User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 9 to 16 of 16

Thread: Fertilizing Nep pitchers caused shortened life span

  1. #9
    BigBella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SF, CA
    Posts
    2,972
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've avoided Osmocote for several years now -- after once swearing by it. Perhaps they have changed their formulation, but I too had some similar problems with it. My biweekly 30:10:10 and occasional Hikari Cichlid Staple (fish food) pellets in the pitchers have worked wonders for Nepenthes, Cephalotus, and Heliamphora . . .

    Thanks, Jeff . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

  2. #10
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    ARTificial Bog in da' Middle of da' USA
    Posts
    932
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Osmocote, Ugh!

    [I know this isn't the kind of advice you are looking for, but perhaps someone else out there can appreciate some of what I have to share.]

    I haven't used Osmocote in many years (pretty much since right after it first came on the market), and I have my own reasons for disliking it. If it is still the same "design" physically, (tho perhaps not same fertilizer make-up/chemically) then it acts like "capsules" like we take medicine in, perhaps dissolving at different rates in the soil. As such, once each little round capsule dissolves enough to open and release its contents of fertilizer, there is no controlling it further.
    I would think that diluting a powder/liquid fertilizer and experimenting with different strengths and amounts is a far better way of controlling things, and finding out what works best for you.

    Also, in my experience, some Neps/plants tolerate the use of fertilizer better than others, and natural food like bugs has seemed best of all. It does seem logical that using fish food and "bugs", dead or alive is a more appropriate way of feeding plants, that were designed for just such a food as opposed to a "vitamin" package/supplement of fertilizer. Even humans can't exist on vitamins alone!

    Above all, it seems the plants are telling you that they are being overfed. Yard/garden plants get burned (or give distorted growth) by over-fertilization too. [You did express that the results of fertilizing was fantastic!] Now sometimes it is worth the expense of a pitcher or two in order to help the overall health of the plant, as you have expressed. Next is to learn to do this effectively without possibly hurting or even killing the plant. Eventually one must learn to "listen" to what their plants are telling them. This takes time, patience and awareness.


    As I have said before, next to dedication, patience is often what plants need most from us.
    (Many experienced a grower has learned this the hard way.)
    Plants grow at a certain rate, influenced most by their environment. We all have variances in the environment we provide our plants, and this will affect how much/often fertilizer they will accommodate. Even fed bugs/fish food to extreme can be harmful. To attempt to force them to grow faster than normal is most often met with failure.

    My only real questions that I have concerning this, is how were your plants growing to begin with? You expressed that the results of fertilizing were fantastic. What was happening before then? Were the plants well established or recently new? Were they very slow to grow? Losing size since you got them? (A sign of possible adjusting to new environment, or poor environment altogether) Or are they losing size recently... AFTER a good adjustment period and growing decently for a few months? These are important things to consider.... when deciding how to approach the issue of fertilization. Even excellent fertilization won't make-up for environmental deficiencies, and to fertilize an already stressed plant is to possibly make matters worse for it.
    Again, good luck.
    Paul
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  3. #11
    Veronis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the info Paul.

    I waited until the plant was established and growing before I fertilized. It was growing well, but slowly. Its environment is good - it's under a 125W (600W equiv) CFL at 6500K that outputs about 9000 lumens. All the plants I have under it are growing phenomenally. The only environmental problem I have with the ventricosa are temps up to 90 during the day, so it doesn't open its lids up all the way to prevent its pitcher sauce from evaporating. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it or not.

    After I added fertilizer to the nep, the growth rate increased two-fold and it had created two new pitchers in a little over a week. The second fertilization, two weeks later, is where that one pitcher got burned. It's still doing fine and the burned pitcher has not shown any sign of getting any worse than what I originally attached.

  4. #12
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    ARTificial Bog in da' Middle of da' USA
    Posts
    932
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Congratulations!

    Veronis,
    WOW! What you just said communicates a lot to me! You have already found what works and have been told by the plant what does not! From your plants response, the first fertilization did its job and you were right on in doing it! From the result of fertilizing again 2 weeks later, it seems the plant is saying "too much"!

    You are getting the nack' of understanding your plants "language" already! Just keep watching what your plants responses are, and you will know what to do! In view of the results you got, I doubt the fertilizer type is culprit, as your initial results were fantastic actually.

    Not long ago I "improved" my grow chamber with some nice T5 lights and a better humidification.... and nearly killed all my plants! It took a month or 2 to show up, but while all my plants colored-up nicely, I got some algae bloom on things and all plant growth stopped dead in its tracks! Using this so called improvement that is "the equipment to have", I nearly destroyed everything!
    It took me a while to decide what to do. (Along with other things, I tried a little fish-food to fertilize, assuming the added light meant the plants needed more energy to cope.) Finally I decided to back off on the amount of light (time, not intensity), and backed off also on the added humidification... still higher than original, but lower than I "improved" it to!

    At first I was going to just cut back to the original setup, but I knew that was a little substandard to what I thought was ideal.... (hence my improving things in the first place).
    Anyway, giving things another month or so, and another "tweak" or two, I am now seeing the beginnings of growth again!
    It isn't always easy to see what is needed when we are in the middle of the situation, but the plants DO communicate! It is up to us as their caretakers to learn THEIR language!

    Congratulations! I think you have learned more about fertilizing YOUR Neps than you originally gave yourself credit for. (Again from my original response to you, you did an excellent job tracking your progress with photos and such. I wish I would have done that in my situation, as it might have helped others who encounter a similar situation... when "improving" their setup!)
    Good Growing!
    Paul
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  5. #13
    Veronis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks again.

  6. #14
    RL7836's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    3,252
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronis View Post
    20-14-13 Better-Gro Orchid Plus at quarter strength worked well in the soil (minus the algae problem it caused regardless of how much I flushed), but putting the fertilizer into the pitchers, while the results were fantastic, did seem to shorten the life of the pitchers. The pitcher I fertilized twice (over the last month or so) is dead, and the one I fertilized once is starting to die. Neither of the pitchers were more than a month old.
    Interesting observations. Some comments from my 'playing around' with ferts:

    - Peter's soil-acidifying plant food - killed some plants and didn't help many in head to head tests (Cephs, Sarrs, dews). Have not used any for years.
    - Schultz orchid food (urea-based) - used 1/3 - 1/2 of dose recommended for daily watering of orchids (note - this is much less than the amount used by others). Dosed small amount in pitchers (Nep/Ceph/Heli) on a varied basis from 1x/wk to 1x/mo. Excellent growth enhancement - no observed downside.
    - Maxsea (urea-based) - same as Schultz.
    - Better-Gro Orchid Plus (non-urea-based) - same dosing as prior 2. Wilted dew leaf & lids on Nepenthes.

    As for using any ferts in the soil - I tried this years ago and was overwhelmed with slime, algae & the clear gel ooze stuff that looks like it came from a "B-movie". The nasty stuff continued long after the fertilization went away. I'll take slower growth any day.

    On bugs or fish food in the pitchers - I periodically get a white fuzzy mold coming out of pitchers (Nep/Ceph/Heli - not Sarrs). While it doesn't seem to affect them at all (other than visually), the ugliness of the mold has caused me to reduce (not eliminate) this approach.

    Caveat - YMMV - these results are far from conclusive. While I've used the Schultz & Maxsea for at least several months each, I've only used the Better-Gro for 2 weeks or so. I never had anything negative happen with either the Schultz or Maxsea so was quite shocked with the Better Gro impact - especially since it was supposed to be the 'safe' alternative (non-urea-based). This may simply be a case of some pitchers getting old at the same time that I happened to start using the Better Gro and not actually a causal relationship. However, based on this reaction, I'll admit I'm not likely to use this much (if at all) again...
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

    *** Growlist / Wants / Offers ***
    (with Pics)

  7. #15
    Veronis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    417
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is really great info, thanks for sharing it with me.

    It looks like you had exactly the same experience as I did when fertilizing pitchers with Better-Gro. The pitcher I fertilized was only about two weeks old. Its lid wilted shortly afterward.

    I have Maxsea at home, I'll give that a try in a couple weeks and see if my results are different.

  8. #16
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    2,075
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just did my first Max Sea misting today.
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
    My WWWs

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Cephalotus pitcher life span...
    By MrFus in forum Pitcher Plants: (Sarracenia, Heliamphora, Darlingtonia, Cephalotus)
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 09-25-2008, 01:48 PM
  2. A Day in The Life: Nep pitchers
    By Fryster in forum Tropical Pitcher Plants  (Nepenthes)
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-25-2007, 04:58 AM
  3. Life span of utrics
    By pedersonplants in forum Utricularia, Aldrovanda, Genlisea
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-19-2007, 09:53 AM
  4. Pitcher Life Span
    By glider14 in forum Tropical Pitcher Plants  (Nepenthes)
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-03-2006, 10:57 PM
  5. black dot on trap caused by eating a cricket
    By Leiopo in forum Venus Flytrap (Dionaea ) Care Information & Tips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-26-2002, 03:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •