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Thread: Fertilizing Utricularia quelchii

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    Fertilizing Utricularia quelchii

    I have a U. quelchii that's chugging away in a highland terrarium, and I'm wondering if I should fertilize it and, if so, how much/at what concentration. It's growing in live sphagnum moss with some perlite added to make the substrate a little lighter. At first I fertilized with orchid fertilizer at 50ppm N once every few days. On the one hand, its new leaves grew faster; on the other, it dropped both the leaves it arrived with and a leaf it had grown somewhat larger under my care. I stopped fertilizing, but now it grows far more slowly--which makes sense--but so slowly that I'm wondering if I should fertilize again. Is it likely that the fertilizer made the plant drop the leaves, or is something else likely to have been the culprit? I don't think it's temperature or humidity, since this plant is growing next to happy highland Heliamphora (such nice alliteration). I know U. quelchii often takes a while to settle in and tends to grow slowly in many situations for years, but given how fast it was growing before I wonder if I should change something. I could also dilute the fertilizer I use even further, although it's already pretty dilute (50ppm is 1/4 strength), or I could fertilize less often. I will note that the sphagnum growing in that pot and the other ones I fertilize grows incredibly fast relative to unfertilized pots (I assume that it's still going through leftover nitrogen at this point).
    The worst thing [about being an adult] is when you realize that oreos are just OK
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    I think every few days is too much, I'd try less often. Once a month is more like it, if that goes well, maybe try every other week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsmanshorn View Post
    I think every few days is too much, I'd try less often. Once a month is more like it, if that goes well, maybe try every other week.
    That makes sense. Another idea I had was to introduce a culture of appropriate sized animals, like springtails. Is that a better alternative to fertilizing, or unnecessary and/or a hassle?
    The worst thing [about being an adult] is when you realize that oreos are just OK
    --Zach Weinersmith

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmiggle View Post
    That makes sense. Another idea I had was to introduce a culture of appropriate sized animals, like springtails. Is that a better alternative to fertilizing, or unnecessary and/or a hassle?
    There are probably springtails already present in the Sphag, those things get everywhere. Is it better to use creepy crawlies or fertilizer? Eh, too each his own. I hate to be so cavalier, but as long as your careful, it really comes down to whichever you prefer.

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