Orchids forum: Tales of the Fertilizer Maze --- Please add yours!

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Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
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sandnsea2
Nov 17, 2010 3:09 PM CST
I thought it would be interesting to tell our fertilizer tales.....
Currently, I am trying Dyna-Grow liquid. Like foliar feeding and seeing how various orchids respond.
Have been fertilizing weakly weekly.
I shall update as this experiment progresses.
What do folks use on their Paphs?? Bulbos??
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Nov 17, 2010 5:05 PM CST
I fertilize with the MSU granules for Reverse Osmosis water plus Physan 20. I've gone from every two weeks to every three. I sprinkle ground oyster shells on my paphs and phrags every fall.
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Nov 18, 2010 6:21 AM CST
Thanks, Kathy! That is interesting. Smiling
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Nov 18, 2010 8:59 AM CST

Moderator

I usually fertilize with Peters - I use a balanced fertilizer like 20 -20 -20 during regular growing season ( mostly Summer outside and once a week)
In Summer I also add Magnesium Sulfate once in a while ( Epsom Salt) at a teaspoon/gallon. It helps keeping leaves green.
I switch to fertilizer containing higher levels of Phosphorus as in 10 -30 -10 or even middle number 50, when ready to bloom. ( mostly inside about once a month)
At least that's what I aim to do, but my schedule is not written in stone. And I always spray the whole plant.

Here is a good list showing which ones of the Phrags and Paph species need the Calcium additions.
http://www.slipperorchids.info/calcicolous.html
Name: Janice
Cape Cod, MA, USA (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums Tip Photographer
Daylilies Roses Orchids Miniature Gardening Lilies Irises
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sandnsea2
Nov 18, 2010 10:33 AM CST
Great information, Ursula! And thanks so much for the Paph Calcium info.
Is Peters still available? If so, where do you purchase it?
Epsom salts are something I always use on my roses (a Martha Stewart tip), never thought of the orchids--- love it!
Kathy, Physan sounds like an important addition.
Thanks, Kathy and Ursula! Lovey dubby
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Nov 18, 2010 10:47 AM CST
Just looked up every paph and put this info in my notes. Then I put it permanently on the right side box info under "CULTURE SHEETS" so we can look it up anytime.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Nov 18, 2010 5:02 PM CST

Moderator

Oh, good thing!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Nov 18, 2010 5:20 PM CST
Hmm, mine is a cross between a NO and a YES. Since the majority are yes, I suppose it could use just a little? Confused
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Nov 18, 2010 6:32 PM CST
I wrote yes for the crosses like that. Won't hurt. I've always used it on my phrags (all nos) with no harm.
Name: Bill
New Windsor, NY (Zone 6b)
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billc
Apr 9, 2011 3:30 PM CST
I don't know how familiar you guys are with First Ray's website, but he has a ton of great info there. Here's his take on fertilizers and there's a calculator at the end of the article for those that are math challenged like me.
https://www.firstrays.com/fertilizers.htm
I pretty much fert at 125PPM every other watering. Masdies get about 50PPM every other watering, other wise they tend to suffer from too much. I use collected rain water.

Bill
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Apr 9, 2011 4:59 PM CST
I'll have to read that again when I can absorb it all. Very interesting, Bill. Thanks!

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