1. Good day. If you cannot log in please use the CONTACT US at the bottom of the page to get help. If you are logged in and do not want the ads, please click on the Little Person icon to get user control panel. At the bottom of Preferences is the opt out area used to turn them off. Remember to save changes. More information in the Talk Back! Forum.
    Dismiss Notice

Product Labeling Gripe

Discussion in 'Tell Me About It' started by Ray, Mar 12, 2019.

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

  1. Mar 12, 2019 #1

    Ray

    Ray

    Ray

    Orchid Iconoclast

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,998
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    I am a bit surprised - yet again - at the nonchalant way that some vendors handle the labeling of their products.

    I have often expressed my dismay at the way RepotMe marketed their "Feed Me" brand of liquid fertilizer. It was nothing more than the MSU powder dissolved in water, yet the label indicated it was the same formula as the powder used. As they recommended one ounce per gallon for 125 ppm N, that means it was just one pound of MSU powder dissolved in a gallon of water, making the solution something along the lines of 1.5-0.3-1.8, which would be labeled as a 1-0-1 formula. Not labeling as such was both deceitful and illegal. Apparently they either caught on, or a regulatory agency got to them, because they don't appear to be selling it any more.

    Now - much to my surprise - I find that Orchids Limited's Green Jungle Orchid Food seems to fall into that same arena.

    It is labeled as a 1-0-1, and according to the very limited information on the label, is derived from potassium nitrate. Potassium nitrate, KNO3, is 38.7 weight percent K and 13.9% N, so in a weight ratio, the ELEMENTAL formula would be 1-0-2.79. But, in fertilizers, the K is expressed as K2O, which is 83%K, meaning that the label should be 2.79/0.83=3.36, making it not a 1-0-1 formula, but 1-0-3.36, legally labeled as 1-0-3. That may seem like a minor discrepancy, but for an equal nitrogen level, that's more than triple the potassium, and that can have a negative impact on your plants.

    It might just be a mistaken assumption that since there is one "N" and one "K" in the molecule, it's a 1-0-1, but still...
     
  2. Mar 12, 2019 #2

    Edward Seeley

    Edward Seeley

    Edward Seeley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2019
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    5
    It gets worse than that! The seaweed fertiliser with urea I bought to try doesn't have the NPK listed on it's packaging anywhere! And no mention of urea, nitrate etc. That info is only online!
     
  3. Mar 13, 2019 #3

    abax

    abax

    abax

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Messages:
    10,064
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Kentucky zone 6B
    Right you are Ray. That's exactly why I stopped using any fertilizer
    that isn't K-Lite. False information isn't just fertilizers either. Just
    read the ingredients on just about anything you eat.
     
  4. Mar 13, 2019 #4

    xiphius

    xiphius

    xiphius

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    10
    Yeah, this is why I don't like to buy liquid fertilizers. I would rather buy the dry stuff, do the math myself, and then make my own concentrate. Also more cost-effective.

    By the way Ray, thanks for your awesome online calculator. I used it for several years before finally making my own spreadsheet (which allowed me to add additional bells and whistles).

    @abax - I have also taken to reading the ingredient list on the back of nearly everything I buy. It is not always the case, but cheaper food is generally cheaper for a reason...
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  5. Mar 13, 2019 #5

    littlefrog

    littlefrog

    littlefrog

    Hop-meister

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    991
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mid Michigan
    I bring some MSU fertilizer to sell at shows, but I do it as dry powder (vacuum packed!) and have just copied the label on the bag, basically. If they did the math wrong, I'm not the one to figure it out...
     
  6. Mar 17, 2019 #6

    Ozpaph

    Ozpaph

    Ozpaph

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    14,442
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    I notice most organic (ie seaweed etc) fertilizers dont list NPK. I assume its because there's so little in the mix?
     
  7. Mar 17, 2019 #7

    xiphius

    xiphius

    xiphius

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hmn... interesting point. I had always just assumed that a lot of these weren't labeled since naturally derived sources were variable.
     
  8. Mar 17, 2019 #8

    Ray

    Ray

    Ray

    Orchid Iconoclast

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,998
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    Some of it depends upon how it is to be sold and how it's worded.

    KelpMax contains a small amount of NPK, and if I sold it as a fertilizer, I would 1) have to list them, and 2) guarantee their concentrations.

    Likewise, KelpMax is registered as a "plant growth stimulant" containing kelp extract, so I can sell it as a plant and soil additive, which is regulated at the state level. If I was to list the hormones, I'd have to guarantee their levels, and worse; I'd have to register my business and the product with the EPA and submit efficacy, safety, and environmental impact testing, as the hormones are "plant growth regulators" that fall under the auspices of FIFRA.
     
    xiphius likes this.
  9. Mar 17, 2019 #9

    xiphius

    xiphius

    xiphius

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks for clearing that up! I didn't realize they were all regulated differently. Good to know.
     
  10. Mar 18, 2019 #10

    Ozpaph

    Ozpaph

    Ozpaph

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    14,442
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    great info. Thanks
     
  11. Mar 19, 2019 at 4:10 PM #11

    terryros

    terryros

    terryros

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    According to Jerry Fischer of Orchids Limited, Green Jungle is a proprietary, specially formulated complete fertilizer to be used with mostly pure water, so it contains N, P, K, Ca, Mg, all trace elements, and a few other constituents.The labeling on the bottle regarding contents is incomplete for the following reason.


    Fertilizer labeling laws are different for powdered fertilizer and liquid fertilizer depending on state or federal requirements. In Minnesota, liquid fertilizer is treated differently than powdered or granular fertilizer. When powdered/granular fertilizer is sold in a container, the N-P-K numbers give the percentage concentrations in the container.


    However, liquid fertilizer in Minnesota requires only a listing of full percentages in solution. Anything less than 1% is listed as zero. Anything between 1 and 2% is still listed as 1%. Evidently the state believes that anything less than a full percent is not necessary to track and is possibly not that detrimental to the environment. Since only N and K are present beyond the 1% threshold in Green Jungle, only they appear on the labeling. All the other constituents are present below the 1% threshold, so P is listed as 0%.
     
  12. Mar 19, 2019 at 4:28 PM #12

    Ray

    Ray

    Ray

    Orchid Iconoclast

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,998
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    Thanks for digging into that, Terry.

    I believe the "whole number" is pretty standard - K-Lite, for example is 12.9% N, so is labeled as a 12-x-x.

    My only thoughts on Green Jungle is that the sellers apparently want us to trust them on the contents, which - despite the obviously great job they do with their own plants - just doesn't sit all that well with an inquisitive guy like me, and that if only the N and K are greater than 1%, why should I buy all that water?!?!
     
  13. Mar 20, 2019 at 1:50 PM #13

    terryros

    terryros

    terryros

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    Jerry did a lot of foreign travel, sample collection, and intense work with University of Minnesota PhD plant biologists to work out the formula for Green Jungle over a period of years. Some premium needs to be paid for this work and expertise. I want Orchids Limited to survive and thrive and I understand why they would keep Green Jungle proprietary and charge a premium price. Income must come from someplace! They are not looking to take over the orchid fertilizer world. It is a niche product for a discriminating orchid grower with enough resources. I think KelpMax and Synergro are in that same category! We need some orchid growers, breeders, and product suppliers to keep a focus on premium products and not participate in a race to the bottom in terms of cost and quality.
     
    southernbelle likes this.
  14. Mar 20, 2019 at 11:06 PM #14

    Ozpaph

    Ozpaph

    Ozpaph

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    14,442
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Homeopathy and 'tonic' are words that come to mind when the contents of plant fertilizers/supplements are not fully disclosed.
    Legislation isn't the only reason to request full disclosure of contents.
     

Share This Page



arrow_white