Is there an African Violet fertilizer without urea?

brass_tacks(8b/GA)May 11, 2005

I found Peter's Specialties 3-10-10, Urea Nitrogen;

Schultz Violet Food 8-14-9, 6.9 Urea Nitrogen;

Miracle Gro Violet Food 7-7-7-, 6.6 Urea Nitrogen;

Isn't Urea something we don't want to use on African Violets?

Please advice about this--I'm not finding any fertizier without Urea Nitrogen.

Thanks, Pat

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Hi Pat,

Look for Peters Specialties for African Violets. No urea and the formula is 12-36-14. It is available at Lowe's and probably at Wal-Mart and Home Depot. The cost is reasonable. If grown under lights use 1/4 tsp. to gallon of water, or 1/8 tsp. if grown in natural light.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 7:08PM
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Thanks so much. Those stores around here don't have it. But at least I know what to try and find.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 7:31PM
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rita_h(PNW 8b)

While you're looking, check for "orchid fertilizers" with similar formulations, many of which are urea-free.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 11:26AM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Awwww, don't we want pee pee on our babies? Unfortunately the nearest any of those is 60 miles north, and I *ain't* gonna drive that far for pee-free fertilizer.

Korina the Sarcastic ;-P

PS Optimara's doesn't have urea, 'cause it's their business to know better.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 2:41PM
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Larry has mentioned Dyna Gro many times. I know about Optimara too. I was wanting to find something on the store shelves. But as long as the gas would cost me more than shipping, I might as well order by mail.

No Urea:
Violtet Showcase has: Dyna-Gro Grow is 7-9-5 & Dyna-Gro Bloom is 3-12-6;
Selective Gardener has: Optimera is 14-12-14 & 20-5-10;
Peter's Specialties for Violets is 12-36-14

What would be the best for young violets. I'm not looking for great flowers yet, just healthy plants.

What do you think?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 9:08PM
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Motezuma(z5 WV)

Pat, Look for the N (1st number) to be bigger for foliage growth. P (2nd number) for blooms.

Also, since you're new to GA, why not try your local extension office for a Master Gardener's course? The sessions will be specialized for your area, so the guesswork is taken out of local gardening (as much as it ever can be!)

-Mo (WV)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 12:46PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Pat, I get my Optimara food at my local grocery store; they have a small floral dept. $1.99 + tax. No shipping.

Happy Friday 13!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2005 at 1:38PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I am of the opinion that the high middle numbers in fertilizers don't do anything special to encourage flowers. I use a balanced fertilizer, with numbers fairly equal. Also, I agree that avoiding urea nitrogen is a good idea. With violets it accumulates as brownish muck exuded by the leaves. The other day we were discussing fertilizers at our meeting (a gesneriad society chapter) and it was mentioned that when one uses a high middle number type fertilizer the plant doesn't use it all and the excess is just wasted. I don't really know if this is true but I get lots of flowers with a balanced fertilizer. I'm using up some old Peter's at the moment (before they went to high urea content for their standard feed).


    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 12:53PM
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I use schultz, I just checked the label and it says nothing about urea......where does it say it has this.....whatis urea nitrogen??



    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:43PM
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I also use the Peters specialties 12-36-14, got it from lowes 2years ago and still using same 8oz package. But my lowes no longer sells it , in fact I havent seen anywhere else either but you can get it online it doesnt cost much. I think reeds greenhouse sells it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 1:24AM
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I was using Black Magic Blossom Booster plant food for African Violets (4-10-10) in tablet form (put in soil about every 3-4 months and blossoms appear in about 4-6 weeks), but I can't find it anywhere--even online. The company must have gone out of business. I loved not having to muss with water and mixing and putting the food on with every watering. I am looking for something similar but haven't found anything yet.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Hello everybody:

I'm quite new in the forum and also an african violet grower. My question is: How many days after we observe leaves started to have roots can we apply a fertilizer and what will be the appropriate dosage and frequency?

Thanks a lot

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 3:26PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Frank -

It is a joy to have a new AV grower joining us!

In my opinion it doesn't matter if you have your soil fertilized or not at that point. Unfertilized vermiculite works OK too. Or water. The leaf uses its own resources to grow roots. When the new plantlets are hatching - they will need fertilizer to grow and to grow green. I read the recommendations of using half-strength fertilizer - so if you use 1/4 of a teaspoon per gallon in every watering - you can use 1/8th. Fish emulsion works really well too.

How many days will take to start roots - they sure start fast in spring. If you put a heating pad under the tray - it will help too. Medium aged leaves root faster than old - that's why it is recommended to take a leaf from the middle row if you are rooting it. And different varieties have different rooting speed. And the last one - if the mother plant is healthy - off they go, if you are trying to save a leaf from a weak and sick one - it takes longer or it just dies.

There is always a discussion - to use rooting powder or not - but looks like rooting powder increases the mass of roots at the expense of plantlets.



    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 9:12PM
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I found a urea-free fertilizer called BETTER-GRO Orchid Plus at Lowe's. The numbers are 20-14-13 with minor elements (I think "minor elements" means the same as "micronutrients"). My big question: is the N content too high for AVs in proportion to the P-K? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 10:25AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Not Bad. It is probably a fertilizer for terrestrial orchids. The ones that grow in bark - need something like 30:5:5 = to compensate for the nitrogen loss in bark - the bacteria that breaks bark takes a lot of nitrogen.
Try to use 1/8 of a teaspoon and see how it goes. You can add a small amount of a bone meal and a mineral called green sand to the soil. These work as slow release Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizers = if I am correct. Pat Hancock - Buckeye AVs hybridizer - talked about her self made mix. The third secret ingredient as far as I remember was a powdered manure.
If you preload your soil mix with slow release fertilizers - you can skip fertilizing for a month or 2 and then use a minimum amount.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 12:38PM
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You read my mind! I was going to ask if anyone has ever used a slow release fertilizer. I think Osmocote has a low-urea one that is supposed to last for six months. Any thoughts, anyone?

I think that the orchid fertilizer would not be appropriate as the high nitrogen would favor the foliage at the expense of the flowers. Orchids mainly bloom just once or twice a year so the majority of their growth is foliage not blooms. But, as Irina says, you could try it and see what happens. Just let us know!

And, yes, you're correct, minor elements means micronutrients.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 3:49PM
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