Orchids forum: Orchids plus bromeliads plus MSU's fertilizer plus copper...OH MY!? Need Wisdom!

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Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 12, 2015 10:11 AM CST
So I read a lot about Michigan State University's orchid fertilizer and I wanted to give it a try. My orchids are all mounted with tillandsias, epiphytic ferns, various other bromeliads, ant plants, hoyas, dischidias....everyone mounted together in this glorious jungle...BUT--I have heard copper is deadly to bromeliads so I am a bit nervous about using this. Does anyone

1.) have experience with this fertilizer, and

2.) think it would be OK to just "spot mist" the orchids only with this fertilizer, despite the occasional proximity to bromeliads?

Kindof a loaded question, I know...but I have faith in the brilliant experienced orchid people out there!
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 12, 2015 11:51 AM CST
Here is some additional info on MSU's fertilizer:

Jim

FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer from rePotme Orchid Supplies is urea free, great for orchids and other prized plants. FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer is recommended for use with reverse osmosis (RO), rain or tap water low in alkalinity.

We offer both liquid and granular versions of FEED ME! MSU orchid fertilizer. Liquid FEED ME! is Available in Pint, Quart and Gallon size containers, each one comes with child protective cap. The granular FEED ME! is sold in a 1.5 lb.

FFED ME! is now available in special discounted Combo Packs with our famous GET OFF ME! Natural Orchid Bug Spray and our extraordinary line of Selected Blend Mixes and our offering of 44 different media.

As seen in the American Orchid
Society's Orchids Magazine!

Nutrient Analysis of FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer granular is 13-3-15 8Ca-2Mg
Macronutrients: •Total Nitrogen 13% (Nitrate Nitrogen 12.5%, Ammoniacal Nitrogen 0.7%)
•Phosphate 3.7%
•Potash 15.9%
•Calcium 8%
•Magnesium 2.6%
Derived from calcium nitrate, magnesium nitrate, potassium nitrate and monopotassium phosphate

Micronutrients: •Iron 0.177%
•Manganese 0.088%
•Zinc 0.044%
•Copper 0.044%
•Boron 0.018%
•Molybdenum 0.018%
Derived from Iron EDTA, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, boric acid, ammonium molybdate
We recommend you store the granular FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer in a cool dry place.
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 12, 2015 12:17 PM CST
Now that I have that MSU info posted I will try to address the rest of the questions. Just like orchids, different genera like different things so I will generalize here. Bromeliads like a weak liquid fertilizer just like orchids. After all, most of them are epiphytes. The big difference is I feed my broms monthly, not weekly or daily. I use a balanced, no urea fertilized for both. The only thing I see that may harm a bromeliad in the MSU formula is the copper but there is so little of it (.044%) that it is probably not worth worrying about. I like your spot spraying idea, hitting the orchids every week and the broms once a month.

Jim
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 13, 2015 10:18 AM CST
Kate, copper is used in higher concentrations as a fungicide or preventative measure against fungal and mildew diseases. I've sprayed my mango tree as the blooms start to prevent anthracnose if the weather is cool and damp. That's probably the stuff you should make sure doesn't get on your broms.

The trace amount in the MSU fertilizer absolutely should not hurt them. But as Jim said, broms need much less fert in general than orchids. I spray my broms with orchid fert but just occasionally. The orchids get it at 1/4 strength at least weekly in winter and more often in warm/hot weather. Daily in summer if it doesn't rain.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 13, 2015 1:22 PM CST
Thank you Jim and Elaine!!!! Wonderful advice. Especially regarding the copper...that has really cleared things up for me!! Thanks! Have either of you ever used this product?
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 13, 2015 1:39 PM CST
No, not me. I use a fertilizer I get through the Tampa Orchid Club called Bill's Best. It is made locally and seems to work well in my area. I'm not sure that "one size fits all" is a good policy for orchid fertilizer. With regard to copper, remember it is a naturally occurring element and when used in small amounts it may well be beneficial for your bromeliads.

Jim
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
Feb 13, 2015 4:29 PM CST

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I am using it sometimes indoors/in the greenhouse, since I water with rainwater. I have a few Tillandsias, they look fine.
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
Feb 13, 2015 4:48 PM CST
I've not tried it either, but I do like the fact that they specify their fert should be used with water that has low alkalinity. Mine is somewhat high, so that's why I haven't used it.

Seems to me they used to have a formulation for higher pH well water, too. I'll have to check. I water with my well water which has a pH of around 8 = very high. Even our tap water is above neutral.

Kate you can check the pH of your tap water or whatever you're using, just the same way you check the pH of your pool.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 13, 2015 5:19 PM CST
Hi Elaine, I do have high alkalinity water and I did order the high alkalinity version of the fertilizer you mentioned....I will let you know if I have any different results than the stuff I was using before....who knows! So many variables. But that's why I got this fertilizer....because of the high alkalinity of my water, it piqued my interest. I had never heard of a manufacturer that tailored a fertilizer to suit the nature of the water being used.
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
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
Feb 13, 2015 5:25 PM CST
Ah, you're way ahead of me! Where'd you buy the high alkalinity version of that fert? I didn't see it just now when I look at the 'usual suspects'.

I won't need more fert for a few months, but I'd like to give it a try, too. It just makes sense to me to allow for the pH factor in the water you use.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
Image
karmatree
Feb 13, 2015 5:30 PM CST
Got it on repotme.com .......here's the link:

http://repotme.com/orchid-fertilizer/Orchid-Fertilizer-Pint-...

I bought the pint just to try....it's not expensive at all! 8 bucks.
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Kathy
Western MA

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boojum
Feb 14, 2015 4:36 PM CST
I use the MSU all the time and I have bromeliads stuck in a bunch of my baskets. They don't bloom often here in New England but It sounds like I am not feeding them enough. I have one about to bloom and am really excited to see what it flowers like.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Feb 14, 2015 5:00 PM CST
I use four orchid fertilizer formulations and MSU is one of them. I don't know about a pH variable but MSU makes one fertilizer for rain water/purified water and another for well water/tap water. I use the tap water version. I get my fertilizers from Kelly's Korner.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
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