signs of too frequent feeding? schomburgkias only

joss-1October 1, 2012

Hello, I'm not new to schomburgkias, I've been growing them for 20 years, but I am new to an issue I'm seeing with the new growths. I grow 90% of the orchids bareroot and I fertilize them with a weak solution every time I spray or every other time. The majority love it, but there are 3 which happen to be potted and are the newly titled "laelia" type or 'fusiform' type, not the myrmecophila type, which get "limp" leaves once the leaves reach about 4 to 5 inches long... they just droop down. The plants still thrive with nice healthy roots and nice and green, but the leaves droop... two of them are even spiking. I'm positive that something is causing this to happen and that they're not just growing this way. Have any of you seen this? It seems logical that being only with the potted ones, that they are getting over fed, I'm guessing, although the normal signs are black root or leaf tips, which these do not have. Thanks for any info you might have. Joss

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olympia_gardener(5)

You are think of salt built up... You can flush with water and stop using fertilizer for couple of months to see if the condition improve...

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 2:22PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Are you watering the plants heavily when fertilizing? You want a significant amount of water to drain out in order to prevent fertilizer salts from accumulating as og said above. I would thoroughly flush the pots with pure water, maybe even soak them in a bucket for several minutes, and water heavily when fertilizing from now on. If that doesn't work, try replacing the media and checking the roots while you're at it.

-Chris

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 5:39PM
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joss-1

Thanks for replying. Chris, are saying to feed first and then water heavy? Wouldn't that just rinse out all the food? Sorry, I've never got along with potted orchids. Joss

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 1:42PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

No, just apply your water + fertilizer until a significant amount drains out. Maybe you already do this, but some people tend to water very lightly so that they don't have to deal with the mess of draining water. But they don't realize that any minerals not used by the plant accumulate, as water evaporates leaving behind the minerals contained in each watering.

-Chris

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:55PM
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joss-1

I got it, thanks. I wasn't paying enough attention to that. I spray them all at once (bareroot and the very few potted) they're probably not draining off enough. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:42PM
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