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Thread: Fertilizer

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    larry's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Is regular plant fertilizer different from orchid fertilizer? I have some liquid plant fertilizer I'd like to use. I think i'm suppose to use 1/10th the strength or something like that. So can I use just regular plant fertilizer?
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    i would'nt know for sure , i just started growing orchids but i'm guessing that its different because i heard somewhere that orchid and other epiphyte fertilizers are used for plants that absorb nutrients from there epiphyte roots or leaves . i'm guessing its ok to use if you dilute the amount .

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    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    I'd recommend using orchid fertilizer. The nutrients are balanced to provide the right ratio preferred by orchids. They are weak feeders. General rule of thumb is full strength every other watering or 1/4 strength every watering. But that is a general rule and can't be followed for every orchid since some like more or less water and/or fertilizer depending on the species. Phragmipediums don't like too much fertilizer for example.

    I couldn't tell you if regular house plant fertilizer will hurt your orchid...I've never used that on mine.

    Suzanne
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    Hi:

    I you could tell me what is the ratio of N P K on your regular fertilizer, I might be able to help you. Also, what quantity do they come into as well as the instructions on that fertiliser.

    Thanks

    Regard

    Joe

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    An important factor when selecting a fertilizer for orchids is to avoid fertilizers having much urea. It won't harm them, but it's a form of nitrogen not easily used by them the way we usually grow them.

    Urea is great stuff for potted plants because it binds well in the soil, where bacteria gradually convert it into the forms of nitrogen (nitrate and ammonia) useful to plants. Nitrate doesn't bind in the soil, so if fertilizers contained nitrate, almost all of it would wash right through the soil. When orchids are grown on mounts or in the typical potting mixes, however, very little urea is converted to a usable form of N. So pick a fertilizer with most, if not all the N as ammonia and/or nitrate, which plants can use without any microbial assistance. One widely sold "orchid" fertilizer has almost all, if not all the nitrogen as urea, so don't buy something just because it says orchid on the label. Read the ingredients.
    Bruce in CT

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    larry's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info all.
    Bruce, I got a bad feeling you're talking about the Schultz Orchid Food that I use. I looked at the label yesterday and yup, most of the Nitrogen is urea based [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img]
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    the only orchid fertilizers i have seen on the market are : growmore , spoonit , gublers , shultz , and some other type . which type of fertilizers would you recomend that are very good for orchids and havle less or no urea at all herenorthere . oh , and to answer your question larry , no you should not use any other type of plant fertilizers even if it shows the n p k amounts it must be for orchids or orchid related or something else 9 i would'nt know for sure i'm sleepy [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] ) www.orchidlady.com should be informative .

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I went for a few years without having an actual "orchid" fertilizer. But I finally bought a little bag of Sun Bulb Co.'s "Better-Gro" last winter. I think I saw it at Home Depot. I still like to use MirAcid every now and then (keeping it away from limestone adapted Paphs), fish emulsion a few times during the summer, and occasionally some low nitrogen bloom booster.
    Bruce in CT

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