Fertilizers

carolyn18810(z5)February 17, 2013

What is the best fertilizer for hoya? Not sure what type of formulas I should be looking at - any help would be appreciated.

TIA

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Ren_Flowers

I don't fertilize at all and I know they can bloom without it.. But.. Lots of people love "Super Thrive" and "Dyna gro: Grow" both in the pot and in a mister (folar feeding). Growmore's seaweed extract is a good one. A smelly option is chicken manure :)
Be wary of fertilizing sick or young plants. I've also heard that in reduced light conditions plants are more susceptible to fertilizer burn, however I don't know how true that is for hoya!
Keiko

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 12:13AM
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carolyn18810(z5)

I haven't fertililzed in years and I think I am getting to a point where I am going to start fertilizing again.

Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:59PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Carolyn,

It doesn't need to be any kind of fancy fertilizer, whatever you may have on hand. Balanced fertilizer would be the way to go (w/ equal numbers like 20-20-20 or 10-10-10).

One needn't fertilize 'til they're in active growth. Some of mine are in active growth now as my apmt is getting an unusual amount of heat,so I am fertilizing, which I don't usually do until Spring comes.

Always follow the package instructions pls. as to dosage & when in doubt, just use it half strength or even 1/4 strength recommended.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 6:10PM
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mdahms1979

I have always found it a little odd when people suggest that Hoyas don't need fertilizer. In the past we have had people insist that these plants never need nutrition and that is just plain false.
I would suggest using a fertilizer regularly but at a dilute rate, say 1/2 strength when in active growth and 1/4 strength during the rest of the time. Products like Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro work well when alternated with a bloom booster type fertilizer. Natural fertilizers like fish emulsion or seaweed extract are also great alternatives to chemical fertilizers.

One thing that seems to not be well understood is the relationship between cultural conditions and nutrition. You can't continue fertilizing as usual if your growing conditions are cold and gloomy this time of year. The plants need warmth and bright light to be able to metabolize the fertilizer properly, increase the light etc and you can pretend it's still summer outside. Remember that Hoyas are not temperate plants so unless they are from an area that experiences a dry season then they do not go dormant. Even during these natural rest periods light levels will remain high and in areas where the trees drop their leaves in response to the lack of water the light intensity may even increase.

If you fertilize regularily the be sure to flush the pots once a month or so. To do so just water the plant well, the sink is a good place to do this. After letting the plant sit for 20 min or so flush the pot again with enough water to fill the pot if it were empty. This will flush the fertilizer buildup from the potting media. It has also been suggested that a very weak fertilizer solution might even be more effective at flushing pots than plain water but I would not use more than a 1/8 strength solution for this. Epsom salts in a weak solution is another alternative but just a pinch in a gallon of water would be all that is needed to flush pots.

Mike

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:10PM
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cpawl(8)

I have been using a product called K-Lite orchid/epiphyte fertilizer for for about 18 months and love it.I have tried many different types and brands and K-Lite is now the only one I will ever use.My plants are so much stronger and healthier then ever before.This my first winter with no loss.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:15PM
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carolyn18810(z5)

I used to fertilize all my houseplants, but that was quite a while ago. I stopped messing around with fertilizers/chemicals and the like when I started having children - my youngest is going to be 26 here in a week or so - so fertilzing has been long ago.

My initial thoughts were that soon the new growth should be starting and that perhaps it would be a good idea to get what I need in the house before that point.

Years ago, I used to dilute my plant food to 1/2 strength and then I would use that solution every other week. The weeks that I did not fertilize, I used to use a 1/2 strength of fish emulsion. I was thinking of going back to this type of regime.

Thanks so much for your help on this. I really appreciate it.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:16PM
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