& Spike Supports
Fertilizer and Thoughts about it:
I buy mine in 25 LB bags, so here I can offer you the same size that has always worked so well for me.
Gro-More 10 - 52 -10 High Bloom
Wanna know how the professionals get all those blooms and fruit? Use this fertilizer and you will find out. Good for fruit, vegetables, orchids, whatever, get the maximum bloom for the maximum fruit.
This is an instant water soluble concentrate with chelated micro nutrients, that means easily available to the plants. You can spray it all over the plant feeding thru the leaves and the roots. Gives you more spikes, more flowers, more fruit etc. if used regularly. I suggest alternating with a good 20 - 10 - 20.
This would be the closest equivalent of Mag-Amp which I can't find any more. Special formula for ALL flowering, fruiting and colored foliage plants like Orchids, mums, bulbs, etc. Also great for providing transplant shock to all those little seedlings when you first plants them out. Tomatoes, strawberries, de-flasking orchids, I use it on all of those.
In a Syphonex or Hozon (1:15) use 4 ounces per gallon of water, pour that in the Hozon jar, as much as it will hold and let 'er rip!!
Use one level tablespoon per gallon if you use something like a sprinkling can to fertilize.
What does that mean?? Urea free?
Fertilizer needs to be something the plants can readily use, If it is watered on and simply passes by the plant there is no nutrition there. Nitrogen is funny and acts differently in it's three forms. Urea, has lots of it, but until this gets in the soil and bacteria in the soil is able to turn it into something the plants can use you can dump it on your orchids forever and it won't help them.
The quickest types of nitrogens available to the plants are ammoniacal nitrogen, or nitrate nitrogen, like most lawn fertilizers use. You know when you use that you can turn the lawn green almost overnight. It is instantly available to the lawn or any plant like orchids. Urea fertilizer on plants in bark, coconut , rock, moss, etc., anything with no soil is pretty much wasted. If you leave the bark in long enough and it starts to break down, that will help, but there is lots of the urea fertilizer used up in the decaying process too, so it's really not as good and just pumping the ammoniacal and/or nitrate nitrogen to it.
All the fertilizers you buy will state on them how the nitrogen is made up. Some are all nitrogen derived from urea, some are part from urea and part from ammoniacal , some are part urea, part ammoniacal and part nitrate, and some are all from ammoniacal and nitrate nitrogen, that's the one I want you to use for the best results.
Then of course, I always look for one with a good assortment of the recommended trace elements. Some I think they are not sure the plants need, but somewhere or other someone recommended it so most all of the fertilizers stuff these "trace elements" in the bag for you.
You could fertilize too much, you could fertilize just right, and you can fertilize not enough or none at all. In other words,,, there is an amount that will hurt the plant, kill it even. There is just the right amount, but there is quite a spread between the right amount and too much. A little too much will just waste a bit of fertilizer down the drain, the plants will have all they can use and that little extra, that's where I want to be.
Here are some thoughts for you...
NEVER use more than the manufacture recommends! Hey, they are selling fertilizer, and are telling you to use the maximum they think you can without hurting the plants. Too much fertilizer can make funny leaves, streaks can show up, it can burn the leaves, contort the leaves, way to much can kill the plants like a weed killer!! SO READ THE LABEL!
By the way, a very experienced orchid nurseryman once told me, "Virus? If you think you have virus in your plants, try NOT fertilizing them for awhile, none at all!" "The chances of you over fertilizing as a beginner are far greater than you finding a plant with a virus!" My virus went away, yours may too.
It won't hurt the plant not to fertilize it. Cheesh! In the jungle all they get is some birds dropping and maybe a little monkey-doo and they grow just fine. Give it 30 to 90 days in an isolated position from other plants, leaching it with plain water regularly, and see if it perks up.
So you will find above, I am not going to try to sell you five kinds of fertilizer for use on different plants at different times of the year. Of the two I have listed, I think it best to alternate them. But, if there is anything more controversial about growing orchids I don't know of it. What kind of mix you plant them in will run a close second. Both of these subjects there are more experts on than prescription drugs with thousands of methods advised on both. My advice is here, KISS method, keep it simple stupid!!! I have found fertilizers all about the same and I have found orchids will grow and flower in almost anything including broken glass if you water them right for what ever you potted them in and give them a bit of balanced fertilizer now and then.
Don't expect miracles from the fertilizer. Using none at all you will still get flowers and growth. Using it you may get and extra growth, or an extra flower but who will know. As the normal mix breaks down the plants will get what they want, this is just to make sure they don't run out of anything. I have seen orchids unfertilized for many years with loads of spikes, so don't get all caught up in this fertilizer thing. I recommend you use any fertilizer you have up before you purchase more, then chose one of these here and use it all the time. My plan has been to use it at one half strength all the time, with some Epsom Salts in also to make sure it dissolves. Epsom Salt is available at Costco. Use the Epsom Salts to get the pH around 6 to 6.5 and ll your fertilizer will dissolve instead of leaving that messy goo on the bottom of the concentrate jar or tub.
Bear in mind also, you will get more flowers and better growth by placing the plants in the maximum light they can stand, and the best air circulation you can give them, and watering them properly. Spend more time on perfecting those three things than worrying about fertilizer.
Dr. George Kennedy, an avid jungle collector told me the best plants were always in the brightest, windiest most unreachable places in the jungle, where he had to climb around some cliff and stretch out for them with the sun in his eyes, clinging on to keep the wind from blowing him off the face of the cliff. There is no bagged fertilizer available to the plants up there, shucks, they aren't even in pots!!!
HOME MADE PLANT WATERING BOTTLES
$15.00 - plus shipping
Comes equipped with an excellent spray head and a bottle with a built in handle for carrying. These bottles with the handles are excellent for keeping a bit of Superthrive made up to spray your indoor plants.
Ahem, by the way, I seem to have a good supply of these excellent bottles, if you would like one separately, I'll ship you one with out the spraying mechanism for $5.00 plus the shipping. It's one of the few with a handle like this, very handy.
Sprayers alone are $10.00 each plus the shipping.
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