MSU has the exact same ingredients as K-Lite but in slightly different ratios.

-Keith
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Last edited by K-Sci; 12-26-2021 at 10:17 AM..
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2021, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Sci View Post
A primary ingredient in K-Lite (12-1-1 + 10 Ca, 3Mg) is calcium nitrate (15.5-0-0 + 19 Ca). Calcium nitrate, Ca(NO3)2, is also known as nitric acid.

-Keith
Calcium nitrate Ca(NO3)2 is NOT nitric acid HNO3
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2021, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Calcium nitrate Ca(NO3)2 is NOT nitric acid HNO3
You are quite right. Corrected.

Here's the erroneous source:Calcium nitrate | Ca(NO3)2 - PubChem
-Keith
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2021, 11:25 AM
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I see the error. The comma between “nitric acid” and “calcium salt” is intended to relate “calcium salt OF nitric acid”, not to separate them as alternative descriptors.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2021, 01:10 PM
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The above are one-sentence article descriptions. People can't access the original articles without joining the site. Without reading the articles one can't evaluate the claims. It's not possible to determine whether this is just somebody's opinion, marketing romance from a company selling fertilizer, or information derived from carefully conducted research.

The recommendations are so specific and detailed they are not believable unless they were derived from careful research under controlled conditions with a great many plants studied. I suspect they are one grower's opinions, not information derived from research. In any circumstance they aren't applicable to other people's plants unless the other people's growing conditions match those of the original author.

There are many individuals and companies calling themselves The Orchid Doctor. We don't know where these came from.

As a number of people here have mentioned many times before, fertilizer is the least important aspect of orchid growing. Far more important are proper temperature, light, watering and relative humidity. In my opinion growers should spend time and mental energy getting environmental factors correct before worrying much about fertilizer, beyond ensuring some is provided and it supplies all nutrients and minerals needed by plants.
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Old 12-26-2021, 01:33 PM
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Ask 6 orchid growers about fertilizer and you'll get 10 answers. Having had reasonable success just giving things a squirt of whatever I have every couple of weeks, I agree with ES that fertilizer is the least important of the cultural factors. But seems to generate a lot more verbiage, probably because it is the "factor" that people make money selling (and with more variations on the theme they can sell more) It's also the cultural factor that is easiest to apply... I see so many "beginner questions" about what kind of fertilizer to use for this and that. (People seem to like the feeling that they are "doing something" for their orchids... they would have much more success if they concentrate on learning the needs of the plants first rather than focusing on "vitamins") For a commercial grower with thousands of identical plants under controlled conditions, it certainly makes a difference. Big money invested. For the hobby grower with a few orchids of great variety, not so much. Topic generates a lot more heat than light.

As for the term "Orchid Doctor", there's likely to be one - or a team of them - at every orchid show, answering questions and helping people solve problems with their plants. I have had the title myself, along with my cohorts, at shows that I run. Just experienced hobby growers sharing knowledge. No credentials involved. (There is one guy in one of my clubs who goes by the name "Dr. Orchid", he's an actual physician along with being an experienced orchid hobbyist. We use the term "Orchid Doctor" rather than the reverse to avoid stepping on toes.)
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Last edited by Roberta; 12-26-2021 at 02:36 PM..
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2021, 07:33 PM
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There is a joke in the dog training world that is germane to this conversation. What is the only thing 2 dog trainers can agree on? That a 3rd dog trainer is doing something wrong.....just a little tidbit from a humble dog trainer.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2021, 12:09 AM
Shadeflower Shadeflower is offline
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I like that one nemesis

I heard a good one over the christmas period I think a lot of us will be able to relate to

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

Oscar Wilde

So I just want to add that my problems started when I got thrips and they do still occasionally pop back. So I really doused the last affected orchid in insecticide.

The leaves turned a little yellow! Not too surprising really so maybe it still is all just down to thrips and like other articles point out I am fussing too much.

But I feel like inadvertently by trying to figure out why thrips were causing me problems (which I didn't know at the time) I have improved growth rate overall so I am still quite happy (overall)

An article that collaborates my thought on the matter which I think is also very good and worth adding is this one:

Reasons Why Your Orchid Leaves Change Color - Everyday Orchids

Again, thank you for your understanding of me talking out loud a lot lately doing a bit of brainstorming on my orchids but I think it is just mainly down to the thrip problem which that article also confirms.

Last edited by Shadeflower; 12-27-2021 at 12:47 AM..
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