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Sherry H

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Does everyone water thoroughly and then fertilize every watering? New to these orchids I am a little confused.
 

Ray

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I think the better way to do that is to use a dilute fertilizer solution, and completely drench the potting medium. Watering first, then fertilizing, is a waste of time, effort, and fertilizer.

If you feed one time per week, I recommend 100 PPM nitrogen. Divide 8 by the %N on the fertilizer label, and the result is teaspoons per gallon for that concentration. For example, let's say you have a 15% N formula; 8/15=0.533, so I'd just use 1/2 tsp/gal.

If you feed twice a week, use half that much.
 

abax

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Ray's recommendation is the general culture I use. I fertilize with every watering with a very dilute solution of K-Lite.
 

Happypaphy7

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No need to water first before fertilizing as Ray says. Plant roots uptake nutrients with water, and they can only take up certain amount of water at a time.
 

Ozpaph

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fertilizer after 2 days of no watering. use the same formula for working out fertilizer (16/N for 8 litres)
 

musa

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I often do, what Sherry proposed. As my potting media is on the dry side I have to flush the pots to get the media wet again. If I use fertilizer therefor I'd pour a fortune in fertilizer right into the drain. Afterwards I fertilize a little more hoping the roots will get it.

BTW how much is 1/2 a teaspoon?
 

dodidoki

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I use balanced fertilizer formula from Glanz for soft water( it contains Ca and Mg).I use rain water, ec is 30-50 uS.I make from these fertilizer solution , ec=400-450 uS and use it every waterings.
 

Ray

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I often do, what Sherry proposed. As my potting media is on the dry side I have to flush the pots to get the media wet again. If I use fertilizer therefor I'd pour a fortune in fertilizer right into the drain. Afterwards I fertilize a little more hoping the roots will get it.
Let me throw a couple of comments out:

Orchid growing is not an inexpensive hobby, but unless your local prices are through the roof, I view fertilizer as a minimal expense.

I sell K-Lite in a 2-pound jar for $23 including delivery. At the 100 ppm N concentration I use and recommend for weekly feeding, that comes out to less than $0.02 per liter. Yeah, a lot gets lost, but that is insignificant compared to other aspects of orchid care.

Second, water is the driving force for growth. Besides being the plants’ largest raw material (it must absorb and process about 100 kg to add 500g of mass), having a copious supply at the roots is a trigger for the plant to send hormone signals to the stomata to “go ahead and open up to dump oxygen and get more carbon dioxide; we can afford to lose some water.” Carbon is the second largest raw material, so is critical for growth. If the potting medium is allowed to go dry, the plant keeps the stomata opening to a bare minimum, so that uptake is limited.
 

musa

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Thanks, Ray!

Sounds convincing. So I'll have to change my fertilizer it seems. I'm used to a quite expensive liquid fertilizer without changing it from the very beginning of my interest in orchids. It was perfect for beginners, but I see I should change that now. By the rule of "never change a running system" I hold to it needing now nearly 20 liter a year.
Therefor the reason for my habit in fertilizing might be understandable. But I see it should be changed.
 

masaccio

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I've found my fertilizing Nirvana with Ray's K-LIte. I mix it to 25PPM and use it for everything in my mixed collection of orchids all the time. Period. I've been doing this for over two years and I simply never have to think about fertilizing. Plants are hardy and blooming.
 

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