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  #1  
Old 03-12-2018, 11:47 AM
RoseLillyBloom RoseLillyBloom is offline
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Hi! I'm new to the world of orchids! I'm very interested in growing them as a hobby. I'm looking for alternative ways to fertilize my orchids. so here is my question:
Can you use boiled vegetable water to fertilize an orchid?
Will it cause harm to the plants?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2018, 08:33 PM
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I've not heard of using boiled vegetable water as fertilizer ... So, I can't say if it will harm your plants. I would think any nutrients would be far to diluted to be useful, and wonder about any nitrogen in that ... ?
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2018, 06:22 AM
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Are you talking about boiled water from cooking your dinner (seasonings added could be bad for plants) or boiling any kind of plant matter (stems, grass, etc) and using the water?

I think the nutrient content will be very unpredictable. You should think about thorough flushing with clean water in-between use to avoid potential odor problems. I'm not saying not to try it, but understand you may get uneven and unpredictable results. I have been known to try unconventional techniques, so what the heck . . . if you try it, let us know what you did and how it worked out (or didn't).

If you want better and more predictable results, use a commercial water-soluble orchid fertilizer. I have had good results with Miracle Gro, Better Grow, and Schultz brands. Other people may have their own recommendations. Beware gimmicky products, especially those that don't list a fertilizer analysis on the label.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:58 AM
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Boiled vegetable water is never going to supply all of the nutrients any plant needs. Orchids, because they take little- to no nutrition from their planting media, would particularly suffer under such a regimen.

Feeding is a complex subject, and one that is full of opinions, but this might give you a basic understanding of the needs.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:58 PM
Cym Ladye Cym Ladye is offline
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I will never understand why people who have never grown orchids before try to recreate fertilizer formulas when they do not understand what orchids need. Far better to analyze what others before them have done with many different formulas which ACTUALLY PROVIDE proper nutrition specifically for orchids. They can then be creative if they feel they can do better. It takes about 3 years to prove if a formula will work for a grower in their specific environment.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:11 PM
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As a fertilizer, like the others stated, will be next to useless.

As use in stead of fresh water, I don't think it will harm (cooled to room temps).

Living in a drought prone area, I save the cold run from the shower to water plants. If the intent is water conservation (arguably extreme), kudos.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:54 AM
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Jeez!

Simmer down folks, and give RoseLillyBloom some credit for posing an interesting if unconventional question. (Kudos to A.Y.M. for a more measured response, rather than throwing the OP under the bus)

It is possible that the water will contain more nutrient than you think. Cooking vegetables is merely a small-scale version of vegetable processing. At a former job, I had about 20 years experience working with various wastewaters and solids generated by industrial and municipal processes including food processing. My goal was to do the science required to responsibly recycle the wastewater, including the contained N, P, K, and other nutrients. Usually responsible use included reuse for irrigation, plants used the water and the nutrients. Way more nutrients than you think. Have a look at the wastewater analysis table in this paper: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...4-oKzqpOb93Ofx

As I stated, the fertilizer content is likely to be variable (cooking water will differ for carrots vs kale vs green beans, for example). Put salt or fat in the cooking water, and that immediately renders it useless/harmful for orchids. I would never boil a batch of vegetables just to make "fertilizer" (waste of energy and vegetables). But don't write the idea off as bad just because it is unconventional.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:00 AM
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I cannot speak for others, but I was not "throwing anyone under the bus", but answering the question.

Unconventional approaches are a significant part of what I think makes orchid growing fun!
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:03 AM
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(I married a highly intelligent man...sometimes his intelligence and need to be right feel like getting thrown under the bus. Just sayin.')

I think this is an interesting question and it shows the OP is thinking outside the box and being environmentally conscious. It's not strange at all when you think of our grandparents saving vegetable scraps and egg shells for their compost bin, or burying coffee grounds by their plants (or my Aunt Hilda making manure tea). And then there is Jerry Baker. LOL
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
(I married a highly intelligent man...sometimes his intelligence and need to be right feel like getting thrown under the bus. Just sayin.')

I think this is an interesting question and it shows the OP is thinking outside the box and being environmentally conscious. It's not strange at all when you think of our grandparents saving vegetable scraps and egg shells for their compost bin, or burying coffee grounds by their plants (or my Aunt Hilda making manure tea). And then there is Jerry Baker. LOL
Your first sentence is a hoot. I've been accused of intelligence and needing to be right. Have also learned, unfortunately in my sixties, that if not careful with my words I have the ability to come across as a pompous smartypants and whatever I'm attempting to convey gets lost in the shuffle.

I remember buying a small set of Jerry Baker "booklets" for my dad as a Christmas present when I was in my early twenties. To my surprise, many years later when assisting him into assisted living, found them fairly much untouched. When I asked why, he said he'd browsed through them but most of the "tips" were things he'd already learned from his grandparents and parents. As a much older person, I understood.

I've been raising plants since I was old enough to walk. I've raised orchids for a couple of decades or so. I still have three bottles of "orchid" fertilizer, mostly unused. Why? Because I never get around to it.

I do dunk them occasionally in the fish pond outside in summer, and when doing an inside aquarium water change use that to water with. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. I rarely boil a veggie, so that experiment would never happen here.

Point being... over time you'll collect more of what tolerates and flourishes in your care, and less of what doesn't. Survival of the fittest in your own micro-climate.
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