Need to discuss fertilizers

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Candace

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Lauren, I used Dynagrow for many years, but have been having better results with MSU. You can get it from Kellys Orchid Supply or First Rays Orchids. In bulk you can get it straight from the manufacturer.

I would suggest you use the same fertilizer for all your plants-very much like keeping to the same media or you'll drive yourself crazy.

Fertilizing weakly, weekly is a good rule of thumb. But since I grow in semi-hydro I fertilize on almost every watering now, thanks to Lance's recommendation.

I'm thinking there are some more specific nutritional requirement threads that you can sift through and get some more info.

Hope this helps.
 

TheLorax

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Normally I'm pretty good about searching first but this time I hadn't. Lazy I suppose. OK, I've searched now.

Phrags-
This thread discussed fertilizer but mostly the pros and cons of organic fertilizers although a fertilizer referred to as MSU appears to be pretty popular. Have no idea what MSU is. http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4505&highlight=fertilizers+phrags

There was another thread on how to make your own MSU but not much more information than that contained therein. I was sort of looking for something to purchase that would be easy.
http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2946&highlight=fertilizers+phrags

From this thread-
http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2245&highlight=fertilizers+phrags
I learned that live sphagnum was great for ailing orchids and even better for P. delenatii. Fertilizers weren't really discussed.

PAPHS-
great thread here-
http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1755&highlight=paphs+fertilizers
Again, that MSU whatever it is was mentioned.

Found a list at the above link indicating which paphs need supplemental calcium-
http://ladyslipper.com/calsub.htm

PHALS
This thread discussed the need to fertilize but no mention of which fertilizer to use for them-
http://www.slippertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2805&highlight=Phals+fertilizers

Just a basic fertilizer with a non-Urea nitrogen would be fine for me.

Editing to add, oops searching and typing while you were posting. Thanks for where to get the MSU. That will work fine for me.
 
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goldenrose

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MSU = Michigan State University has come up with a formula.
 

Heather

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Great!

KKorchid.com is my main supply company and I know the owners; Ulla and Jan are members of my society and I'm on the board with Ulla (thanks to Ulla actually, I'm still on the board since she was in charge of the nominating committee, lol!) Anyway, they're great vendors and such sweet people! They sell Aircone pots as well which I have found instrumental in learning how to water over the years.

I actually have a few of their white humidity trays available but shipping them is kind of a nightmare so I should probably just hold on to them unless someone local (BRIAN?) wants a couple more.
 

Heather

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Oh also - if you do a google search for MSU fert. you can probably find the actual published paper they did on this. It's lower in one of the nutrients that is usually even in ferts such as 10-10-10, 20-20-20...they found it unnecessary and reduce it. I can't remember which one it is tho and don't have time to google it myself tonight. Be sure you get the one you need tho - there is one version for tap water and another for "pure" (such as distilled or RO or rainwater) I have both because my watering habits tend to change seasonally and based on where I am living at the time. I do not fertilize weekly weakly. I use MSU 3 out of 4 waterings at the recommended strength, which I think is 1 tsp. per gallon. I also fertilize everything the same - Paphs, Phrags (when I had them), Mexipedium, and my Neos.

I use MSU though so...it apparently made sense to me and left its mark when I read it!
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I use MSU (from First Ray's) for all my orchids (except cymbidiums, which get the same fish emulsion my veggies get...just because they are in a terrestrial mix). Phrags get about 1/2 tspn /gallon every week...which amounts to one out of 5-6 waterings. High light epiphytes get 1 tspn/gal/week during the growing season, 2-3 weeks in winter. Outdoors in summer the highest light plants also get 1.5 tspns/gal of vodka or gin added to the fertilizer. Paphs- strap leaves get 1 tspn/ gal, others 1/2 tspn /gal. For every tspn MSU, paphs also get 1/4 tspn Pro-Tekt for pH adjustment...during summer, I also add 1/2 tspn/gal Physan or RD-20 /gal. Weekly in summer, every 2nd to 3rd week in winter. Cool growing species get no fertilizer between Oct and Feb. Under lights paphs get fertilized 3 out of 4 waterings, which are every other day.. Hope this didn't give you a headache.......Eric
 

Heather

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Eric - care to explain getting your 'chids drunk? :poke:


Also, I used protekt for a couple years but don't plan to replace it now that I am out. Do you have proven evidence of it doing anything? anything at all?
 
E

Eric Muehlbauer

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I don't use Pro-Tekt for the silica...that's a waste. I only use it for pH adjustment. The booze is because alcohol (actually methanol, but ethanol will do the trick) can actually provide a sort of "shortcut" to sugar production...the original studies (please don't ask for references...I read them maybe 12-15 years ago in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden newsletter) were done on tomatoes. For a while there was actually a brand of orchid fertilizer (Jerry's Grow) based on a methanol formulation. The trick is that it is only useful for plants grown in strong light (although Alex Hirtz claims that its good for pleurothallids grown in shade...and Jerry's Grow was great on Pleuro's even as it killed my paphs...)
There was a discussion about alcohol on the OSF a few years ago. Take care, Eric
 

TheLorax

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And where do I get this Pro-Tekt- "For every tspn MSU, paphs also get 1/4 tspn Pro-Tekt for pH adjustment...during summer"


I use rain water, distilled water, tap water, and RO and not necessarily in that order when I run out of rain water. Our rain water is slightly sulfuric. Given I use rain water at least 1/3 of the time, which MSU should I select?

Editing to ask-
Are you guys using the dry or the liquid form of MSU when you were suggesting I use a tsp?
 

Candace

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Since you're using mainly pure water sources you should get the water for R.O. Don't mess with your ph until you have it tested or preferably test it yourself after adding fertilizer.
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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Pro-Tekt is available from many suppliers...an fact, probably any orchid or hydroponic supplier on the 'net. Oh...and my references were to dry MSU...Eric
 

Candace

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I also use dry MSU. And I also use Pro-Tekt, but I tested my ph after adding fertilizer and found I needed to raise it for optimum growth for paphs.
 

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