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Old 10-25-2022, 11:20 PM
CarnivorousPlanter CarnivorousPlanter is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2022
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General Fertilizer Questions
Default General Fertilizer Questions

Hi all!

As a carnivorous plant grower of many years, I have a deep fear of fertilizing my plants. However I do want to get more growth and blooms out of my orchids and I have some questions about fertilizer. I have found so many things online about exact ratios of fertilizers and how much concentration at what intervals to use for a particular plant; I was wondering whether there are “safe”, catch-all options to lightly fertilize most orchids (I’m not trying to grow award winners…). Ie. Is there a fertilizer routine that I can regularly apply across my collection without worrying about it too much? Is there specific regimens I should follow? (Like how often to flush etc, I know you usually want to stop fertilizing when there is no active growth?) are there specific groups of orchids that don’t take well to excess nutrients? (I mainly grow various miniatures with a couple larger species) I want to start getting over my fertilizer fear!
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:10 AM
vanda2020 vanda2020 is offline

Join Date: Sep 2011
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Location: West Texas
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General Fertilizer Questions

I use HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester. I make sure my water is 50PPM to 80ppm of fert almost every watering. I water with RO. I flush the pots out every so often to avoid fertilizer build up. Most orchids are not fussy about fert. Some need a lot of it like catesetum orchids for example. Ferts I use are Peters 20 20 20, MSU K, and organic liquid tomatoe fertilizer by Epsoma. I have grown all kinds of orchids for 30+ years. Catesetum orchids in growth stage need fertilizer almost everyday. The rest need fertilizer weakly weekly.
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Old 10-26-2022, 01:38 AM
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tmoney tmoney is offline
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General Fertilizer Questions Male

meh, basically we stopped caring so much about it. phalaenopsis seem to do great with very little and normal tap water.

when we do fertilize we use whatever orchid fertilizer we find at different places and follow the instructions to make 1/4 strength. normally that is about each other watering. but again, i stopped stressing if a week is missed or whatever

i am a believer in kelpak tho, and try to get some of that if you can!
absolute noob....tmoney
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Old 10-26-2022, 01:48 AM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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General Fertilizer Questions

Hopefully Ray will chime in, his site has a ton of easily digestible info on fertilizing. The gist is, fertilize regularly but no need to use a strong dose. I prefer a 3-1-2 NPK ratio, other people have different preferences, so long as none of the numbers are wildly high it’ll be suitable. Look for a complete fertilizer if your water is low in calcium and magnesium. Most tap water in the US has plenty of Ca/Mg so your fertilizer doesn’t have to include those if you’re watering with tap.

I like Dyna Gro Foliage Pro. Don’t let the name fool you, it grows tons of blooms too.
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Old 10-26-2022, 02:30 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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General Fertilizer Questions

Join Date: Jun 2015
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General Fertilizer Questions Male

You must get rid of your CP programming. Temperate bogs and tropical tree branches are very different places.

Non-carnivorous plants require plenty of nitrogen and plenty other nutrients. I've become convinced over the years the reason most people think they are bad with houseplants is because they don't fertilize enough.

Much depends on your growing conditions. If your temperatures and light are close to what plants prefer, they grow much faster than if not. Faster growing orchids can utilize much more nitrogen than slower growing orchids. My Cattleyas grow much better with constant heavy fertilizing than without.

As an example, Phalaenopsis grown in constantly warm and humid conditions can easily put out 8-10 leaves per year. Most home growers see 2-3 leaves per year. Phals grown in warm conditions can use more fertilizer than Phals grown in cool homes.

Most commercial growers I've heard lecturing use very much more fertilizer than is typically recommended for the orchid groups they're discussing.

The fertilizer discussion at the First Rays Web site is top-notch, and aimed at orchid growers. I suggest you go there and do some reading.

What orchids are you growing?
May the bridges I've burned light my way.

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Old 10-27-2022, 01:39 AM
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nemesis nemesis is offline
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Another shout out to First Rays. I use the Ray’s Regimen of K-Lite fertilizer, Quantum Total probiotic, and Kelpak. With this seller you also have the benefit of buying from a top notch human being, who provides excellent customer service and a wealth of information based on years of study, both practical, and formal. In addition, Steven Van Kampen-Lewis (Isurus), has some very interesting things to say about fertilizing Cattleyas. Google his videos on You Tube, under fertilizer. My Cattleyas have gone crazy after adding Mg/Ca baskets and Nutricote to the mix explained above. Great guys and members of this forum.
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Old 10-27-2022, 08:46 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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General Fertilizer Questions Male

Thanks, everyone, for the compliments.
Originally Posted by CarnivorousPlanter View Post
Is there a fertilizer routine that I can regularly apply across my collection without worrying about it too much?
I have evolved to using a very simple regimen, shooting for about 100 ppm N weekly.

I know that’s a concentration, not a mass of nitrogen, and since we have very little grasp on how much of the applied solutions are actually absorbed, it is nothing more than an educated/experienced guess.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
Try Kelpak - you won't be sorry!
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