Soaking before fertilizing?

Discussion in 'Slipper Orchid Culture' started by Ernieg96, May 24, 2020 at 2:26 AM.

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  1. May 24, 2020 at 2:26 AM #1

    Ernieg96

    Ernieg96

    Ernieg96

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    At an orchid show in February a vendor told me to always soak my orchids before fertilizing lest I risk root tip burn. My weekly watering routine now consists of allowing my plants to soak in water for awhile while I get other tasks done (usually water changes for my fish tanks, since I’m already working with water) and then fertilizing, allowing the fertilizer water to run through the pot. They all get monthly flushes as well.

    However, as I’ve had a lot of time home lately my collection has grown and I’m looking for ways to make watering more efficient. Now I’m wondering, can I save myself a step and just soak in fertilizer water, while still doing the monthly flushes?
     
  2. May 24, 2020 at 2:58 AM #2

    troy

    troy

    troy

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    I would not water before fertilizing. Root velemin only absorbs so much..... dilute your fertilizer to 1/4 of recommended strength and rinse through pot for fertilizing... then if you want to prevent any fertilizer salts build up, rinse pot after fertilizing with pure water. Don't soak your pot unless you know your plant lives below a high water line for part of a year, that's what I do, also I always check geographical location habitat my plants live in, to try and keep it alive
     
  3. May 24, 2020 at 3:13 AM #3

    CarlG

    CarlG

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    If you are really worried about root burn, fertilize normally, THEN flush the pot perhaps a half hour later. The velamen is adapted to an environment where the first burst of water, for example in a rain fall, is nutrient rich and so is rapidly absorbed, while subsequent flow is nutrient poor, and so is pretty much not absorbed. (There was an article in Lindleyana on this topic quite some years ago, but I don't have the reference handy).

    I have heard, perhaps incorrectly, that John Leathers, a well-known Dracula grower, fertilizes, and then hoses his plants down afterwards to flush any non-absorbed fertilizer.
     
  4. May 24, 2020 at 1:19 PM #4

    Ray

    Ray

    Ray

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    It think the “double dose” treatment, no matter what the order, is a waste of time.

    I have found that somewhere between 75 and 125 ppm N, applied over the course of a week, Is good for my plants without fear of burning. My greenhouse in PA was watered and fed about every other day at 25 ppm N. The plants on my deck in NC get fed weekly at 100 ppm N. For MSU WW formula @ 19% N, a half teaspoon/gal is about 118 ppm N. For MSU RO or K-Lite, 2/3 teaspoon/gal is 100 ppm N.

    I also think that flooding the pot with a good water breaker is superior to immersion soaking, as it flushes mineral deposits and small decomposition fragments out of the pot while saturating and aerating the medium.
     

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