unintentional feeding?

gonzer_gwMarch 18, 2009

I've often wondered why my Billbergias never seemed to have that certain 'pizzazz' that some of those posted here do. Today it dawned on me that the spray drift from feeding my Tillandsias has been wafting down upon my terrestrials. I use a Birchmier backpack sprayer and usually spray about 4 gallons (15 litres) of mix on the tills which are all located above the pots. I'm sure the insignificant but frequent mistings of fert haven't helped my cause. Well, today I started covering everything with plastic, I hope it works.

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Becareful with the plastic that could cause another problem

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 7:09PM
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I gently lay it over using the sturdier-leaved plants as supports. It's only on for a few minutes.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 7:27PM
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Hi Gonz - All of my Bill's lost their colour a couple of years back now due to unintentional feeding also.

An interstate grower of nice coloured Bill's told me to give them the occasional feed of Potash to enhance their colour.

A local friend told me where I could get Potash cheap from a Dairy Co-op where they bought fertilizers in bulk and re-bagged it themselves and sold it much cheaper than the other stores.

A couple of months after I used it all my Bill's started losing colour and eventually finished up green. It wasn't until I accidently smelled it that I realised it had been wrongly labelled and was really Superphosphate!

I guess this is what happen when you try to cut corners, it comes back and bites you on the bum.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:22PM
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a big pinch or two of Coco chips and coco peat are good sources of natural potash..

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Thanks for the tips Nev and Hd.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:38AM
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BTW, where can you buy water-soluble K? The closest I've seen is a 13-0-44 Potassium nitrate sold as tree stump remover but that's even got too much N.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 6:45PM
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Only one I found is a fish emulsion 0-0-7

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:19PM
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All the fish I see is usually around 5-0-0 or 4-1-1.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:51PM
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bromeliaddict(z6 MI)

The foliage may get "washed out", but I'll bet they bloom pretty nicely when the time comes. I've been growing my Bills. hard- almost no nitrogen- using a fish emulsion based 0-10-10 fertilizer. Gonz- the product I find here in Michigan is called "Alaska (brand) Morbloom". I've thought to experiment this summer with "Algoflash Geranium" plant food. It has a 4N-6P-8K formula. Has anyone else ever tried using it on their broms?

I do suspect that at least some of the Bills. need at least a bit of nitrogen though, to help make food for the plant to bloom. I've had a 'Domingos Martins' for 10 years. It's made plenty of pups, but I have yet to see it flower.

Nev, there must have been something besides just superphosphate in that mislabeled fertilizer! Usually, if the plant goes totally green, then the prime suspect is excessive nitrogen.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:04PM
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Turns out that regular Azalea, Rhododendron, Camellia food @ 0-10-10 will do the trick.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Excuse me, I am new and have a question: I have two Crypts., one Tillandsia, one vriesa and one guzmania. From my Hort. books and, especially this thread, I have come to realize that Broms are very sensitive when it comes to feeding. May I please have some advice on feeding my Broms? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 1:23PM
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exotica(New Zealand)

Here's the low down on Potash (also known as Sulphate of Potash or Potassium Sulphate) for anyone that's interested. There are 3 common forms of potassium that you can buy. One is natural Potash, sometimes called fertiliser grade, which is a creamy coloured powder. This is great for spreading on the garden, avoiding any going into the cups of broms.

The other form of Potassium sulphate is often called technical or hydroponic grade. This is refined into a soluble white crystal that leaves no residue when dissolved. This is what you should use for foliar feeding. It is the most expensive form, but also the most pure.

The one to avoid is Potassium chloride, also known as Muriate of Potash. This has a high salt index and can be damaging to a lot of plants, as well as to soil micro-organisms.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 3:12AM
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