Which type of Dyna Gro? + Epsom salts for Variegated Leaves?

Greg(z8, San Antonio)December 20, 2011

Hello everyone! I have seen Dyna Gro fertilizer mentioned on this forum, and have searched the site in order to find out exactly which type of Dyna Gro is best for AV's. Is it the Liquid Bloom 3-12-6? Or the Liquid Grow 7-9-5? I would guess the Bloom one, but just wanted to make sure before buying!

Also, I've also read on here about adding epsom salt to fertilizer to boost chlorophyll to green the leaves. Can I give this to variegated varieties, too, or will doing so diminish the variegation?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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The one I've seen highly recommended elsewhere is Dyna-Gro Foliage-Pro 9-3-6. In addition to the N, P, and K, it contains additional minerals that are often lacking in other fertilizers and is urea-free. I haven't tried it yet, but will when my current supply of fertilizer runs out.

Since many fertilizers don't contain micro-nutrients, over time plants may show signs of insufficient nutrition, such as yellowing leaf edges. Epsom salt has magnesium (lack of which is one of the causes of yellowing - see Dr. Optimara at http://www.optimara.com/doctoroptimara/10121-10304/10301.html for other causes) so if your fertilizer doesn't have it, your plants will really like it. I'll let someone who has given it to variegated varieties answer your question about that!

Here is a link that might be useful: Dyna-Grow Information Website

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 2:17PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

I didn't try Dyna-Gro "foliage", seems too heavy on nitriogen to me. In my experience 7-9-5 is the best. Every so often I use different fertiizer - right now I am running Plant Marvel - we ordered 25 pounds for the club - they have different formulas and as far as I remember this is foliage no urea we ordered.

I use small amount of Epsom salt every so often - 1/8 of a teaspoon. So far I think the warm temperature is the prevalent factor that turns your variegates green. Epsom helps heavily variegated plants work more efficiently.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 7:03PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

I'm not familiar with Dyna-Gro Foliage and am I'm with Irina: I like the Dyna-Gro ratios. Have had no problem keeping variegation unless I let the plants get too warm.

I put my variegates on the bottom shelf or I will inevitably place them directly over the light fixture. I know better but I seem to do it, anyway. :-)


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Greg(z8, San Antonio)

Thanks for the helpful responses, everyone. I'm so glad I asked before going ahead and buying the 3-12-6, which is advertised on amazon.com as being good for AV's. Now I will go with the 7-9-5, as per your advice. It pays to ask the experts! :-)

Will give the epsom salts a try, too. I use them on my roses, which love them. Am eager to see how the violets respond.

Thanks again, y'all! :-)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 9:56PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

3:12:6 seems way too heavy on phosphorus - which promotes blooming at the expense of the overall plant growth - means you are Ok using it - but you need to alternate it with something more balanced to keep the green part of the plant happy too.

Amazon is in business of selling stuff, not in a business of violet growing.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 1:52PM
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I don't read here too much (GW) but stopped by and say this and thought this might be of help to someone.

If you read the research cited on other GW areas, such as Containter growing (we do grow in containers), Dyna Grow 9-3-6 is the best choice of the Dyna Grow options. See posts by Tapla and Justaguy2. They are not easy reading - at least to me - but after I read enough I understood that using more P is not a good thing.

I use it exclusively for all indoor and outdoor container plants and have no issues.

When analyzed, the tissue in all plants always contains about 3-1-2 NPK - so any formula with those percentages is good. A 7-9-5 has much too much phosphorus and is bad for the environment. I suppose our water doesn't go down the drain so not a biggie but it makes me happier to have one fertilizer for everything and know it's safe for the world, too.

I use in on streps, AVs, chirita (can't remember the new name of them!), and many others. They bloom wonderfully, I never need to add anything else, they grow quickly, I never have issues that some people have with white babies. I couldn't be happier that I stumbled onto that forum and learned so much about this. There is a lot of conflicting info. Sort of makes sense to follow with the science says.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 8:07PM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

G. -

the long time opinion is that the best for violets is balanced - something like 20:20:20 (or 10:10:10). A lot of house plants are foliage plants - and that's why high nitrogen is preferred. We probably cannot treat our violets as foliage plants - because if they do not bloom for us 10 months out of the year - we are not happy.

I am not familiar that we have balanced urea free fertilizer available right now. Whoever was making these kind of fertilizers - switched to urea - because it is incredibly cheap - and works just
right outside in a real soil full of microorganisms, that convert it into palatable compounds.

BTW - fish emulsion works miracles with Streps. Better than anything else.

In reality - plants are very flexible and successfully utilize whatever we give them. Probably you can see the difference if you grow to show - and at that point everything should be just so with calendar and hourly schedule (I am kidding, but there is some truth in it.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 7:06PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)


If you go to the Dyna-Gro site, the 9-3-6 is specifically for foliage plants; they actually refer to it as a "tropical foliage concentrate."

According to Dyna-Gro, 7-9-5, on the other hand, is "to promote both foliage and blooms." I bought their "bloom" formula years ago but since the 7-9-5 keeps mine in bloom and the foliage strong, I haven't even used it.

And, it works for my foliage plants, too, so I only have to buy one (BIG) jug. :-)

Happy Growing and Happy New Year,


    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Hi Stross! (I used to live in NOLA, myself)

I have heard of using epsom salts in order to intentionally green up variegated leaves used for propagating. Often heavilly variegated leaves don't have enough chlorophyll to root well. So yes, it will green them up, especially if you foliar feed.

Happy Growing!
Michi Harper

    Bookmark   January 1, 2012 at 7:27PM
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I hope no one takes this the wrong way....but what companies say is marketing, not necessarily the truth. Marketing never has to be the truth (I used to work in marketing - hated it).

One of my favorite posts on GW is in the Container forum. It is a copy of a letter from the president of Dyna Grow to one of the forum members. In the letter basically says they have to make formulas that aren't good for plants because it's easier than reeducating people. He also says that P should never be higher than N or K.

It's quite an eye-opening letter - at least to me! That and the posts about what plants uptake - the nutrients in them - caused me to change my mind about what I buy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dyna Grow's CEO on high P fertilizers

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 7:26PM
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