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Thread: Is there any evidence that artificial fertilisers are detrimental to CPs?

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Is there any evidence that artificial fertilisers are detrimental to CPs?

    Hi,

    I'm sure that everyone here has either read or believes that fertilisers are harmful to carnivorous plants. It's often cited that plants developed the ability to catch prey as their natural environment was/is devoid of nutrients; however, this doesn't necessarily mean that they are intolerant of them. Every now and then there will be a post about adding Osmocote or similar to CP media. Does anyone have any evidence that adding such fertilisers has any detrimental effect? Alternatively, is there any research papers proving that artificial nutrients are detrimental?

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    I don't know about Dews and Pings and things cos I don't grow them much but I know that my Neps did very well being fed Grow More Urea Free orchid fertilizer basic (20-20-20 + trace minerals) and the bloom formula (10-30-30 + trace minerals). I would add 1/2 - 1 tea spoon of powder to each 5 gallons of R/O water and water all the plants with it: neps, orchids, succulents, etc. Come to think of it, there was a D. adlae that showed up and infested my N. hamata vines pot and it did great with the bi-weekly fertilizer with D. adlae growing out of every hole in the net pot even blooming. lol

    I also fed each pitcher an appropriately sized cricket every week or so. I never used Osmocote or any other sorts of fertilizers so I can't say what they'd do but Urea Free Grow More is a gentle fertilizer (ebay has it). Just don't go overboard follow the directions or even use less than it says and of course experiment on something you can stand to loose before you try it on everything!

    I will say one thing that was detrimental was using NAPA Floor Dry #8822 (expanded diatomaceous earth) in a 50-50 peat mix with Dews. It grows succulents like nothing else I know of but it wiped out my meager collection of six sundews in about 3 days. So avoid Floor Dry as a source of grit for your CPs.

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swords View Post
    I don't know about Dews and Pings and things cos I don't grow them much...
    I regularly feed my couple of Mexican Pinguicula with hydroponic nutrients (Ionic Hydro Grow) with no sign of detrimental effects and one of them has been flowering for months.

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    i think the bottom point is whether the nutrients come from organic or inorganic sources. CPs can readily take in organic sources with much ease. inorganics that are chelated are probably easier for CPs to take up as well. inorganic sources alone usually involve salts which are detrimental. osmocote is also a time release fertilizer as well---maybe that has something to do with CP tolerance to it.

    i have no idea what im talking about...im just trying to sound smart. :-/
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    swords's Avatar
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    I would imagine hydroponic fertilizers would be the same as Urea Free orchid ferts since hydro grows soilless in inert media and has no bacteria to break down the urea fertilizers.

    IIRC what is supposed to be so "bad" about fertilizer salts is when they dry up they can crystallize on the roots and thereby inhibiting further water/nutrient uptake. But by using plenty of distilled or R/O water inbetween fertilizations should be enough to flush any excess salts away. My Neps would get probably 4-8 flushes of pure water inbetween each fertilizer flush.

    Organic fertilizers/treatments (like fish emulsion) are OK for a greenhouse but they can stink and promote fungal growth enclosed in a terrarium. I do prefer the standardized inorganic salts myself.

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    It is my understanding that sarracenia - at least - is intolerant of fertilizers. Such additives will quickly kill off their roots - which are unaccostumed to large concentrations of salts and minerals - both of which are present in fertilizers - and once this happens they will quickly fall to rhizome rot. Having said that, there's no denying the results obtained from osmocote in young plants. The key is most likely moderation. CPs do require minerals - just not in the same proportion as other plants. A slow release, dilute fertilizer will do wonders for your plants - just don't over do it.
    In corals, maximum cellular growth occurs at a temperature just below the maximum tolerable heat that would kill the cells. Same principle applies to CPs: You never know how much is too much until it's too late - so most people opt for the safe road: No fertilizer at all.
    "There is no pain as great as being alive,
    no burden heavier than that of conscious life. "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brokken View Post
    It is my understanding that sarracenia - at least - is intolerant of fertilizers.
    I have Osmocote in small quantities in my media for psittacina and purpurea and both plants are doing fine

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    I have only used dilute orchid fertilizers (typically 30:10:10 at one quarter strength) with Nepenthes, Cephalotus, and Heliamphora -- all with noticeably good results, and have supplemented that with occasional feedings either of insects or fish food. The Sarracenia are constantly brimming over with prey and haven't required a thing.

    Of course, any fertilizer can be detrimental to a plant if applied incorrectly . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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