Orchids forum: Using SuperThrive?

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
May 2, 2013 1:05 PM CST
Hey all, so I ran out of SuperThrive the other day, and went to buy a new bottle. Now, I will admit, I shoulda been from Missouri, I'm a natural-born skeptic, and I like to see real proof of bona-fide research before I use a product. But back a few years ago when I was starting out with orchids, SuperThrive was recommended to me by those that know, so I got some.

Standing at the nursery with the bottle in my hand, reading the label, Holy Cow! I have never, ever seen so much hype crammed on one packaging card. The whole 5in. by 8in card attached to the bottle is filled with outrageous claims, bogus statements like "BioUsables" "Millions of molecules of World's science Miracles in each drop". Yikes, talk about sounding too good to be true! I put the bottle back, came home and started reading up.

There's very little research and almost no documented studies on this product to be had. Plus everybody who has had doubts (like I am having) has come up with a bunch of startling facts - this product is banned in several states because it contains an unregulated growth hormone. It should be kept cool, and loses its potency over time if kept outdoors (like my 4-yr. old bottle was). Its main ingredient is vitamin B1, and there are lots of studies showing that vitamins in general are not beneficial to plants. The concensus (so far) seems to be that all it really does is stimulate root growth, and it should not be sprayed on the foliage of orchids, or any other plant in bud or flower, as it can cause deformed flowers and other anomalies.

Scroll down this thread http://www.orchidboard.com/community/beginner-discussion/322... to a long post by Ray Barkalow, who did his own small informal study on it.

Then this fellow seems to have gone much further into researching it http://forum.grasscity.com/absolute-beginners/886436-all-you...

I am still on the quest, but what does everyone think about this? Is it just another potion that you're afraid to stop using because it "might be doing some good"? Our society spends billions on vitamins, supplements and "cures" that people start using because of hype, and then are afraid to stop. But to me, here's the most damning thing so far, in tiny print on the bottom of the back of the card, so small I had to use a magnifying glass to read it, it says:

"NON-WARRANTY: Makers cannot be responsible for use, whether or not thought to be according to directions (which have seemed valuable to 100% of users following them). However, write, with your phone number if you have a question on how to have easier plant success with SUPERthrive."

So much for their Double Money Back Guarantee, Greatest Guarantee- Offer PROOF Ever, Guarantee to be World Champion. (of what?) They did win a science medal at the 1940 World's Fair . . .

Thumb of 2013-05-02/dyzzypyxxy/620e0c Thumb of 2013-05-02/dyzzypyxxy/df2627 Thumb of 2013-05-02/dyzzypyxxy/bc1fb3
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - May 2, 2013 4:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
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Ursula
May 3, 2013 7:59 AM CST

Moderator

I had to think about that a bit. I have used it for a short while some years ago, but I simply got sort of bored adding it, since I didn't notice any spectacular results.
Now around that time at the GNYOS ( at Rockefeller Center then) I overheard one of the Vendors discuss with a customer potting up a whole lot of Orchids which were pre -ordered and came bare root. I remember him mentioning that it wasn't too expensive to soak them in water with Super Thrive added to pot up just a couple of Orchids, but - dealing with a whole lot of plants getting faster over the ordeal of traveling/transplant shock, he said he soaked them in water with a little sugar added. It was a lot cheaper than ST. Now I don't remember how much Sugar he used, but I thought that was interesting.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
May 3, 2013 8:01 AM CST
Buyer beware, Elaine. Does this stuff work - who knows? Like most OTC things we buy, there is little if any true research proving its effectiveness. SuperThrive is kind of like "natural" supplements. Much more is spent on advertising than in research. Perhaps a university, such as Michigan State, LSU, or Mississippi State, has done some research on this product (they have large, active agricultural research centers), or perhaps your extension service folks knows something about it. One thing's for sure. SuperThrive is very expensive. Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
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
May 3, 2013 8:03 AM CST

Moderator

here is another discussion
http://forum.theorchidsource.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/27090...
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 3, 2013 11:21 AM CST
Well, thanks you two. If neither of you use it, I think I can probably do without spending $13.95 on a tiny little bottle of hocus pocus. All that ridiculous hype on the label really put me off, I obviously didn't read it the first time I bought it.

I'll use what I have left as a root soak for transplanting, then buy another orchid with the money I saved, or two, if there's anything worthwhile on the death rack at Lowe's!

University of Florida has a big Hort/Ag program as well, of course. I wonder if I can find somebody there who has seen research on this stuff?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
May 3, 2013 2:11 PM CST
I found this awhile back when I started into CPs

http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3600.html
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
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hawkarica
May 3, 2013 3:33 PM CST
All that I can tell you is that several members of the Tampa Orchid Club are now using a product called Dyna-Gro by Pro-Tekt. It is a liquid called the silicon solution and claims to improve heat and drought tolerance, increase resestance to environmental stress and enhance growth for stronger hardier plants. Some claim it is better than SuperThrive but who knows? It may be indeed better but better than nothing isn't much. The label says 0-0-3 so it just may be soluble potash. Very expensive soluble potash. I buy a product called Kmag (0-0-23) in 50 lb bags so if I add a tiny amount to my misting routine I could have the potash and the magnesium covered all in one shot. Shrug!

Jim
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 3, 2013 7:37 PM CST
Yeah, I really want to know exactly what it is that I'm putting on my plants, and what it's really doing.

I like the label of that Pro-Tekt stuff. It only has two ingredients, and no outrageous claims on the label, either.

Now I'm wondering about the research on silicon bolstering cell walls . .. it never ends.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
May 4, 2013 7:52 AM CST
Seems like ther is always another snake oil from the flim-flam man
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 4, 2013 10:01 AM CST
Yep, what bugs me is a snake-oil firm that's been flim-flamming for 70-odd years and making millions per year off gullible gardeners. In the 21st century we ought to be getting more savvy about proven science vs. magic potions.

My first stab at the silicon research netted an interesting article https://njaes.rutgers.edu/spotlight/soilsilicon.asp although this study used calcium silicate as a soil amendment, not silicon dioxide (that's in Pro Tekt) as a soluble additive.

Seems silicon has been accepted as a "plant beneficial substance" and is now allowed to be listed in the "guaranteed analysis" section on fertilizer labels. IF it does what they're saying it does, - still not thoroughly researched - it surely will benefit outdoor orchids here in bug- and fungus-rich and occasionally frosty Florida.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 4, 2013 10:24 AM CST
Another study on long-term silicon effects on rice in Japan. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444511...

They use it as a soil additive, so still not really applicable to orchids that don't grow in soil and must uptake stuff like that mainly through transpiration.

An interesting chapter of this article is this one http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444511... where the researcher describes how different plants may or may not uptake or accumulate silicon.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - May 4, 2013 10:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 8, 2013 8:54 AM CST
Someone on another thread found this ingredient info for SuperThrive. It's really interesting and bolsters the idea that it's really only good for rooting and transplanting. The banned ingredients in Oregon are the two rooting hormones.

http://oda.state.or.us/dbs/heavy_metal/detail.lasso?-op=eq&p...

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 14, 2013 1:33 PM CST
Update on SuperThrive, from my visit to HD today. New label on it, without all the outrageous claims!! So glad somebody called their bluff finally!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Jul 14, 2013 6:06 PM CST
Did you still buy it? Hilarious!
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jul 14, 2013 7:11 PM CST
Saw that yesterday at the local HD and right away thought of you Elaine
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 14, 2013 8:04 PM CST
I'm not buying that stuff any more. It took a lot of meetings and withdrawal and everything . . . But I am free of my SuperThrive addiction now.

I still have half a bottle around somewhere, and whenever I trip over it, I use it for a root stimulant, but not on my orchids.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Jul 14, 2013 8:36 PM CST
Hurray!
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
Jul 14, 2013 8:46 PM CST
I have cupboards full of that kind of stuff. Thanks to the computer, it's just taking up space. We are such neophytes, until we do a bit of research, that we buy whatever the advertising folks try to sell us.
It's good that people , like you, do the research, and post it.
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jul 14, 2013 9:38 PM CST
I agree
Name: Susan B
East Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member
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lakesidecallas
Aug 10, 2013 10:55 AM CST
The man that developed SuperThrive and came up with all the crazy advertising died this year, so the company is probably moving their advertising into the 21st century Big Grin

I too have a bottle of this stuff, sits in the basement and I always forget to use it....

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