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Thread: Osmocote in pitchers?

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    DonH's Avatar
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    Osmocote in pitchers?

    Since i grow all my neps indoors, I usually squirt a bit of diluted fertilizer inside the pitchers when I feed with maxsea or growmore orchid fertilizer. I was wondering if anyone has tried dropping a pellet of Osmocote in the pitchers and what were the results? Positive/negative in plant health and growth? Hastens the life of the pitcher?

    I have a container of 14-14-14 osmocote that I use for my Drosera regia and Sarracenias with good results but all my neps are planted with a layer of live sphagnum so I don't want to use it on top of the media.

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    Hey DonH,

    I likewise, have used Osmocote 14-14-14 successfully for root feeding of D. regia and baby Heliamphora. However, when I tried dropping a pellet into baby Heliamphora pitchers,
    I experienced premature pitcher death. I'm hypothesizing that a pellet, dropped into an adult pitcher, may be beneficial,
    but I would refrain from using Osmocote pellets for juvenile Heliamphora pitchers.

    Sumpfkrug

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    DonH's Avatar
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    Thanks, Sumpfkrug. I'll try some osmocote to root feed some of my helis and hopefully get them to grow faster. I've been using less than a quarter teaspoon per gallon of maxsea on them every few weeks and, although they are growing, I'm not getting the growth I'm seeing from some of the expert growers here.

    I was curious about pitcher feeding with osmocote because then I wouldn't have to thoroughly flush the media after fertilizing. On the other hand, I'm concerned about how osmocote would react submerged in the pitchers. As a time-release fertilizer, it slowly dissolves with periodic watering. In the pitcher, wouldn't it dissolve quickly resulting in a concentrated fertilizer solution? I may experiment with some of my larger hybrids and see how it goes. Hopefully, if it fails, all I end up with is a dead pitcher or a plant that stops pitchering for a while - not a dead plant.

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    I've always used osmocote in 2-3 of oldest of the pitchers. Since they are aged anyway, even if they turn brown a little early it doesn't matter.
    Cindy

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    DonH's Avatar
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    Hmmm... Never thought to experiment with an old pitcher. Thanks for the recommendation Cindy!

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    I've made it known on the forums that I'm wary of osmocote. The pellets are not created equal and some will release all of the fertilizer in a fraction of the time that others do. Because of this, I've seen Sphagnum killed and denser media reduced to cyano-garbage.

    I've tried it in the pitchers, and like Sump, there was an obvious reduction in pitcher life and even evidence of burning on the exterior.

    Sticking with the water solubles like Grow More or Maxsea gives you a lot more control.

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    Osmocote's release potential is greatly based on temperature. 70F or less is ideal. You go over 80-90F (soil temp, not air temp) and you can get what's called "dumping," which is like mato said. The pellets release all the food at once (3 to 4 months' worth) and not only are you wasting money, but likely getting toxified soil and a dead plant.

    I don't recommend leaf-feeding because with the right temperatures or if the water level drops too much, you get toxicity. John Brittnacher uses it with great success in Ceph pitchers. However, I think the risk is too great and there is IMO no difference in uptake if you drop some on the soil surface (or bury it). In fact, soil-feeding is safer because the soil particles latch on to the minerals.

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    DonH's Avatar
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    Thanks Mat and plantman. Now you guys have me thinking if I should try it or not. LOL. Temperature is not an issue because they are in a climate controlled grow space which never exceeds 72F. My concern is with "dumping" that can potentially lead to the death of the plant. Gotta think about this one...

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