Fertilizing Cypripediums

Discussion in 'Cypripedium' started by greenthumbguru, Jul 29, 2018.

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  1. Jul 29, 2018 #1

    greenthumbguru

    greenthumbguru

    greenthumbguru

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    Does anyone have advice on fertilizing Cyps such as Cyp. Kentuckiense, Cyp. Acaule, Cyp Pubescens and Cyp. Reginae, ? Mine are doing OK, but I think they would benefit with a little supplementation. I've heard using slow release pellets like Osmocote in the spring before or right as the buds break ground is best. But I've also heard not to even try to fertilize Cyp. Acaule.
    So is there a trick to this? A specific NPK ratio that's best? A specific time frame to fertilize or just fertilize once a month - every 2 months or 3? Is it best not to even try to fertilize species, just fertilize hybrids?
    I know I'm throwing a lot of questions out there, but members here have probably tested and tried everything and have found what works best. I'd rather hear it from experienced growers than my local nursery (who's trying to sell me something).
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Jul 29, 2018 #2

    Ray

    Ray

    Ray

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    I grew a a couple of hybrids in semi-hydroponic culture, and they did quite well with 25 ppm N K-Lite (12-1-1-10CA-3Mg).
     
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  3. Jul 30, 2018 #3

    greenthumbguru

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    Thanks Ray!! I did a little Google searching as well and it seems that several growers use either slow release pellets like Osmocote (using one supplemented with additional micro nutrient elements) applied right before the bud breaks ground in the Spring or Peter's 20-20-20 at 1/4 strength every 1 to 2 weeks when the bud breaks ground to after if finishes blooming. They additionally encourage adding lime - dolomite or crushed oyster shell for several types of Cyps that are Calcium lovers like Cyp. Reginae. One grower - Great Lakes Orchids recommends not fertilizing Cyp. Acaule at all. I guess Cyp Acaule thrives in mineral deficient soil. Has anyone fertilized Cyp Acaule with positive effects?
     
  4. Jul 30, 2018 #4

    Linus_Cello

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    Frosch apparently suggest slow release:

    From: M. Weinert - Frosch Cyps <info@cypripedium.de>
    Sent: Friday, March 23, 2018 4:23 PM
    Subject: Garden orchids - fertilize now

    Dear garden orchid lovers,



    I would like to point out that it is important to fertilize your Frosch® lady's slipper hybrids now, a few weeks before they start growing. Otherwise the plants will not grow as vigorously as they could. A doubling of the number of shoots every year should not be unusual.



    Use any granulated commercial garden fertilizer regularly in spring; best are those with a long-term effect. Apply the same quantity as for other perennials too. After flowering the need for nutrients is low, but at the beginning of the growth season the need is high. Compost is not recommended. Orchid fertilizers do not contain enough nutrients.



    Leaves should always be bright green. A yellowish green indicates a nutrient deficiency or too much sun. Here you find a good example of suppressed flower buds and yellowish green leaves due to nutrient deficiency: www.ladyslipper.de/101/Nutrient_deficiency.pdf



    Further information, nice photos and informative videos can be found at www.ladyslipper.de.





    Happy gardening!

    Michael Weinert, Frosch® Exclusive Perennials
     
  5. Aug 7, 2018 #5

    greenthumbguru

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  6. Apr 25, 2020 #6

    Duck Slipper

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    View attachment 19639 Cypripedium Sabine
    This is a three year old plant, and has actually surprised me this year. The first year it bloomed with multiple growths. Last year 2 growths, This year six growths. The only difference in care is that, I’ve read they need to be fertilized, but are so sensitive to over fertilization, that I have probably under fertilized. So, Last year I started fertilizing every watering at 1/4 teaspoon/gallon of “First Rays K-lite” at most watering, just like all my other orchids.
     
  7. Apr 25, 2020 #7

    Duck Slipper

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    Cypripedium pubescens
    Along with the Sabine, this pubescens surprised me also...It didn’t come up last year! I have read that they can sometimes skip a year and it makes no sense to me. I have actually seen ginseng skip a year...but this was a pleasant surprise. Of the different Cyps. I planted 3 years ago, and mostly species Sabine and Pubescens are the only survivors. Even 3 separate plants of kentuckiense did not make it, and they are native here. These plants aren’t a stick em in the ground and they grow.
    FFAD5FDE-7EB3-4BED-AD7D-58C49DCF471B.jpeg
     
  8. Apr 25, 2020 #8

    Duck Slipper

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    Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack someone’s post...I tried to delete and start a new thread, but couldn’t delete. I was reading this thread and just started typing
     
  9. Apr 26, 2020 #9

    fundulopanchax

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    The myth of sensitivity to fertilizer has been handed down over the years from some misguided person through many descendent authors who just cut and paste since they don't actually keep the plants. I fertilize my Cyps exuberantly and the more fertilizer they get the more lush they become. Over the years I have figured out how much I can get away with to have happy plants without a thick mat of algae covering the medium. The plants actually seem to enjoy algae mats but they are unsightly so I try to keep them from forming.

    You are seeing the good results from your fertilization last year. Keep on and that Sabine will become very large.
     
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  10. Apr 26, 2020 #10

    monocotman

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    Agreed. I give my hybrids growing in pots full rate general plant food, the powdered food you buy in the shops.do not fertilise at epiphytes orchids rates, these are way too low. Remember these plants are terrestrials.
    David
     
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