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  #1  
Old 06-04-2020, 01:31 AM
ROSIEonFIRE ROSIEonFIRE is offline
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Fertilizing for flowers
Default Fertilizing for flowers

Hi! Just wondering if I could get some guidance on ferts. I bought some orchid fertilizer at my local nursery. They had 2 options, one for 'blooming' orchids and another generic orchid fert. How should I choose what fertilizer to use? Should I be using differently formulated fertilizers depending on whether my orchid currently has flowers or not?
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:22 AM
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The bottom line: It doesn't matter, and there really isn't a need to change fertilizer formulas.

When the first synthetic orchid fertilizer was manufactured, the formula was 30-10-10 and folks poured it on like mad. Plants grew beautifully but were shy about blooming because they were given so much nitrogen. Another formula was blended - 15-30-15, reducing the nitrogen loading to allow the plants to bloom, and the he marketing folks sold it as a "bloom booster". So now folks purchased two packages, rather than one...
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:31 PM
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R.O.F. ------ I originally used a Seasol brand liquid fertiliser ----- then decided to try the yates thrive orchid liquid plant food (10:3:14). Both of them - no issues with growing and blooming. I do beginning-of month-fertilising --- and middle of month mag-cal application. This is applied to scoria media. All other times will be regular watering.

More frequently fertilising is possible too - maybe just keeping in mind that fertiliser salts/residue can build up in media. So watch the strength of fertiliser (mixture in the water mix - concentration), and the frequency of applications (as in how many times it is applied over some time period regularly).


Last edited by SouthPark; 06-04-2020 at 07:28 PM..
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:00 PM
DrDawn DrDawn is offline
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Don't stress too much. I didn't fertilize AT ALL for the first decade that I grew orchids and it was fine. They still grew, bloomed, etc. I now fertilize weakly about once a month and the plants are still happy. [[shrug]] Just don't overdo it, which can burn the plants and lead to salts building up in your growing media.

Most of what plants need to grow comes from the water and the air. Think of fertilizer like vitamins, not like food.
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:25 PM
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I can relate to that DrDawn. I have some outdoor orchids growing in scoria - still in their same pots from a few decades ago - never repotted, and never manually fertilised at any stage. I know there are organisms (ants and insects etc) living among the scoria inside the pot though. Back to their beginnings --- the roots still managed to grow long inside the pot (without any manual fertilising), and even grow outside the pot to touch the ground/soil. So now, I think they get some fertiliser from nature, and some elements from the tap water too.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The bottom line: It doesn't matter, and there really isn't a need to change fertilizer formulas.

When the first synthetic orchid fertilizer was manufactured, the formula was 30-10-10 and folks poured it on like mad. Plants grew beautifully but were shy about blooming because they were given so much nitrogen. Another formula was blended - 15-30-15, reducing the nitrogen loading to allow the plants to bloom, and the he marketing folks sold it as a "bloom booster". So now folks purchased two packages, rather than one...
What he said! Bloom boosters are definitely not needed.
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2020, 10:05 PM
ROSIEonFIRE ROSIEonFIRE is offline
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Thanks so much for all the advice guys! I'll def stick with my basic fert.
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