Fertilizer survey/questions

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Slipperless member
Jun 9, 2006
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Glen Rock - New Jersey
First the background.

I use tap with 3/4 tsp 20-20-20 growmore/2 drops kln/.25 tsp kln per 2 gallons. I use the same concentration every watering for s/h pots and every two weeks for any other non-s/h. My paphs in s/h dig the fertilizer mix as far as I can tell. And my paphs in non-s/h dig the mix too (stonei + phil. alba. the stonei has an actively growing root tip). I don't do the watering all my plants at once bit and just water as each plant needs it. I store fertilizer because I fertilize almost every day and mixing up a batch of fertilizer is a pain if I only need to water 2-3 plants plants at a time. So the excess I store in opaque jugs. And I just use plain distilled water on my phag. :)

Ok here's the questions.

- Can storing fertilizer necessarily change it's quality?

- Have members changed fertilizer regiments, after long term usage of course, from consistent fertilizer all year round to season specific fertilizer or vice versa? (i.e. using 20-20-20 all year then switched to growth boosters for the spring and bloom boosters for the winter) If you have, did you notice any changes in your plants?

- Is brita water a good substitute for distilled/ro water?

- Do you use /Can you use the same fertilizer concentration used on mature plants on compots and newly out of flask compots?

- Do you fertilize your phrags? If so what concentrations do you use and how often do you fertilize?

TIA. And thanks for taking your time to read this. :)
Brita water is just carbon filtered it takes out chlorine, most organics, and a few metals. It does not remove salts like RO will. But chlorine removal is good too.

I use the same regime year round. I use a heaping 1/4tsp of MSU, 1/4 tsp of ST, and Protek to adjust the pH to 6.5 (non calcareous species) or 7.2 (for calcareous speces).

I also add a dash of magnesium sulfate (epson salt) for most non calcareous species, and a dash of mag hydroxide to the mix for calcareous species.

My phrags, pleuros, and recently deflasked seedlings get the basic mix at 6.5 but with no additional epson salts.

I fertilize 1X per week.
I used to use 1/8 tsp per gallon of MSU fertilizer every watering on everything. But to be honest, I don't fertilize anymore, just tap water bypassing the softener and a RO flush once a month or so.

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OK...let me hit on those points as best I can....I use MSU pure water formula, as NYC tap water is really about as pure as tapwater can get. I generally mix 1 tsp/gal, along with 1/4 tsp/gal protekt, to raise the pH slightly. Summertime, I give the outdoor plants an additional 1/2 tspn Physan. I use this straight for strap leafed paphs, and dilute it more or less by half for other paphs..that is a little less diluted for complex and isigne type plants, more diluted for brachy's and parvis. The routine varies with the type of plant and the age of the plant.
Seedlings- same strength as adults, year round. Once per week during summer and when they are out from the lights, Every other day while they are under lights, with a plain water flush every 3rd time.
Adults- Maudiae and cochlopetalum types year round, Strap leaf, year round weekly if not under lights, seedling routine if under lights.
Complex types and insigne species group- weekly spring and early summer, none during heat waves. I reduce both frequency and dose in late summer and early fall to stimulate buds..if budded anyway, than regular fertilizer. No fertilizer for the species between Oct and January. Midwinter, only every 2 weeks...applies to other paphs as well if not under lights.
Brachys- lower concentration, but same frequency as other paphs
Parvis (except delanatii)- lower concentration. Blooming size parvis get no fertilizer between late Sept and Feb. delanatii fertilized year round.
I don't store fertilizer solution...there are always some plants that will take the excess. I do fertilize my phrags, 1/2 tspn MSU with no additives. No more than once per week, even for under lights plants and outdoor plants. I water my phrags about 5 days /week...fertilizer on Saturday. Take care, Eric
So far, my regimen is closest to Eric's but it keeps changing based on circumstances, timing, and water!

I use 125 ppm (about 1 tsp/gallon) of MSU fertilizer. I have had to switch pure to tap back to pure, and now back to tap, but that's okay. It's seasonal. I like the stuff, everyone I know uses it (peer pressure!), so I switched to it. I've used a couple other things, no idea which is best, but I like MSU. Couple drops KLN per gallon, and about 1/8 tsp. or as needed Pro-tekt to bring up pH. Occasionally I add epsom salts, hydrogen peroxide, or oyster shell to the mix.

My new water is 7.5 pH and 190 ppm TDS, not bad, but will need to be tweaked yet again. Summertime I've used rain when watering, but in winter, either distilled adjusted, or tap adjusted. Usually though, some concentration of the above recipe. Everything (strap leaved Paphs and Phrags) gets the same regimen.

I have not fertilized in WEEKS. Moving twice in a month, something had to take a back burner. I will spend a day next week working on these babies. Poor neglected things. :(