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Seasonal fertilization

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by mrbreeze, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    Just looking for some opinions on what time of year you switch to a 'bloom boosting' fert. and do you do it gradually or all at once?

    I think last year I did all at once maybe in late Septemberish. TIA

    p.s. never too early to start thinking about Christmas presents for me! Here's my list of wants: Angs
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I can't answer that, I don't change fertilizers with the seasons, just the concentration of the fertilizer. I usually start to decrease in September and am at winter concentrations by November.

    Yeah, MrB, I've been wondering what I was going to get you. Thanks for the creative suggestion. Takes a load of off my mind.
     
  3. This_guy_Bri

    This_guy_Bri weirdo

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    i do the same as Marni
     
  4. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    Interesting, thanks for the responses. Does *anyone* use a different formulation of fert in preparation for winter? And is there a good orchid culture based reason not to use a different formulation or is it just for convenience?

    I probably wouldn't hassle with it but I do have a container of it so I figure I might as well use it.
     
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If one is growing a commercial crop and needs to have it in bloom, ready for market by certain dates, nutritional adjustments by season may make a lot of sense. In nature, I doubt that the make up of the fertilizer dropped on them varies during the year. More likely just the amount of water which is washing it on to the roots, so the amount of total fertilizer that it receives. Daylight length is a key factor in triggering bloom in many species, some it is temperature drop/rainfall, so fertilizer won't alter that.
    For years I have made a habit of asking species people whose plants I admire, what they use. I don't recall anyone ever mentioning switching fertilizers based on the seasons. Pui Chin, an excellent SF grower, answered: Whatever is on sale. Others would say I used to use A, but now I have switched to B (or vice versa). I am a believer in alternating occassionally. I use the MSU for RO and frequently add about 10% of something else just to cover the bases.
     
  6. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    I hear ya. I've always enjoyed imagining how nutrients could change over time during the year. Like I imagine at certain times of year in the jungles certain bugs are more active and might crap out certain nutrients on the trees/plants. Similarly, birds hatching at a certain time of year could cause an increase in whatever nutrients are in bird poop. Same for monkeys and lemurs etc. etc. Then you could have seasonal fires dropping ash on orchids and even volcanoes contributing to the mix. But in the end, I suspect you're right that the differences are minimal and the biggest difference is the amount of rain falling and washing the crap over the roots. Where is a botanical ecologist with a minor in climate science and chemistry and an interest in orchids...when you need one!!?? :bang:
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not your average fantasy life there MrB.:poke:

    I do hope that if someone is having good results they will speak up.
     
  8. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    "Not your average fantasy life there MrB."

    :D

    I don't change concentration. I change the frequency of fertilizer applications. Daily in the summer and every 4-5 days in the winter.
     
  9. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    This is the first year I'll alter fertilizer concentrations in the winter. Until just recently, I was dumping a bunch of fertilizer in a bucket, then pumping it through an injector. I'm actually going to try to make a concerntrated effort to monitor pH, TDS, etc going forward. I'm going to aim for half-doses this winter. Mainly because volcano season isn't until summer.
     
  10. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    So everyone uses the same formulations all year long. It makes you wonder about all the variations on the market. I would say that based on the responses here, changing to a 'winter' fertilizer is pointless. I mean you can't argue with the results of Marni, Dale, and Jon. But it also makes me wonder if all y'all used a 'winter' fert all year long, would you get the same results? Is it all about the macro nutrients and certain minimum amounts? I wonder...

    I also wonder who wrote the book of love?
    I wonder what has become of the squirrels this year? (not that i miss them)
    And I wonder what the hell i'm going to do when it is time to bring the plants inside for the winter. :eek:
     
  11. Karen

    Karen Species nut

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    LOL!
    You will find a way to squish all the plants in!
    You always do!
    *poke*
     
  12. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    Easy! Box 'em up & ship 'em to California for the winter. We'll make space for them here ... no sweat. And no charge. That's just the way us hippies are, y'know.
     
  13. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    Awesome! Bonus! What a great offer.
    Please be on the lookout for some packages. I'll send you a 4' tall ficus altisima, a 3' tall benjamina, a 3' tall philodendron, 4' tall pony tail palm, ficus elastica, xmas cactus, pothos ivy....holy crap, why do I have all these dumb tropicals??? :eek:

    It makes me realize that the reality is that I must get rid of some giant non-Ang orchids very soon. Do I need a Vanda? No, i hate them. So why am I still growing one??? I must be insane. :(
     
  14. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    LOL! Floozo grows vandas!
     
  15. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    *snicker*
     
  16. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    That is Vanda...singular. And while you're mocking me...you might as well know that i also have a few NOID phals, a floof, couple of Dend hybrids and even...*drum roll* a couple of slipperz or two. Nobody is perfect.
     
  17. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Easy, MrB, or you're going to shatter your rep around here. There are some secrets not worth disclosing.
     
  18. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    I have a few paphs and phrags as well. I use them as slug and squirrel bait.
     
  19. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I'm gonna call Joyce Stewart & tell her ...
     
  20. EdM

    EdM Member in Good Standing

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    I do pretty much the same as Marni.

    As the days shorten and get cooler the plants typically don't need as much fertilizer. Be on the lookout for plants that do their active growing during short day periods such as some Cattleya species, and Phalaenopsis gigantea I believe.

    The exception to the above is with most Dendrobiums, especially nobile-related species and hybrids and kingianum. With these I stop all fertilizing, or I give them a few doses of Triple Super Phophate 0-46-0 before stopping all fertilizer. Even small amounts of nitrogen can lower or hinder the blooming in these...according to Wilford Neptune...and its been my experience as well.