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Thread: Question on Fertilizing Neps

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    Question on Fertilizing Neps

    I read that Osmocote can be used for Nepenthes plants. I'm just wondering if it's a good idea to fertilize establishing plants or plant cuttings?

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    While I don't use Osmocote for my Neps,
    I know many people have for other plants.
    I would say as general advice, that if a plant has no roots developed yet,
    that is isn't a good idea to give it much / if any fertilizer at all.
    For most plants, it will lead to rotting death otherwise.
    For most my plants, I wait until a decent root system is developed before fertilizing
    and I would recommend you do the same.

    Be sure to use a mix that is 1/2-1/4 or less of the normal concentration.
    (Often I only recommend a trace amount, as the plant can only absorb that much anyway,
    and is safer to do until the plant tells you how it feels about it. Only then should you consider applying a more concentrated amount.)
    Keep in mind that the goal isn't to see how much you can apply before the plant is killed...
    so this tends to be a case of less-is-more, especially for those experimenting for the first time.

    Good Luck!
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    That sounds like a good plan. I'll put half the normal concentration and see how my plants will do with it. Thanks for your advice!

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    Edward Rokosauros's Avatar
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    Osmocote has been tried and proven to be useful for fertilizing nepenthes, but I personally prefer foliage sprayed fertilizers. Nepenthes absorb it faster and frankly, it's hard to 'overdose' this fertilizer. Works like a charm on my Nepenthes. I'm using Yates all purpose plant food, diluted at 1/4 of dosage recommended and applied once every 3 weeks on my neps.
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    Is there a marked difference in their size and growth pattern after you've started spraying? When I go to a garden store, what exactly should I ask for?

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    i feed them.....while i use RO water for my CP's our local water is very high in mineral salts, as such i dont like using synthetic ferts that just put more salts into my ground.....so i use things like fish based fertilizers like this:



    dilute it some and feed the pitchers with it......and i see some marked improvement with it....also believe but i cant prove, that because it also holds all kinds of macro and micro nutrients that help improve growth instead of the more pure NPK ferts.....
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    Since people are going beyond the borders of Osmocote asked about originally I might as well add my preffered fertilizer to the list.

    I use Grow More Urea Free Orchid Fertilizer (green formula 20-10-20). It also has a full compliment of all the micro-nutrients. Being Urea Free the fertilizer is gentle and immediately useable to plants VS classic fertilizers which need microbial activity to turn the fertilizer into a useable form for plants, microbes which LFS, bark and similar Nepenthes soils are deficient.

    I use it at the roots, as a foliar feed and in the pitchers. I do one of these 3 types of treatments every 2 weeks or so. I try to rotate each treatment. I started using the fertilizer squirted into the pitchers on plants too small to feed insects to but I noticed a decrease in pitcher longevity when I started using insects insects VS using the ferts. I like pitchers staying a long time so I just use the fertilizer on them now. Note that you must fertilize pitchers if only using ferts or they may decide to stop pitchering, so make sure to put some ferts in the pitchers to keep them forming. If you fertilize and feed insects then you don't need to worry about it. So long as the plant is getting nutrients from the pitchers they should continue to form, provided all other aspects of cultivation are in line.

    I buy Grow More at the local orchid shop but you can mail order it from Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/GROW-Orchid-Fe...1441963&sr=8-4
    Last edited by swords; 11-16-2011 at 04:49 AM.

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    Edward Rokosauros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cp junkie View Post
    Is there a marked difference in their size and growth pattern after you've started spraying? When I go to a garden store, what exactly should I ask for?
    New leaves get bigger after fertilizing. I try to avoid drenching the media and instead, fill up half of the pitchers with the fertilizer. It seems to work like a charm the vigorous species/hybrids like my N xDyeriana makes noticably bigger pitchers every time while the harder species/hybrids seem to have a growth boost. Pitcher size kinda gets a brief upsize for the next pitcher, but overall, the plant does benefit from the fertilizer a lot. Usually, I flush the media with water about 1-2 days after fertilizing to avoid mineral buildup.

    I'd rather browse through what liquid fertilizer the garden store has and do a little research and checking before considering what to buy. There are many other brands that work too. Good luck.
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