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Thread: Anyone fertilize their Utricularia?

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    swords's Avatar
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    Anyone fertilize their Utricularia?

    Thanks to a couple of really cool TF members I've got a nice little collection of orchidioides and other Utrics going in some 4" net pots and I was curious if anyone fertilizes theirs and notices whether it seems to make a difference or not.

    I've had them for some months now and I still don't have many leaves but most of the net pots now have "roots" and traps coming out all the slots on the side and at the bottom of the pots growing into the moist live moss layer the pots sit on but each only has one or a few leaves at a time coming out the top of their pots. I'd like to get more leafy greens out of them if possible and hopefully some flowers some day. Currently they are potted in live moss and living in a 10 gallon tank with the tops of the pots about 6-8" under the T5 HO.

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I don't know about fertilization, but I know my U. longifolia always put out better foliage when it wasn't quite directly under the light. A bit of filtered or indirect lighting might encourage them to get a little more leafy. Six inches seems awful close for T5s.
    ~Joe
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    mobile's Avatar
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    Some European growers use fertiliser on their Utricularia. Care must be taken on what type to use though, as most Utricularia like wet conditions and this combined with high light levels and fertiliser can lead to algae. For this reason, some growers use aquatic plant food, applied as a foliar feed. I have used this myself and whilst I cannot qualify whether it made a significant difference it did appear to green up the 'leaves'. Living in he UK I am not familiar with the aquarium fertiliser brands available in the USA, so can't advise on that, but the one I have is low in nitrogen and contains iron. Iron can be lacking in plants growing in low mineral conditions. If you decide to give it a go then try to get a recommendation and also choose one that is not too high concentration, as this makes making up small quantities a little difficult. For instance, the one I use has a dilution rate of 10ml/70l so to make up a spray bottle containing 70ml water requires 0.1ml of fertiliser, which is a little difficult to measure.

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    I think I saw Rattler commenting somewhere that even though they are all now together as Orchidioides, he still differentiates Iperua from the others. While I probably don't know enough to clearly make that distinction, I do treat U. nelumbifolia & U. humboldtii differently (U. reniformis is also different but different in a weird way with those thick stolon roots...) as they seem to prefer somewhat wetter conditions (although I'm continually trying to find just 'how wet' is optimal...) I do not fertilize those two out of fear of rampant algae growth.

    Based on Av's comment ....
    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    tali i water with weak fert mix monthly during the growing season (no drosera)

    but for small plants plan on using a top layer of live spag or the carpet moss will dominate.
    .... & other offline conversations with growers, I have started to fertilize the non-Iperua Orchidioides once per month with extremely dilute orchid fertilizer. Although it may not be obvious from the recent foliage pics I posted, it seems that each species has it's own preferences & idiosyncrasies - - - and I am still working to unravel some of these little secrets ...

    If you're looking for leafy growth, I agree with Joe, 6" under T5's is really close... Reading some of the Travelogues I posted (...to which I keep adding btw), many of these plants grow in dappled sunlight - check out the recently-added U. alpina Travelogue for an example... Here's a quote: "The plants are almost never receive direct light"
    All the best,
    Ron
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    swords's Avatar
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    Thanks folks, instead of ferts for now I'll try to find a place to grow them in less light and see what happens after a while. They seem to be alive well enough judging by the bottom growth so perhaps they are just running from the lights? LOL

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I don't even know if you need less light. If they're holding their leaves, they probably aren't getting too burnt. Some partial shade might be enough to to make them want to stretch out. Or maybe you could just turn the lights off for a few hours in the middle of the day, while nearby lights are still on? I do that with some of my sundews, mostly because the timer I have /has/ to have two "off" cycles per day, but I tell myself that it simulates noontime/direct overhead shade.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
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    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    During the summer, I go to a pond down the street (in which U. vulgaris grows quite well!) and collect some pond water, and use that to fill the trays mine are in. They seem to love it! A fresh culture of all those little critters they eat really makes 'em grow!
    "The plants you grow, end up growing you."


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    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123995

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    swords's Avatar
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    I've thought about trying that Paul but most of mine don't sit in water the pots sit ontop of moist live moss and just get watered weekly or so and stay moist that way.

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