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Thread: Orchid fertilizer

  1. #1

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    I know most people here have the wonderful publication "The Savage Garden" and if not buy it. My question is does anyone here fertilize their nepenthes with orchid fertilizer per "Savage Gardens" instructions. If so what have been your experiences good or bad?. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    It can be done with success, but it must be diluted to about 1/4 strength, if you fertiliser too much Neps will react very negatively. Also, some species seem to react badly to fertilising even in weak amounts.

    If you do fertilise, make sure you drench the pots well a day later to flush out any of the fertiliser, as it can cause detrimental effects if left to accumulate.
    Demystifying Nepenthes: http://www.nepenthesforeveryone.com

  3. #3
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    i do, but i only wipe it on the leaves.

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    drosera guy
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    I used that a lot to refresh the depleted soil of my terrarium which is a planted one (no pots, plants direct in soil). Just dug a hole at one side and filled some orchid fertilizer in together with 3-4 liters of water, now some plants thrive again. Yo can find pictures in the terrarium thread!

    Jan

  5. #5
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Couple pinned threads in the Nepenthes forum on feeding. I would recommend reading through them if you haven't.

    Long story short. I feel that the combination of high quality water and potting mix devoid of most plant beneficial nutrients, and growing in enclosed indoor chambers, leads to nutrient deprived plants. Characterized by poor vigor, marginal increases in plant size over extended time periods, subsistence existence as the plant looses leaves as fast as it produces them as it draws on itself to continue growing. My recommendation, Nepenthes respond well to feeding. I advise people though to feed them the way nature intended and put food in the pitchers. For the daring and experimental type, inorganic fertilizers can be used effectively. There are inherrent dangers and potential problems however, which may or may not outweigh the risks depending on the situation and how they are handled.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #6

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    Before carnivorous plants are carnivorous plants, they need to depend on their own roots and absorption from non-insect sources. Every seedling derives 100% of their food directly through their root system. As this root system grows, so does the plant's leaves and stems until finally large enough pitchers can start supplying SOME of their nutrients. Insects provide mostly nitrogen, an item their environment usually lacks in. Other factors also play an important role in their growth cycle. It is NOT merely enough that the nepenthes captures its prey for growth and development. Aside from nitrogen, other factors contribute to growth. Phosphorus is also required. Nepenthes can capture some phosphorus from insect matter, but it is not enough! Phosphorus is usually abundant in some soil mineral content, so with ample water and light, nepenthes can absorb SOME of this mineral from the soil. Phosphorus is required for strong stems, good root systems and for flowering, fruit and seed development. Then all plants also require potassium. This can be derived from insect matter, but can also be absorbed from decomposing matter in the soil through their ROOTS. Other minerals required include calcium (also derived usually through their roots via soil composition), iron, magnesium, zinc, etc. usually found in abundant quantities in the soil.
    If one looks carefully of the kind of roots that nepenthes have, they seem almost like a net. Roots are very fine, black in color, and form an extensive network of rebranching parts. This kind of rot systems is for one reason only. Its to utilize whatever mineral source comes their way via a stream of rainwater dissolving minerals and nutrients during a heavy down pour, or shifts in new soil media from landslides, falling leafy matter, fruits and other debris reaching the surface. After a rapid breakdown in the tropics, awaiting are many competitors seeking the exact same nutrient soup. This a fine network of roots enable rapid absorption to occur.
    With the question regarding fertilizing. The answer is YES! It should be dilute and NO, its not something new for nepenthes. Nepenthes has been using both their roots and traps for their existence.
    New evidence on the sp. Viking and thorelii shows that many form tubers or thickened storage organs underground to allow plants to come back from fires, drought or their monsoon season. Storage in roots are derived exclusively through root absorption and not from pitcher nutrient utilization. But when fertilizing, always in dilute amounts since their fine roots can capture a great deal from just a splash of nutrients in solution.

    M
    Morticia:\"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc, 'We would gladly feast on those who try to subdue us.' Not just pretty words. but words to live by!\"

  7. #7
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    I foliar feed my Nepenthes with 1/4 strength orchid fertilizer once per month. I believe care should be taken to avoid applying the fertilizer into the pitchers or onto the soil.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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    We fertilize about once a month using a one quarter strength solution of orchid food that includes trace minerals. Between fertilizings, they get pot drenches to leach out any mineral build up. Michelle fertilizes the roots, by applying to the pots. Also, our plants still manage to capture prey, even in a greenhouse environment that gets sprayed with insecticide on a regular basis.
    Right now, I'm considering the addition of a non-sulfate iron to all laterite growing species and hybrids...mainly the Neps from NE. Mindanao. Anybody have experience with doing this?

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